Singer/songwriter John Hancock (yes, that is his real name.....) is one of the youngest and most talented Catholic musicians in the market today. Born and raised in Alabama, John plays the piano, guitar, violin, lap dulcimer, accordion, timpani, ukulele, bodhran, and tin-whistle.
A recent graduate of the Naval Academy and a naval flight officer, John draws heavily on his Celtic Irish heritage as well as his love for his Catholic faith, which has inspired songs about the Divine Mercy and the Virgin Mary. His first solo album Sinners, Saints, and Satellites was released in 2008. John’s sound can be generally classified as contemporary Christian rock, but the driving rhythms, nostalgic lyrical ballads, and intense spiritual hymns characteristic of Celtic music are evident in his music. His major influences are contemporary rock bands like the Gin Blossoms and Plain White T’s, and Celtic artists such as Solas, Silly Wizard, and The Battlefield Band. His mastery of multiple musical instruments adds great dimension to his music. His lyrics are simple yet full of meaningful, vivid imagery and couple well with his strong, expressive voice. John first started playing the piano by ear as a toddler and started formal piano instruction at the age of four. His love of composing and writing music grew from there and he became the lead singer in the Celtic band Shillelagh, a local favorite in Annapolis, Maryland while attending the Naval Academy. Each song on the Sinners, Saints, and Satellites album tells a different story, in its lyrics and also in its overall sound.
• Red and White is a moving, meditative spiritual song about the Divine Mercy of Jesus. The song begins on a descriptive note: “Something red and something white before my eyes, Heaven’s face though never truly justified," turning more personal as it progresses: “You asked with your eyes, you asked me to walk with you on the raging sea, and I got lost in your eyes, got lost at the notion of such a willing sacrifice."
• Ave is a contemporary and meaningful tribute to Mary, “those waiting in darkness know Him by your voice," “war after war we have endured," “you who once held Peace in your arms; you must hold us there for sure." Significantly, the second line of the chorus refers to the Virgin Mary as “Stella Maris," Latin for “Star of the Sea," one of Mary’s titles which has been used for centuries to highlight her role as a guiding star, sign of hope, and protector of Christians.
• Travis’s Song: Heroes Like You is a tribute to John’s friend who was killed in combat in 2007. He wrote the song as a gift for his departed friend’s family. The harmonic ballad is a poignant and moving portrayal of this US soldier. The song honors Travis for his “selflessness” and “noble nature," asserting with emotion: “oh, now, the streets that you guard are gold…” The song reminds listeners of the heroic sacrifices made by men and women in the military. John’s first album includes several other notable songs. He is also presently working on new songs and musical scores. He hopes to use his abilities to demonstrate that faith, truth, and contemporary music can go together hand in hand.