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Jack Johnson and Word of Mouth

March 13, 2009

Spring is coming.

Well it’s almost here where I live. There’s still snow on the ground and we just had a Siberia style cold snap, but spring is coming.

With that in mind, I popped in some Jack Johnson to remind me of summer.

I remember being 20, working in a video store, and talking about Ben Harper with my co-worker. I had just started getting into rootsier music. I had picked up Diamonds on the Inside and was raving about it during some down time at the store. He was going off on Steve Ray Vaughn and then told me I needed to check out Jack Johnson. I had never heard of Jack, but my co-worker was persistent in making sure I downloaded some tracks.

That night, after the shift, I started to randomly download some tracks on KaZaa. Flake, Bubbletoes, and a few others were on my hard-drive in a few minutes. Not knowing what to expect, I started listening. I remember being completely stoked. Here were these mellow folky pop songs that sounded like nothing else I had heard at the time. It felt fresh.

The next day, I’m playing the burnt disc in my car on the way to school, and my sister starts asking about the music. She then takes my disc, makes her own copy, and soon her friends get on board. That same summer, On and On comes out (which I bought) and I flew out to Vancouver to catch Jack play with Ben Harper (as well as Radiohead on their Hail to the Thief tour). I come back and find random people blaring Jack out of their cars. There was no video I saw and no song I heard on radio. It was all about people turning others on to the music and the internet making it easy to access it. It’s been a few years now since Jack’s debut, Brushfire Fairytales, but its since sold over 15 million copies.

Piracy did in fact help sales.

Great music+A few, but growing base of diehards+Internet=Burgeoning Music Career

Take Control of Your Music


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2009 7:49 pm

    The only problem with Jack Johnson is that he never evolved, or hasn’t yet at least. I agree that he’s an awesome summer listen but he hasn’t taken the music anywhere.

  2. March 17, 2009 4:06 am

    True enough.

    My point was how the Jack phenom started.

  3. Troy permalink
    March 17, 2009 4:54 am

    In 2006 I drove up to Burnaby for a Jack Johnson/Matt Costa concert at Dear Park (still one of my favourite venues – The National you were amazing). I was a massive Ben Harper fan and naturally tuned in to Johnson (stolen of the internet). From there I have purchesed all his albums except “Curious George”, a full lenght LP, went to a concert and bought a t-shirt.

    KaZaa you owe me hundred dollars.

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