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John Spreier has played in a variety of bands since the spring of 1976. The musical oddessey began with a band named Minas Tirith. It was named after J.R.R. Tolkien's mythical citadel. Dave Lieber played guitar & sang harmonies, Marty Mele provided the bass, Tony Miceli mastered the drums, and John strummed guitar and sang his songs of unrequited love in New Jersey. The band broke up when Dave moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania. A second invention of the band included Tim Waller holding down the bass & singing harmonies, Brad Egner thumping his mighty double Rogers kit (white of course like Bonham's), Bob Hollinger attacking his Gibson SG (red of course like Page's). Tim decided to return to his brother's band, which left the trio without a bottom. The third and final form of the band included Brad Egner continuing to bang the drums, Bob Hollinger still wailing on guitar, and Marty Mele returning with a barrage of bass angst that had not been felt before. The band was dissolved by John when he moved to Japan in August of 1979.

When John returned to New Jersey from Japan in the spring of 1980, he joined Rael featuring Michael Birnbaum and Kenny Birnbaum who played guitar and drums respectively with the legendary Pete Kogler holding down the bass.

In the autumn of 1980 John ended up in Rhode Island following his girlfriend who studied architecture at RISD. He left his musical friends in New Jersey so he spent his time honing his recording craft on his Akai 4 track, which he bought in Japan.

In the spring of 1983 John joined The Tim Turner Band. In the summer of 1983 Tim broke up the band and introduced him to a young drummer named John Guadagni and a punk bassist named Jimmy Mulligan. Tim sang songs from the heart but it didn't work out with Tim and Jimmy. Guadagni turned out to be a long term musical companion and friend.

In the autumn of 1983 an Englishman named Jon Jelleyman arrived to the shores of Rhode Island just in time to astound all with his guitar pyrotechnics, skank & bubble, soulful vocals, frightfully funky bass, impressive songwriting, and expert engineering. Guadagni, Jelleyman, and Spreier formed a band named Allagash. Jelleyman became a musical mentor for Guadagni and Spreier leading them on a musical trip to Jamaica for reggae with frequent syncopated stops in Great Britain for roots rock. It was essentially a musical Zen philosophy. The absence of sound in music was taught to be the most important of all. Rhythm is made up of the spaces between the notes. It is the sound of one hand clapping that allows one to appreciate the sound of two hands clapping in time. Jelleyman joined Maasai in 1984. Guadagni and Spreier became the audio engineers for Maasai's live performances. Guadagni and Jelleyman joined the Wilson Blue and the Blue Roots Reggae Band in 1985. Blue proved to be more efficient at getting gigs so the band split up. Their last performance was at The Rustic Well in Smithfield, R.I. on March 3, 1986.

In the summer of 1986 a trio called The Units was formed which featured David Chandler on keyboards and vocals; John Spreier on drum machine, bass, guitar, and vocals; and the artist formally known as Arna Zucker on trombone, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, percussion and vocals. The band proved that "humor and music can mix as long as the proper amount of bozons, free radicals, and photons are in play and abundant." John began studying Occupational Therapy at Boston University in September of 1986, two weeks after his daughter Caila Spreier was born. The music lasted a year and burned out at the end of August in 1987 like Hale-Bop in the summer sky.

During a snowstorm in March of 1987 John began what has become an enduring recording relationship with John Guadagni, forming the partnership called Beta Brunette. Their blend of reggae & rock is indebted to: Alpha Blondi (the inspiration for their name), Bob Marley (the king of Reggae and perhaps the true king of pain), Sly & Robbie (for their drum & bass concept), Joni Mitchell (for her sense of vocal melody), Bruce Cockburn (for his spiritual and physical resemblance to Jelleyman and the message of his music), and the heart beat which is common to all of us, sustains us & unites our lives on this planet every day.

The autumn of 1987 started out with John filling in on bass for Wilson Blue and the Blue Roots for a couple of months and playing solo gigs to pay the bills while he continued to work on his degree in Occupational Therapy at Boston University.  It was there that he had the opportunity to play with the legendary Lloyd Nibbs from Studio One fame in Jamaica. It was Lloyd who was a co-founder of the Skatalites and is credited with inventing the reggae beat.

If The Units were minimalist, then the end of 1987 with Nick Smith as the entity Mirage was minny. The band was comprised of a Fostex 4-track tape machine, Nick Smith & John sharing bass, guitars and vocals. It was a short strange trip.

In March of 1989 David Chandler called John asking him to play bass in a new age band called Red Road. Maryanne plucked an Irish harp, David provided spacey synth patches, and Steve Copel coaxed an echo drenched midi guitar with an ebow. Some confusion about the lineup at the Temple to Music caused Red Road to hit some bumps in the pavement.

In the autumn of 1989 David Chandler brought together Kenny Johnson on drums, Fred Wilkes on guitar & vocals, and John on bass & vocals for a band called Newbird which was founded as a showcase for Fred 's talent. They blended Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton influences with original tunes from David and John. The Dead Heads twirled and danced to the infectious rhythm for a couple of years.

In the beginning of 1992 John formed a trio called Zen Chefs with John Guadagni on drums, John on vocals & guitar, and Steve Smith on vocals & bass. The band blended reggae with rock with a solid bass, strong harmonies, and the foundation of Guadagni. The music abruptly ended when the witch kicked John out of the house and all of them out of the barn they were practicing in. John got the equipment out of the barn with the help of a sympathetic police officer in South County but it was all over for the band. The barn that they were rehearsing in is the origin of the name Barnyard Sounds. The neighbors used to say that there were sounds coming from the barn.

In the summer of 1993 John became a founding member of Seek First at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Charlestown, RI. He plugged away at the bass for a couple of years until the commute from Lincoln to the beach got to be too much.

After being kicked around in the R.I. Family Court for too many years John participated in the WRX Acoustic Challenge held in Newport, Rhode Island during March of 1998. He met a gifted guitarist and songwriter named Steve Hodge. They each were impressed by each other's Guinness, performing, and songwriting ability.

In May of 1998 John was asked to join the band Fable by its founder John Crafton Jr. The band played New American Folk Music with John Crafton Jr on six & twelve string guitars, banjo & vocals; JQ Crafton on vocals; Anthony Gavoli on bass & vocals; Joshua Willis (Josh) on percussion & vocals, and John on six & twelve string guitars & vocals. It was a vocal powerhouse with five-part harmony and equally powerful clashes between the members of the band named John. Their last performance with John was September 19, 1998.

In October of 1998 John formed a duo with Michele Jeffrey called Essential Harmony. The duo continued until a lack of venues made it non-essential at the end of the summer of 1999.

John and Joe Casinelli started out working as therapists in an outpatient clinic. They quickly became friends outside of work and enjoyed playing music together. John played acoustic guitar & provided harmony vocals and Joe belted out huge lead vocals to the blues & Springsteen covers. They got semi-serious in November of 1998 and amused themselves at open mikes around the state of confusion for the next couple of years.

In August of 1999 John teamed up with Steven Hodge and John Guadagni to form a three-piece rock band named Barnstormers.  Their mission was to provide a good strong dose of rock and roll to the working masses in Rhode Island. Classic rock without attitude guaranteed to make you dance and temporarily forget about your problems.

On October 27, 2001, John's father died so he packed up his cares and woes and moved to Florida to be closer to family. Life is short and you can't make it up when you have some spare time. "Live each moment as if it were your last" became his creed.

In an effort to archive his musical contribution to the planet for posterity John began digitizing the masters of his live and studio performances in 2002. He developed this web site with the philosophy that the internet should be free (like radio) and tangible recordings (like CDs) should be reasonably priced. The major record companies have been involved with payola for too long and have strangled the life and love of music out of talented artists. At long last technology is benefiting the average person.

John joined The BLC Band in the autumn of 2005 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville Beach. The grew tremendously over the next couple of years but people move in and out of a parish and eventually it came down to two instrumentalists and one wannabeavocalist. Three years seemed like a good ride so he decided to retire the horse.

John met Carlos Reichard in June of 2012 and they became the founding members of Swamp Ash with a mission to record and perform the blues on The First Coast. Their first album will be released in October 2013. On September 11, 2013 Carlos and John met and performed with a saxaphonist nemed Robert Mays. On September 18, 2013 Carlos and John met and performed with a bassist named Kenneth Lovan. They will be a great addition to the live sound of Swamp Ash.

John continues to perform to showcase his songs and bring his musical message to all who take the time to stop and listen to the voice within all of us.

Any and all lyrics, music, pictures, songs, videos, and works of art created by John Spreier are for your personal use only and remain the exclusive property of John Spreier. All of the Barnyard Sounds albums can be downloaded for free in zipped packages with the songs encoded in MP3 format complete with album art and liner notes. They may not be altered, performed, reproduced, or resold in any form without the express written consent of John Spreier. You are free to share them as long as the credit goes where it belongs and you do not profit from their use.

Copyright 1976-2019 Barnyard Sounds. All rights reserved.

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