BC born singer/songwriter John McLachlan began writing and performing in folk clubs in Vancouver in 1979. Over the next 20 years he presented his original songs about his own experiences and historical events in hundreds of theatres, festivals, clubs and schools.
After a hiatus working in arts administration and graphic design, in 2014 John returned to music, writing and recording the album Call it Home in 2016 and Wind & Bones in 2017, Time Broke in 2018 as well as McLachlan Sings Lightfoot, a 14-song collection recorded live in the studio with multi-instrumentalist Marc Atkinson and bassist Scott White.
John’s inimitable stage presence, range of songs and genuine rapport delights and connects with audiences of all ages.
John McLachlan became hooked on historically-based songs in grade 4 when student teacher Ms. Dolan played Gordon Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy.” As a teenager he picked up his dad’s old guitar and started to learn words and chords of singer-songwriters he loved. He wrote his first song at 19 when he began playing at a small folk club in North Vancouver, BC.
From 1983 to 1985 he studied in the commercial music program at Capilano College. Voice lessons, theory, ensemble playing, music business courses, and meeting up with lots of other young musicians gave him the courage to present his songs “out there” in a bigger way.
In 1985 with a small group of fellow musicians he formed a band and presented his first (of many) concerts at the venerable Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Heavily stacked with friends and family, the sell-out show gave him a major kick to know that there was something there worth pursuing.
Over the next 15 years he travelled to many corners of British Columbia—from Nazko to Kyuquot, Fort St. John to Princeton, Prince George to Vancouver— presenting hundreds of community concerts and developing several programs for schools featuring BC or Canadian history. He took his school show to Saskatchewan, toured folk clubs as far east as Ottawa and performed in Bogotá, Colombia accompanying a festival of West Coast Canadian cuisine.
By the late 90s, the tank was getting low and he pulled the music bus to the side of the road. Learning graphic design from his artist father and using his experience with artists and arts organizations he launched a new career in graphic design and arts administration. He ran two arts service organizations (BC Touring Council and Creative City Network of Canada) and coordinated two arts grant programs funded by the BC Arts Council.
By 2014, it was time to get back to his first love: music, songs and performing. His 15-year break gave him a new perspective on his older songs and introduced a fresh ear and eye to writing and performing, allowing the spirit that started it all to merge with some new-found wisdom that inspires his music today.
He released the album Call It Home in 2016, Wind & Bones in 2017 and in 2018 two albums, Time Broke and a 14-song collection of Gordon Lightfoot songs called McLachlan Sings Lightfoot recorded live-off-the-floor in the studio with Marc Atkinson and Scott White.