It’s been 10 years since John McVey released his second solo album, Jigsaw, but the singer/songwriter has been plenty busy during that time, working as a producer and engineer at Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colorado, while volunteering his time and music to both local and national charities. He never stopped writing, though, and now the Princeton, New Jersey, native is set to release his new album, <em>Unpredictable</em>, on July 20.
"I like taking time with my songs," McVey says of the span between Unpredictable and Jigsaw. "My process includes a lot of thinking and a lot of free writing. But when I get an idea that I really want to chase down, I’m relentless. I’ll fill pads with all of the writing that isn’t the song — like Michelangelo chipping away all of the stone that wasn’t the David." The end result of all of that chipping is Unpredictable, an album McVey is especially excited about because he’s donating a portion of every album sale to Kids Food Basket, a charity that provides bag lunches to underfunded kids and schools in Grand Rapids, MI. "I want this CD to be about something other than my own ego," he says. "It’s fun to watch sales when I know it’ll go toward something other than me."
Once named The National Academy of Songwriters’ "Artist of the Year," McVey has also won the Kerrville "New Folk" contest while taking home top honors in the Best of Boston’s Singer/Songwriter showcase. Meanwhile, Jigsaw and his debut album, Circle of Friends, have impressed fans and critics alike. "Combining well-crafted originals with well-considered covers, Circle demonstrates McVey’s writing, arranging and performance talents," writes Matthew S. Robinson from the Boston Globe. "A native of New Jersey, it is no surprise that McVey is often compared to the Philly Soul sound of artists such as Daryl Hall."
For as much as McVey enjoys the writing process, Unpredictable offered an entirely new challenge. "I’ve been working as a producer/engineer for the last dozen years, and I wanted to try and do this for my own songs," says McVey, who’s worked on hundreds of albums during his time with Coupe Studios. Producing Unpredictable, though, was a unique experience that McVey won’t soon forget. "I had the luxury of doing this CD completely on my own time, with no one to please, no one to answer to and no expectations on it at all. It was a work of complete art and passion."
For more, visit johnmcvey.com.