John Root

"Popular Music of the Gaslight Era" features a diverse repertoire of musical styles from the turn of the previous century. John sings and plays authentic piano arrangements of songs composed from 1890-1920 as they were originally performed. Everyone is invited to sing along with familiar selections.

The songs' lyrics offer insights into the customs and values of American popular culture at the turn of the previous century. Audiences also learn how our country’s multicultural diversity created unique musical styles that continue to delight and inspire audiences around the world.

Program duration: one hour

spacer“John had clearly done a lot of research on both the music of the times and popular culture at the turn of the twentieth century. We enjoyed his instrumental talents and his wonderful tenor voice. He involved us all in singing along, and brought the era alive for us.”
spacer- Marion J. Bryan, President, Bedford Historical Society, Bedford, MA

spacer“John’s vast knowledge of musical history was extremely interesting. Our patrons were enthralled, and many stayed after the performance to share memories stimulated by his program.”
spacer- Kristina Worcester, Head of Information Services, J.V. Fletcher Library, Westford, MA

spacer“Our members thoroughly enjoyed John's performance, and participated enthusiastically in the sing-alongs. His informative commentary gave valuable insights into the music and meanings of songs that are an important part of our culture. John obviously enjoys interacting with the audience as they share memories connected to these well-loved melodies.”
spacer- Jean Luddy, President, Vernon Historical Society, Vernon, CT

spacer“Not only is John a wonderful singer and musician, his voice fitting perfectly with songs from the Gaslight era, but his vast knowledge of music history is an unexpected treat. He is a charismatic and interesting teacher, along with his considerable musical talent.”
spacer- Bonnie Hurd Smith, Executive Director, Ipswich Historical Society, Ipswich, MA

spacer“There was a lot to like about John’s presentation. I appreciated the way he opened the doors to the historical period from which this music emerged. His enthusiasm for the various types of music was contagious. He has a delightful way of becoming the music he is playing - in body, spirit and sound.
spacerI also liked the manner in which he invited the audience in by asking them questions about their experience of the music and their understanding of this period. Throughout the presentation, his excellent musical education and rich musical background came through with flying colors. I heard many favorable comments as people were leaving the auditorium. Our program attendees enjoyed a happy musical afternoon."
- Lauri Burke. Community Services Librarian, Barrington Public Library, Barrington, RI


About John