Local singer/songwriter John Calvin adresses world problems, sees unifying power in music

It took a little time for singer/songwriter John Calvin to fall in love with music, but when he did, he fell hard.

"It was about five years after I got my guitar that I felt that life-changing, earth-shattering effect that music can manifest," he said. "I felt something for music. I was channeling myself through the guitar."

Calvin was born in Nevada, but raised in Tulsa. He transplanted to Norman to attend college at the University of Oklahoma to study anthropology. He's recorded a full-length album and quickly become a local musical favorite, and his studies have come to affect his music.

"I just want to hear, preserve and assimilate other styles of music, from across the world, into my own music," he said. "There are languages are dying everyday, music is the same way. It's just a fragile thing."

Calvin is finishing up his second album now, and while it's musically similar to his first, he said the lyrics bring up much more serious questions.

"It's a happy-sounding album, but I wrote the material when I was sort of cynical and down," he said. "You and I can see the world's problems, and we can come up with solutions for those problems, but to put those plans into motion is damn near impossible. That's frustrating."

He recognizes a power to music, and hopes to help others in that small way.

"There's a unifying aspect to music," he said. "I think that's a pretty righteous cause."

Calvin performs 9 p.m. Friday at Othello's, 434 Buchanan in Norman. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/jcabney. "Joshua Boydston

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