When he’s not reporting for the Sawyer County Gazette, Hayward native John Adler is usually doing one of three other things: writing music and song lyrics, performing under the name Sonofmel, or traveling the globe.
He’s a busy guy, and things are just ramping up. Adler’s debut album, Springtime in a Foreign City, officially launched over the weekend.
“Three years ago my girlfriend Betsy asked me, ‘Hey John, what’s one thing you haven’t done in the last 20 years that you want to do?'” Adler recalls. “I said I’d always wanted to record an album, and she said, ‘Well, what’s stopping you?'”
Dozens gathered Saturday night at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Duluth to hear his original music. Adler says the music scene in Duluth is nothing short of incredible.
“It’s a small enough town where there’s a real intimacy with the arts and with the art lovers, and it’s a vibrant city,” he says. “It’s such a wellspring of talent and you never know what it’s going to be.”
Adler has been playing guitar for a little over 20 years, and says many of his songs are inspired from his travels near and far, including Grand Marais. He describes his style of music as Americana steeped in old-school country.
“I grew up with Willy Nelson, Waylon [Jennings]…Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan,” he says. “I really like the lyrical aspects of Dylan, with the country feel.”
The song in the video is aptly named Grand Marais, and is one of the tracks on Adler’s album.