John Doan, one of the few masters of the rare twenty-string harp guitar, has performed with a diverse range of artists including pop star Donovan, folk legend Burl Ives, jazz ace Larry Carlton, as a member of the New Christy Minstrels with Randy Sparks, among others and his virtuoso playing and arranging has attracted praise from no less a guitar luminary than Chet Atkins. He recently contributed a chapter to "Between the Strings - the Secret Lives of Guitars" a veritable compendium of the world's greatest guitarists with introduction by B.B. King. He has appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post and Billboard Magazine as well as staring in two much-loved television specials produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting: "A Christmas to Remember With John Doan" (seen on PBS) and his Emmy nominated "A Victorian Christmas With John Doan." His latest recordings on Hearts O' Space Records have been nominated for "Best Celtic Album of the Year" with Eire - Isle of the Saints winning that title. His music has also been featured on numerous prime-time television and movie productions including Walt Disney, among others. His lastest video project is a 90 minute documentary that he wrote and starred in titled "In Search of the Harp Guitar." John recently hosted an International Harp Guitar Festival at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where he is an Associate Professor of Music. He lives near Salem with his wife Deirdra atop of an extinct volcano overlooking the Willamette Valley (he is hoping his view will not be enhanced in the coming years).
The Harp Guitar Doan plays has six standard fretted guitar strings, six unfretted bass strings, and eight unfretted high strings with pure tones and long sustains. It was built by Portland, Oregon makers John Sullivan and Jeff Elliott.
"The interesting thing about the harp-guitar and especially the way that John has mastered it, is that the music issuing forth seems like magic, magic put back in the hands of the magician. No special effects or illusion, real hands on real magic. Where all of this music is coming from seems like a mystical experience.
He's an outstanding composer and arranger as well. His take on any tune is always a remarkable vision."
Mason Williams: Composer of Classical Gas
"John Doan is one of my best discoveries. When I became aware of his talent, I asked my dearest friend Burl Ives for permission to include John in our Mt. Vernon, WA concert (Burl's last such program, as it turned out), and that began a lasting friendship between the two of them. John is an undiscovered treasure.... I honestly believe we need more quality class-acts in our business of show, and John is exactly that."
Randy Sparks, Founder, The New Christy Minstrels
Reviews For Wrapped in White:
"Wrapped in White: Visons of Christmas Past is truly a treat. More than adhering to the theme of Christmas, multi-instrumentalist John Doan furthers the concept to embrace 19th-century American Victoriana. Doan tackles the long-forgotten harp guitar and a vast stable of Victorian-era instruments, including the toy piano, with its plinking kidlike sounds, and piccolo trumpet, as well as a pleasing novelty blend of strings such as mando-bass, autoharp, and parlor guitar. Songs are craftily assembled and arranged as groupings such as Carols of Kings, Carols of Night, Carols of Bells, and Farewells. Altogether enjoyable, Wrapped in White embodies age-old tradition, celebrates nostalgia, and captures the spirit of the holiday's peace, warmth, and ritual."
Paige La Grone
"A beautiful, fascinating combination of classic music songs. Notes have a lot of information about the instruments used and history of the songs. This should be part of everyone's Christmas music collection."
W.T. Bedenbaugh "julio dinkuar"
"Wow, what a treat this CD is! I ran across it by accident and after listening to the samples, ordered 3 copies immediately, for myself and as gifts. I've always loved the sound of old acoustic instruments, and there's such variety here, coupled with pure virtuosity of performance that I don't know how I lived this long without owning anything by John Doan.
The harp guitar has great range and a wonderful "sound" for this music. It's perfect for background while doing other things, but also complex enough to listen to intently, alone. The piccolo trumpet featured in O Come, O Come will take your breath away. Turn the volume up!
I love the 30-second intros followed by the full songs. Whoever arranged the CD is a genious. The toy piano on Jolly Old St. Nick, and the scratchy Edison wax cylinder on Joy To the World are fun and unique. The mando-bass accompanying the classical banjo on Jesu Joy brought back memories of doing this song in high school choir 35 years ago, but John does it so much better than we did!
If your taste in music is eclectic like mine is, and if you appreciate clean performances by master musicians, you'll love this CD like I do. This is my first ever review after shopping here for almost all my music. Guess it took a great performance like this to get me started. Am I gushing here? Sorry. This is my all-time favorite Christmas music."
"Oregon-based musician John Doan is a master of many instruments, and on this CD he has chosen to play traditional, old-time Christmas music on instruments popular at the end of the 19th century. This choice gives the music an atmosphere of peppermint and mulled wine not found on most seasonal recordings. All the carols are carefully selected, peaceful and very wonderfully played. The selection of songs is flawless. There is even a Christmas greeting from Thomas Edison as played on an old grammaphone. I love this CD, and play it every Christmas season on a Public Radio program in Alaska. Part of the appeal is that the music doesn't seem to have any age barriers. This would make a wonderful, and unique, addition to your Christmas collection."
"Peaceful, well crafted, and filled with memories!
This album is a masterpiece. It blends sounds from many different instruments. It lights memories in the listener. If it is possible to wear out a CD, this is one we will wear out! It is peaceful, joyous, and melodic. This is the perfect instrumental Christmas CD."
Dave & Susan...Fans
Check out the artist's website:
1. Carol of the Bells
2. Away in the Manger
3. In the Manger
4. We Three Kings
5. Three Kings
6. O Come, O Come
7. Angels We Have Heard On High & The FIrst Noel
8. The Angel's First Noel
9. Joy to the World (Edison Phonograph)
10. Joy to the World
11. Jesu Joy
12. Born is Jesus the Infant King
13. Infant King
14. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
15. Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
16. Jolly Old King Wenceslas
17. Go Tell It
18. O Christmas Tree
19. Silent Night (Gem Roller Organ)
20. Silent Night
21. Old Long Since (Auld Lang Syne)