IT’S a story of connection and how we need each other more than ever these days.

That is how musician John Stamp sums up his latest projects that have come about while scratching around in lockdown.

John, who grew up in Stockton Heath and Woolston, recently called on his high profile music contacts from all over the world to keep him sane during the restrictions.

He released a song in February called No Man’s An island with his friend Jon Bowen, who now lives in New Zealand, and London producer Carl Stanbridge.

And John has just launched another single called Airplane Mode with Peter Stroud and drummer Luke Bullen.

Peter is Sheryl Crow’s Atlanta-based music director and guitarist and Luke has worked with the likes of Bryan Ferry, Joe Strummer and John Squire.

John, whose granddad Arthur had a building firm in Warrington called Stamps Builders, said: “I’m a big Sheryl Crow fan and love the guitar work of Peter Stroud who’s been her musical director for many years. We have some mutual friends in Nashville through an album that I recorded there and so I reached out to Peter to ask if he’d play on some tracks.

“We had a Zoom call and he was up for it. We sent the tracks from to Atlanta, Georgia, where Peter is and via the internet he sent back lots of recordings and options for us.”

“Carl’s just now finishing the mixes. It’s lovely but bonkers how all of this whizzes across the internet and manages to work.”

After a career as a residential care director and business owner, John got into music in later life.

His big moment came in 2017 when he released his album, Franklin 54, which was recorded in Nashville.

Lead track, Stay Calm, was featured on BBC Introducing and the song, Blowing Me Kisses, was a collaboration with Leigh Nash from Sixpence None The Richer.

John added: “I knew of the global hit, Kiss Me, which came out around 1999 but Leigh would laugh if I said I was daunted meeting her – we’ve become really good friends.

“She has some great stories about meeting and working with Dolly Parton and names like Bono just roll off her lips. She’s hilarious.”

John found his love of music through Mark Olly, a well known Warringtonian who is an archaeologist and historian.

He said: “His mum played piano and Mark’s a very able and keen drummer.

“We jammed in his front room with me learning a few guitar chords and trying my best to join in.

“I moved to Orford as a teenager and had some guitar lessons as a pupil at St John’s in Latchford.

“I played guitar and wrote songs into my teenage years, got drawn into a pretty full on Christian scene at Wycliffe Church and started playing gospel/worship music.

“This was a good education in song writing and playing live. I’d started writing songs pretty keenly in my late teens and found myself getting invited to play some gigs around the UK as part of the gospel music scene.

John Stamp has returned to music after cutting his teeth jamming with Mark Olly in his youth

John Stamp has returned to music after cutting his teeth jamming with Mark Olly in his youth

“After 10 years of gigging I eventually became part of a band called The Name.

“But I think it was around age 30 it dawned on me I had two kids and needed to earn a better living.

“I went to Derby University and did a degree in music and arts therapy.

“From there went into residential childcare social work. I developed this as a career and ended up being owner and chief executive of a UK-wide care company.”

After dipping his toe back into music with the Nashville project, John sold the business in 2019 and is finding his passion for music all over again.

But not long after that the pandemic arrived and the world turned upside down.

John, who wrote a published book for his grandson Aubin because he missed seeing him so much during the lockdown, added: “I’d given myself some time to adjust and started travelling and realised that things were amiss when people were wearing masks at a Sting gig in San Francisco in February 2020.

“It’s been the weirdest year of my life. I think most people would say that.

“Some studio friends have said they haven’t noticed much change, they lived in a music cavern before and didn’t surface for much other than air and food!

“I know I’m fortunate, blessed, lucky – take your pick. Although I only visit Warrington occasionally to see family and the grave of my parents at Fox Covert in Appleton, I have such great memories.

“I met my wife Amanda there and remember adventures canoeing on the Bridgewater Canal and learning guitar.

“One memory that always stands out is hearing the Warrington country band Poacher.

“They played at a street party for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and I’d have been about 10.

“They twanged out the most Nashville sound I’d heard live – it must have stayed in my bones!”

To check out John’s music go to or