John D. Lewis
John was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the son of a Presbyterian Minister, and is hugely proud to be a Geordie.
Music became early with singing in his Dad’s church, not only as a member of the congregation, but also as a soloist before he was six. He was known around the remote Northumbrian village where he lived for riding his three-wheeler bike singing "My Old Man's A Dustman", much to his father's embarrassment.
John had his first guitar by the time he was 12 and the first album he bought was a compilation of Hank Williams’ greatest hits. He learned each track by ear with only a chord book and a Bert Weedon guitar manual to help.
Early recordings were on cassette tapes, often with his brother Martin. The boys “double-tracked” songs by replaying one cassette through home-made speakers while recording onto another cassette. Martin's drums were carefully chosen cardboard boxes from the local supermarket. They achieved surprisingly good results.
It was more than forty years later that John tasted success, when “The Christmas Wish” made the Independent Music top ten on Christmas Eve, 2007 and was followed into the chart by "Grandpa's Shed". One of John's songs, "Broken" continues to prove popular in Finland and Scandinavia.
"Those things are nice, but the thrill is having someone hear a song and say they like it. That beats any chart position or income from sales," says John.
PS. He would appreciate you buying a track or two while you're on the site, despite that thought.
Coquet Shack was the name John and his brother came up with for their home-grown "recording label" in the 1960s and 70s. The actual labels back then were mainly hand crafted from coloured notepaper and glued - very carefully - to the cassette tapes on which the brothers recorded their music.
When the internet arrived, John created Coquet-Shack.com which became one of the world's largest and most respected Country Music Lyrics web sites, even quoted as an educational resource by the Public Broadcasting Service in the USA.
Acrimonious copyright disputes and hostility from one of the world's largest recording labels, Sony, forced the lyrics service offline. Unbowed, it returned as a Country Music Reviews site respected by most of the top labels in the USA, but NEVER reviewing Sony artists.
In 2008, it became the home of John D. Lewis's music and, for a while, it also carried the music of his brother, Martin.
His material was dropped from the site unilaterally after a feud developed between the brothers, a rift that remains to this day.
Whatever it was that brought you to our site,we invite you to take a look around. There are plenty of videos where you can hear full tracks, and you can hear short clips of all of John's published music.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you wish. We're always happy to hear criticism, good or bad. Well, we don't take bad criticism well, but we do listen to it.