Arizona Singer and Songwriter Jon Messenger is an old hippie in a cowboy, with an eclectic musical background. Influenced by everything he's heard, Jon likes to say, "I play what I can, and what I can't, I want to learn." His original Folk and Western tunes have been well received by audiences at festivals and gatherings throughout the West, and these songs reflect john's love of the lore and history of the West and the American Cowboy. In addition, some folks will even tell you he can pick! Bringing a unique approach to today's Cowboy and Western Music, Jon's vocal and acoustic guitar stylings blend together to bring all his audiences a haunting and authentic portrait of cowboy life, past and present. Interspersed with the fine Western Music are some wonderful selections of Cowboy Poetry, some traditional authors, and some original poems from his pen. Jon has been playing at gatherings, festivals and churches for a long time. Jon performs almost exclusively Western Music around the southwest and points east, west and north of Sierra Vista, Arizona for nearly fifteen years with a smattering of bluegrass and western swing in the between spots. He is a founding member of the Western trio, Rimfire, and played guitar for the very popular Raw Deal Bluegrass Band. An ongoing collaboration with Jeanne Cahill and Jerome Campbell, they of Oklahoma's Call of the West, in 2004 produced the recording Ponydance. The recording featured ten original tunes and two treatments of old and new classics. The title tune was also recorded by award winning Western Music singer-songwriter Kip Callahan, and Ponydance was among to five top nominees for the Western Music Association's 2004 Song of the Year. February 2006 saw the release of Jon's new CD, Spirits, the result of another collaboration with Jeanne and Jerome, and it is Jon's Finest Project to date. Jon served four years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Music Association; Three years of which were served a the President of the Board of Directors. After a brief reprieve. Jon found himself once again occupying a seat on the WMA Board. He is also a member of the Western Music Association Advisory Board. A child of the Arizona desert, Jon's presentations of American folk tunes and tales are dedicated to the fierce spirit of liberty embodied in the Great American West, all it's peoples, and the love of self-sufficient freedom. Here is O.J. Sikes' review of Spirits from the Summer 2006 issue of Western Way, the quarterly magazine of the Western Music association: 'Usually, when I hear a CD for the first time, I can pretty much tell what's in store from the very first tune. That's in large part because many producers are careful to put as the first cut the song they think will create the most interest. But that's not always the case. For example, I was ridin' down the road the other day, enjoying this new Jon Messenger CD, when I got up to the 9th song on the album and my ears perked up. I had already chosen a favorite, number 5, 'The Basque', composed by Tom Russell, so I was a little surprised to find #9, Jon's own 'Coming Home', so appealing. But when #10 started playing, I nearly had to pull off the road for the swingin' treatment of R.W. Hampton's 'Travelin' Light'. It's a subtle swing arrangement, starting off easy and building gradually as the different instruments come in. Jon is joined on the album by his amigos Eric Campbell (fiddle), Jerome Campbell (lead guitar, harmony), and Jeanne Cahill (bass, mandolin, harmonica, steel guitar, harmony, and arrangements). They do a great job of harmonizing, arranging, and pickin'!'