Folk-rock singer John Gardner formed Common Jack during a two-year world tour with the actor-musician Broadway show, Once. Based on the indie film of the same name starring Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, Gardner played Once to sold out houses across America, Canada, & Japan while gigging with his own music in his free time.

He had always wanted to pursue music but the realities of life made the dream seem worlds away. But when fate placed him in conversation with Glen Hansard at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, his hang ups began to dissolve. Responding to Gardner’s own doubts, Hansard spoke with a lilting wisdom, “It’s frightening to lift our voice, but it’s always worth the effort.”

The words left their mark & Gardner soon left the Once tour to begin recording.


The first ten months saw two full-length albums, ‘Bowl, Holland’ & ‘Strange New State’, both of which were praised for Gardner’s songwriting. “his voice takes us in quite a poetic world, in a very original musical dimension, he makes us fly.” (Michel Penard, ISA Radio) The Huffington Post echoed the sentiment, calling Common Jack “Exceptional Pop/Americana”.

Now comes CJ’s new EP ‘Canyons in the Dark’, which Atwood Magazine observed has “a sense of magic” compared to Gardner’s previous work. Steeped in folk tradition & draped in pop textures, ‘Canyons in the Dark’ is a startlingly open collection, a free-wheeling bit of introspection about protecting the soft spot in your heart, looking out for yourself & those around you.

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