We’ve built this community because it is vitally important that young people grow up in a world where being a musician is seen as a viable career path. Otherwise, Don McLean’s classic song, American Pie, where he sings of “the day the music died,” will become a tragic reality.
A quick look at some of the folks standing and applauding the loudest.
Co-Founder / Director / Producer
John is a singer-songwriter, performer and guitar maker. Along with his wife, noted actor Vivian Nesbitt, John launched The Standing “O” Project as a way to overcome what he sees as one of the biggest inequities in the music business: despite being talented creative professionals with a profound work ethic, singer/songwriters are often shortchanged professionally. John and Viv are intimately familiar with the challenges of the itinerant singer/songwriter lifestyle: they used to tour the country in a green van, playing original music in bars, coffee houses and other roadside venues.
Over a decade ago, John and Viv launched Art of the Song. This one-hour, listener-supported weekly radio program is heard on over 150 stations across North America. John has interviewed some of the biggest names in the industry with a focus on the universal truths common to all creative expression.
In the ‘70s, John spent a year traveling (by thumb and freight train) across the US and working with some legendary artists of the time. Eventually, he came to rest in New Mexico and decided to call it home. During his career, John has built more than 80 custom acoustic guitars for musicians including Steve Earle, Tish Hinojosa, Trisha Yearwood, and The Mavericks.
Co-Founder / Performer / Air Personality
Viv is an actor, performer and singer-songwriter. For more than a decade, she has been the driving force with husband John behind one of the nation’s few radio showcases for singer/songwriters, Art of the Song. She has written and played music with John in a folk duo. They gig around northern New Mexico and on the road. Periodically, she can also be seen as the frontwoman of New Mexico’s fabulous El Rito Rhythm Kings.
With more than 25 years as a performer on stage, TV and film, Viv also operates New Mexico’s foremost studio for actors young and old, Sol Acting Academy. Her TV credits include Law & Order: SVU, Breaking Bad, Wildfire, In Plain Sight, Manhattan, Longmire and Cyphers. She frequently tours with her multiple award-winning solo play, The Bark & The Tree.
Chief Community Builder
Katie started working with the Standing ‘O’ Project after loitering around Vivian’s acting studio for a couple years. A member of SAG-AFTRA and a recovering Evolutionary Anthropology graduate student, she turned toward singing-songwriting after a couple years of being spoon-fed inspiration through the Art of the Song interviews. She just recorded her first storytelling-song album “The Many Lives of Mockingbird” and looks forward to releasing it on Standing ‘O’. She also sings as part of the duo The Middle Annes. She merges her eclectic passions and her incurable love of the folk community as SOP’s enthusiastic chief community builder.>/div>
Standing O Project background image credit to Vicki Farmer