John Doe: A Savvy Songwriter Looks Back To Move Ahead

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John Doe performs in the Soundcheck studio.

John Doe has always seemed like an artist more likely to push forward to the next thing than to look back. But lately, he says he's found pleasure in seeing how far he's come since his days as the founding member of L.A. punk band X, and the country-rock band The Knitters.

"You gotta keep going forward," he says in a press release, "But... I've begun to realize some of the advantages of reflection." 

That reflection is now manifesting itself in a new collection, The Best Of John Doe: This Far. Compiling nearly 25 years of material, Doe includes some of his favorite concert moments, collaborations, and a few unreleased, or reworked songs. The record also features fantastic guest spots from Neko Case, Aimee Mann, Kathleen Edwards and Grant-Lee Phillips.

Still, as the title implies, Doe considers this "greatest hits" album not so much a culmination, but a record of songs he's made thus far. "This is not 'I'm done, I'm over, this is the best I'm ever gonna do,'" he explains. For new listeners, a Best of is the perfect place to jump in, and for longtime fans, it's the perfect excuse to a savvy songwriter like John Doe with fresh ears. In a conversation with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Doe talks about looking back at his past work, the new songs he has coming up, and even a pair of films he's set to appear in coming up this Spring.



For more photos, visit Soundcheck's Tumblr page.

Set List:

  • "Sweet Reward"
  • "Poor Girl"
  • "The Meanest Man In The World"