J.M. Kearns, writer
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the songs (and the squares)
You can listen to any song on the above juke box without downloading: just click on a song and wait a moment for it to buffer.
You can also download it by pressing the little down arrow near the top.

Song notes:
"Beauty from Within", the first song on the juke box, is sung by awesome music man Jim Counter, with whom J.M. co-wrote it. The two have written lots of songs; another is "Visit from the blues", sung by J.M. For more on Jim, visit his MySpace page.

"Nothing left to learn" was recorded by the formidable Abby Burke on her CD
Finally, and Abby's incandescent version is included on our juke box. For more on her inspiring music, please visit www.abbyandthemanlyband.com .

"Tomorrow is coming (later today)" is sung by Robin English, one of JM's favorite vocalists ever, who has her own Brass Ring Records.
Learn more at www.RobinEnglish.com .

Three of the songs on the juke box were recorded pretty much live with JM's band the Lonely Mammals in Nashville in 2007: these are "Death or Life", "I loved you for a day", and "Lose my job". The Lonely Mammals consisted of Mark Robinson, Kenny Owens, and Kathy Burkly.
songs
The Squares at the Mad Batter, Cape May
a songwriter's story


While a grad student in Toronto, J.M. Kearns was bitten by the songwriting virus. "You start off loving the songs of others, but eventually they aren't saying what you need to hear, so you begin to supply your own material," he says.

PhD in hand, Kearns left his native Canada and headed for
Los Angeles, a music mecca where several of his heroes had done great work. Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne. . . even Dylan was there. At the start there were near-breakthroughs -- auditioning for a major record label, playing a song for Warren Beatty -- but then life got real and Kearns ended up being a bureaucrat, exchanging molecules with huge office buildings. All the while the songs kept coming, honest and eloquent in the tradition of Dylan, Newman, and Prine.

Then a move to
Nashville, where Kearns found a community of mad artists & songwriters of every stripe. He produced CDs for noted indie artists like Gordon Vincent and Davis Raines. With his band the Lonely Mammals, he recorded the CD Death or Life the old-fashioned way, live in one afternoon. Kearns performed at many Music City venues such as the Bluebird, the Sutler, the Douglas Corner, and not least, the legendary Brown's Diner. In 2006 his first book deal came, and after that he was a two-track man.

In 2010, JM made the move to Cape May. In this seaside town he continues to write songs and prose and interacts with a new tribe of creative souls. The Squares formed naturally at local venues in the last few years. He is working on a new book now.
The CD Death or Life is available at CDBaby.
Elmore magazine says: "A bluesy flair, his voice perfect for the lyric and sound... it's easy to hear the influence of John Prine and Gram Parsons... Intelligence, humor and musicianship."
Other singer-songwriters weigh in

Some bright lights of the Americana scene talk about J.M. Kearns:

Davis Raines (songs recorded by Pat Green and Kenny Rogers) says:
"Then comes our Man for All Seasons, the extraordinarily erudite King of the Mambo and his Hot Little Combo: J.M. Kearns and the Lonely Mammals... JM's a favorite, a gifted writer and compelling performer whose songs examine the whole magilla, from the ridiculous to the sublime."

Teddy Larkin says:
"Kearns stole the show at my Stammer Jammer festival and became my headline performer for the next four concerts. 'Nashville will teach you' is the best song I have ever heard about the life of a songwriter trying to make it on Music Row."

Rachel Owen says of Kearns' music:
"Scary intelligence, humor and heart tingling with freshness..."
The slide show below is a video tour of Squares Land for the last few years,
to the tune of JMK's "The Cape May Song". Featuring Andy Reeves on Cajon.
In Cape May NJ these days, J.M. Kearns performs in the trio The Squares, along with cohorts Debra Donahue (vocals and nose flute) and M.Q. Murphy (vocals and guitars). They do lots of originals and a bunch of treasured cover tunes.
The song in the video below is "Stay with me", performed by The Squares on a Cape May radio show on April 1st, 2015. The radio show is "Open Mic: the living room sessions," hosted by Liz Shay and Roy Baker. Song by JMK.