John Louis is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter and guitarist who crafts twangy folk songs about love, loss, living and nostalgia. 


“I think of my music as tonic from the chaos and swirl.  Music for the road, or the kind of songs you sing with friends around the fire,” said Louis. His songs evoke hope and longing, change and regret, love and death, lost and found, and kindness.


Collectively, Louis says he’s been influenced by all of the music he has ever heard, but is especially fond of that long list of singer-songwriters that begins with Kris, Townes, Lucinda, Bob, Waylon, and Gram.  “I am drawn to songwriters who are serious about their craft, but who make themselves vulnerable -- who from time to time put big pieces of their heart and soul into their songs.“ It is through these influences that John has put big pieces of his own heart and soul into his songs.

While Louis has written songs and played music with other musicians for many years, the release of Drift in September 2015 marked his first record as a solo singer/songwriter.  Louis wrote the bulk of Drift in late 2013 and 2014. The album was recorded and mixed at Underwood Studio in Minneapolis with producer Mark Stockert and co-producer Brianna Lane. Mastering was performed by Pete Lyman of Infrasonic Mastering in Los Angeles.


For Drift, Louis pulled together some of the most gifted musicians around: Mike “Razz” Russell (fiddle, mandolin, guitar); Jimmy Johnson (pedal steel); Brianna Lane (banjo, vocals); Michelle Kinney (cello); Jed Germond (fiddle); Andy Carroll (bass); and Kris Schaefer (drums). Louis provides lead vocals and guitar to every track.  The album also features gorgeous vocals by notable musicians Page Burkum and Jack Torrey (Cactus Blossoms), and Ben Kyle (Romantica).


When not playing music or writing songs, John can most often be found on a bike or listening to other musicians around town.





“’Drift ... deserves a spot in any real roots-Americana lover's library.” Jim Walsh, former City Pages music editor and award-winning columnist for the Pioneer Press.


“Drift ... is elegantly paced, slow music if you will, and the piece as a whole is beautifully written.” Rebecca Marx, Rift Magazine


“Love it!” Jonathan Byrd (commenting on “Drift”)


“Rootsy singer/songwriter John Louis [is] equal parts John Prine and Robert Earl Keen . . . .” StarTribune - Chris Riemenschneider




Press Links:



April 14, 2017

What's old is Wu Again



January 2, 2016

TCCT 2015: See all the music critics' ballots and comments


Southwest Journal

Happy Old Year

By Jim Walsh

December 30, 2015


Rift Magazine

September 23, 2015

By Rebecca Marx

Tucking into “So Sorry” by John Louis


Southwest Journal

Straight outta Kingfield

By Jim Walsh, July 14, 2015






High Resolution Photo - Solo


  High Resolution Photo - Band












John Louis * 651-503-0265 * *