John Onder Photo
John Onder - Faith, Hope, Love, Passion and Pain - album cover
Just Sayin album cover

John's CD release party was a hit! Thanks to all who came out! He'll other performances in the upcoming months. Look him up on Facebook for details.

Faith, Hope, Love, Passion, & Pain is the debut album by veteran bass phenom John Onder. The all-instrumental set is a southern fusion extravaganza, reflecting the influence of his regional predecessors like Sea Level, the Dixie Dregs, Glenn Phillips Band and the various backing ensembles for Col. Bruce Hampton. Each song is almost classical in its construction, with sophisticated rhythms, phrasings and textures. They have movements, expansive shifts in emotional color and theme, and passages drenched in jazz, funk, gospel, roots rock, and rhythm and blues.

A few years ago, Onder decided to write an entire album on the bass, although some of the songs go back many years. He already had some bits and pieces worked out when he invited producer Jim Cavender to oversee the project. Together, they recruited some of Huntsville, Alabama’s most talented musicians to join in. The result is a high-spirited collection of tunes brought to life by organist Newt Johnson, drummers Mike Dendy and Scot Holder, violinist Lynnece Henry, guitarists Microwave Dave Gallaher, Hunter Copeland, Jason Humphress and Cavender himself. Rounding out the sound is Tom Barker on harmonica, Billy Bargetzi on trombone, Ken Watters on trumpet, and Steve Motz on tenor sax.

Onder’s playing, though, that’s the thing. With nothing but his hands and bass, he evokes a myriad of images and moods. His soloing is at times reminiscent of fiery flamenco guitar, while elsewhere it just gives up the funk. It is not necessary to know that on “AMF” the bass line and chordal comping behind the organ solo are being played simultaneously by Onder, but it’s fun to keep that in mind. There are many such delights to be found here.

Artwork by John Onder

A much-sought-after session musician and self-taught bassist who exploded onto the music scene in the 80’s, John Onder was written up in Guitar Player magazine only two years after taking up the bass. He is now a music teacher and performs in the north Alabama area, while still finding time to write and record his original music. Onder has recorded with artists such as Michael Schenker, Joey Tafolla, Craig Erickson, Tony Spinner and Artension. He’s proud to have worked with fellow session players Aynsley Dunbar, Michael Manring and Deen Castronovo. He has also toured with country vocal group The Forester Sisters.

John’s musical interests run the gamut from southern fusion to gospel to pop and country. He is in the planning stages of his second solo album, which will center on his faith and feature vocals along with his amazing bass work.

"Michael Manring and John Onder are Troy's biggest influences on bass. Their playing speaks for itself and not only are they amazing bass players, they're some of the coolest cats you can ever chat with." -- Jasun Tipton while being interviewed by about Abnormal Thought Patterns' album, Altered States Of Consciousness, which Onder played on

"Faith, Hope, Love, Passion, & Pain" Album Personnel:

  • John Onder - bass
  • Scot Holder - drums
  • Mike Dendy - drums
  • Newt Johnson - organ
  • Lynnece Henry - voilin
  • Microwave Dave Gallaher - guitar
  • Hunter Copeland - guitar
  • Jason Humphress - guitar
  • Jim Cavender - guitar, bass
  • Tom Barker - harmonica
  • Billy Bargetzi - trombone
  • Ken Watters - trumpet
  • Steve Motz - tenor sax

The full Faith, Hope, Love, Passion, & Pain album plus a live solo performance of "Adge's Blues" may be heard on YouTube. John has plenty of other videos, so check them out while you're there!