No pressure for John as he follows up his stunning debut album

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Following up a Grammy-nominated album – which was your debut, no less – is always going to be a daunting task.

But John Fullbright didn’t need to worry, as second album Songs has been picking up plenty of plaudits for its stripped back piano-driven take on Americana.

John explains: ‘From the Ground Up was so loud that it made me nervous about putting this one out because the last one did so well. This one’s more of a whisper.

‘I think the songs are lot better this time though. There was a pressure for sure, but the pressure was all in my head.

‘It’s all the same process though, it all depends on the songs that have been written – there’s two songs on this record I wrote when I was a teenager, but there were songs that were being written in the shower the day I recorded the vocal track.’

John hails from Okemah in Oklahoma, which was also home to folk icon Woodie Guthrie.

‘When I started really trying to form a life philosophy and find my voice as a writer,’ he says, ‘I found Bob Dylan, and found out that he was a Woodie fan, and I was proud of the fact that he knew the guy from my home town.

‘Then I got into his writing and his approach to life, which kind of seeped into what I do, for sure.’

The 25-year-old also drew huge inspiration from cult country singer Townes Van Zandt: ‘He opened my eyes to the craft of songwriting. I come from a long line of people where if you’re a ditch digger, you’d better be really good at it.

‘My grandfather built houses, and my dad’s a welder, and it’s always been hammered in to my head that when you find your job, you had better be the best at it.

‘Once I heard a guy like Townes put so much effort into a song, I thought: “That’s it, that’s what I’m going to do”.’

On the current evidence, the Fullbright family reputation is safe.

He plays at The Railway in Winchester on Friday, July 25. Tickets cost £15, doors open 7.30pm. Go to