By Hugh Twyman
Pittsburgh Current Contributing Writer
Aloha Salvation is the moniker of Pittsburgh based singer/songwriter John Lecky. The band name Aloha Salvation uses the word “aloha” to mean “hello or goodbye or both”, so welcoming salvation when we feel it or watching it slip away… When John moved to Pittsburgh from his home state of New Jersey in 2014 he committed to acoustic guitar- and piano-based songwriting only and getting back to performing original material steering away from his experience in cover bands. Through Pittsburgh’s daily open mics he was able to work through his new stuff and get it ready for recording. In 2019, he released two albums of new songs – don’t worry now, baby in March and more recently, Lean Into It, this past December. Expect a release show sometime in February with a full band of musicians, some of whom worked with him on the album to fill out his songs. I want to thank John for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
AC/DC, Back in Black: My first LP, spun it about a million times on a kiddie record player. So, let me just date myself right off the bat.
Your last album purchased?
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Colorado: I thought it was really good.
Favorite album of all time?
This is Insanely tough. The Best of Sam Cooke and Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea both take me far away whenever I listen, albeit to very different places.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Goths, by the Mountain Goats. I was in a big MG phase and loved Beat the Champ, I was so hyped but nothing on this album grabbed me.
First concert attended?
Iron Maiden, Radio City Music Hall, NYC, Jan 21, 1985. The fans showed their love by destroying Radio City Music Hall, subsequent shows were cancelled and Iron Maiden was permanently banned from the venue. I was 15 … mind blown.
The Cult in December 2019. I’m Just realizing there is lots of hard rock on here, but I’m a mellow acoustic guy. I guess I like to blow off steam at live music.
Favorite concert ever?
Bright Eyes at the Waiting Room (his hometown bar) in Omaha, NE. I was standing and chatting with his mom and dad.
Least favorite concert?
Bob Dylan always disappoints me, sorry.
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I’ve had an amazing time making and playing music in Pittsburgh. The best part is the people I’ve met along the way. Everyone is so supportive, I try and return the support but I don’t think I ever will be able to at the levels I receive. It’s great to be part of the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle. I met Mike Hickman there and he recorded, produced and mixed my last two albums at his Electric Eye Recorders in Polish Hill. I love going to open mics – you hear some absolute gems in terms on songwriting and performance – I’m amazed with the talent level in this town. It’s such a good music city, patiently waiting for it’s day in the national spotlight. I can feel it coming…
Hugh’s Take: Thanks, John. This album of yours is so good. It is impossible to relay the joy I take in discovering new music (to me) and to find that it comes from my hometown? Simply wonderful.
Support Aloha Salvation: https://alohasalvation.com
Hugh Twyman (AKA HughShows) has been documenting the Pittsburgh music scene since 2004. His website (www.hughshows.com) features a comprehensive Pittsburgh Concert Calendar, episodes of HughShowsTV, a newly launched public Pittsburgh music database, exclusive audio streams from local bands, thousands of his concert photos and his trademark First/Last interview series.