Secondhand Serenade

Secondhand Serenade
Secondhand Serenade. Photo by Grant Lamos IV / Getty Images

What Is Secondhand Serenade?

Secondhand Serenade is the name of John Vesely's primarily solo musical project. It follows in the tradition of John Ondrasik's Five for Fighting. Vesely's first recordings as Secondhand Serenade consisted of simply his solo acoustic guitar and vocals. However, he later worked with a full scale band.

The name Secondhand Serenade is an autobiographical one. According to John Vesely most of his songs are originally sung to his wife as serenades.

Music fans hear them only secondhand. Hence the name Secondhand Serenade.

John Vesely's Early Career

John Vesely is the son of a Czech immigrant who spent more than 20 years as a professional jazz musician. He spent eight years as a journeyman bass player in the San Francisco Bay area. He performed music ranging from hardcore to pop. After meeting his wife, Vesely switched to the acoustic guitar and began writing songs. In an interview with Zero Mag, he said his future wife wanted him to play her a song and "serenading her with a bass guitar was out of the question."

MySpace Success and Awake

John Vesely recorded Awake, his first solo album as Secondhand Serenade, in 2005. It was promoted on MySpace. In 2006 Secondhand Serenade became the #1 Independent Artist on MySpace. His songs were played millions of times through the site. Record labels soon came calling and Secondhand Serenade signed a contract with Glassnote Records, a newly formed label distributed through Warner Brothers.

Awake was re-released by Glassnote in January 2007. It landed on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, and included the chart single "Vulnerable." Vesely promoted the album with extensive touring and TV appearances.

Secondhand Serenade Videos

A Twist In My Story

A Twist In My Story, a second Secondhand Serenade album, appeared in February 2008.

It features many songs with a full band backing. A Twist In My Story was influenced by John Vesely's divorce from his wife. The album debuted at #44 on the Billboard album chart and sold 16,000 copies in its first week. The single "Fall for You" began a slow rise on pop music charts in the spring slowly picking up pop radio airplay. The single ultimately peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and broke into the top 10 at mainstream pop radio. It was certified double platinum for sales. A deluxe reissue of the album in 2009 included five bonus songs.

Hear Me Now

Hear Me Now, John Vesely's third studio album as Secondhand Serenade, was released in August 2010. The songs were written as an exploration of his overall feelings about life beyond simply relationships. The album was co-produced by Aaron Johnson who is best known for his work with The Fray. Hear Me Now reached #42 on the album chart, two notches higher than A Twist In My Story.


In January 2012, John Vesely announced that he had parted ways with his label Glassnote Records and launched a Pledgemusic campaign to fun his next studio album. In February 2013 he released a single titled "Shake It Off" to begin publicity for the upcoming release.

He appeared in the music video to promote "Cookies and Cream," an August 2014 single by his girlfriend, singer-songwriter Veronica Ballestrini. She returned the favor appearing in a music video for "Shake It Off." The album Undefeated was released October 27, 2014.

In April 2015 John Vesely and Veronica Ballestrini announced their engagement. In November they formed the country music duo The Rebel Roads.