A 1971 concert by B.B. King in Chicago set John on the path to study the guitar. At the Old Town School of Folk Music John found John Long, a student of Homesick James, and slide guitar quickly became his passion.
Two years in Tulsa led John to adapt his bottleneck slide style to bluegrass and country but blues remained number one thanks to his early years in Chicago. While attending college in St. Louis John met blues legends Henry Townsend and Tommy Bankhead and had the opportunity to play with both on stage as well as fronting his own trio, The Auxiliary Blues Band.
College life of 1974 introduced electric guitar to the mix and John found himself in both rock and jazz bands. In the Great California Migration of ʼ76 most of his music connections landed in the Bay Area and formed the seminal punk band, Eye Protection, sharing the stage with such diverse bands as the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, the Plasmatics, Jim Carroll, and Chris Isaac.
After six years of distraction John moved to Minneapolis and joined an R&B band featuring Wee Willie Walker. An opening date for Charles Gatemouth Brown reignited a passion for acoustic blues but the electric sound was to return four years later with an ex-band mate of the San Francisco years.
The Sin Eaters “Linoleum Years” was released in ʼ95 and landed a song in the Joe Esterhas film “Burn, Hollywood, Burn” which won the ʼ98 Razzie Award as the worst film of the year!! “Heidelberg Swing” is a wicked slide guitar instrumental backed by the rhythm of a printing press. In 2016 John also had a piece in the documentary “Shifting Sands” which is showing at the 2017 Sundance Festival.
While the “lost years” of Johnʼs punk experience are not so evident these days the blues have remained and grown. Opening sets for Susan Tedeschi and Roy Rogers brought John out of the shadow in the past. In the past year there have been opening sets for Maria Muldaur, Ruthie Foster, Ramblinʼ Jack Elliot, Jon Cleary, and David Lindley. John is teaching this summer at the prestigious Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival.
Johnʼs first solo CD “Blues For Evangeline” is garnering exceptional reviews as well as placing in the top 5 at the 2016 IBC in Memphis for best self produced CD. CD # 2 is currently being recorded and should be available in late 2017.