Studebaker John

click his name to visit his own website


Blues harmonica playing guitarist and acclaimed film song writer "Studebaker" John, John Grimaldi & The Hawks play Beards Blues on Saturday the 3rd of September.

Born in an Italian-American section of Chicago John originally started playing harmonica at age 7, and started performing in his teens as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the '70s. The band name referred to the Studebaker Hawk, a car Grimaldi still owns today, and was also intended as a tribute to his friend, blues legend J.B. Hutto and the Hawks.

John began playing guitar after a life-changing experience of seeing Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers perform. "…Hound Dog started playing, hitting notes that sent chills up and down my spine. He was versatile and powerful and would play rhythm as well as leads. I left there knowing what I wanted to do. I had to play slide guitar."

John cut his first album in 1978, "Straight No Chaser" followed by, the suitably titled "Rocking the Blues", in 1985, as John established his name in the Chicago clubs.
1988 saw a breakthrough in Europe with "Nothin' But Fun" released on Belgium's Double Trouble label.
John returned to Chicago in 1990 and gained critical attention, notably from the Chicago Tribune hailed John as "a blues classic".
A ground breaking recording project followed with The Yardbirds & Pretty Things reliving the British Blues invasion, before Canadian film director Atom Egoyan used three of John's songs in the film "Calender".
1994 saw Studebaker John sign to Blind Pig records and tour the USA. A handful of John bluesy signature songs were again used on the big screen in Kiefer Sutherland's "Cowboy Up".

Unlike many blues players, John is a very strong writer and as accomplished on guitar as on harp. His new and best album "Between Life & Death" is a rocking album but with lyrical insights and beautiful harp, in fact the perfect contemporary take on Chicago blues.