John Mooney & Bluesiana: A Lifetime of the Blues

By: Tim Newby

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Band: John Mooney & Bluesiana (Official Webpage)

Hometown: New Orleans, LA

Members:  John Mooney (guitar), Rene Coman (bass), Kevin O’Day (drums)

Sounds Like: A lifetime of the blues lived in the funk of New Orleans.

For Fans Of: Son House, Professor Longhair, Dr. John

Bio:  John Mooney left home at 15 and and soon met the first and most enduring influence on the development of his music, the legendary Delta blues singer and guitarist, Ed “Son” House. Impressed by the 16-year-old musician’s talent, House and Mooney soon became friends.  “I wasn’t aware of what the opportunity meant, but I knew there was nobody better in Delta blues,” says  Mooney.  Son’s heavily rhythmic style had strong influence on Mooney as the way he adapts acoustic-style playing to a modern electric guitar is one of his most distinctive trademarks.

In 1976 Mooney moved to New Orleans and immersed himself in that city’s vibrant music scene, regularly playing with the likes of Earl King, The Meters, Snooks Eaglin, and the father of New Orleans piano, Professor Longhair.  Through the mentor-ship of Son House and from his years spent playing with New Orleans musical royalty, Mooney began to combine the sounds of the delta with the syncopated rhythms of the Crescent City to create the style that has become uniquely his own.

Since 1981 he has been touring with his group, the Bluesiana Band, performing throughout the U.S., Canada, Panama, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Over the years Mooney and Bluesiana have earned a musical reputation that have gained them invitations to play at numerous folk, jazz, and blues festivals across the globe, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, and a yearly appearance at New Orleans’ world renowned Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Albums: Comin’ Your Way (1979), Telephone Blues (1984), Late Last Night (1990), Telephone King (1991), Testimony (1992), Sideways In Paradise (1993), Travelin’ On (1995), Dealing with the Devil (1995), Against the Wall (1996), Gone to Hell (2000), All I Want (2002), Big Ol’ Fiya (2006), Son and Moon (2014)

What They Do Live: