The parallels between Old West gunfighter and guitarslinger are obvious. Both have fast hands and both take the stage.
The calling card of British-American blues-rock guitarslinger Colin John sums it up nicely, with the phrase, "Have blues, do travel."
Musically, Colin John is a bona fide triple threat. His singing is full-bodied and soulful, delivered with a passion and intensity hardly matched by most and doubtlessly exceeded by few. His guitar playing is freewheeling and intense but firmly grounded in the blues idiom and his songwriting skills are complex and mature.
The Colin John Band appeals to both rock and blues audiences around the world due to their energy, command and passion for rock with a deep understanding, love and respect for blues artists past.
An accomplished, versatile musician, John commands the stage with both his guitar prowess and passionate singing honed from years steeped in Memphis’ rich music community. His infectious, genre-defying style was described by the British music magazine Mojo as “ferociously entertaining funKed-up R&B” and a reviewer in Akron’s Beacon Journal suggested John sounds like “Albert King channeling Steve Vai”.
Born in Ohio to a British architect father and Italian artist mother, Colin spent his youth in Memphis, picking up guitar by accident. “I was playing trumpet in the school band and I punctured my ear drum in a football game. So the Band director put me in the concert band playing double bass with a bow, and from there I progressed to electric bass in the jazz band at school and then switched to guitar.” Colin was also busy soaking up classic Chicago blues and Memphis soul during this time.
After graduating from Ohio University, Colin turned pro. Answering an ad in The Village Voice, he landed the guitar spot with the NYC based Little Mike and The Tornadoes. While he had to share the spotlight with guest heavy weights, such as Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin and Ronnie Earl, Colin represented himself well in solo spots. This stint with Little Mike gave Colin the chance to mingle with a number of blues notables, including one-time Muddy Waters pianist Pinetop Perkins, who continually referred to the upcoming guitarist as “Collard Greens” Eventually, Colin and the Tornadoes rhythm section would head off to tour the South as the Root Doctors. Discouraged after a hurricane stranded them in Florida, the threesome went their separate ways. Colin chose to hook up with friends in Memphis. The timing couldn’t have been better.
Memphis became fertile ground for the budding musician. Playing lead in the house band on Saturday afternoons at B.B. Kings’ Beale Street club, Colin would often back visiting artists from Hank Ballard to James Cotton to Pinetop Perkins and Clarence "Gatemouth” Brown. Absorbing all these influences, Colin learned that the main thing was to be sure to have your own style and identity, use all your influence and distill them and present them in your own voice.
Reconnecting with his European roots, Colin moved to London in 1993. Colin spent ten years in the U.K., forming the Colin John Band and working with some veteran musicians who worked with Eric Clapton, Henry Spinetti – one of Eric’s old drummers who also played with George Harrison and Paul McCartney, Dave Bronze, who plays bass on and off with Eric and Gary Brooker from Procol Harum.
Since forming The Colin John Band, the group has played extensively in England, the USA, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Canada, Belgium, Denmark and Spain.
During 2006,Colin has toured and shared stages with a "Who's Who" of blues and rock artists including B.B.King, John Mayall,Marshall Crenshaw,Deanna Bogart,Scott Holt,The Outlaws, Michael Hill, Chris Duarte, Everclear, Hubert Sumlin and others.
With the release of Acousticland Lady (with special guest Michael Hill) on Rockview Records/Universal Music, The Colin John Band will continue playing both Electric and Acoustic sets, creating a dynamic contrast between heavy and light.
Colin John continues touring with The Colin John Band (and select dates With Michael Hill and Bill McClellan from NYC's Blues Mob) throughout the USA and Europe.
US, European,Japanese and Australian tours are slated for 2008.