John Mooney - guitar, vocals
Throughout the years John Mooney has developed one of the most distinctive and easily identifiable guitar and vocal signatures of anyone alive today.
Part of the original impetus for his interest in music may have filtered down from his grandfather, a musician himself. “He used to play the mandolin and banjo back in the 20’s” says Mooney. “He even cut a couple of 78’s for the Peerless label that I’ve heard. It was really hot stuff, a kind of raggy jazz.”
John left home at 15 and began playing with Joe Beard at about that same time. Joe introduced him to the first and most enduring influence on the development of Mooney’s music, the legendary Delta blues singer, Ed ‘Son’ House. Impressed by the 16 year old musician’s talent, Son and John soon became friends. “I wasn’t aware of what the opportunity meant, but I knew there was nobody better in Delta blues.” Mooney cites Son’s heavily rhythmic style having a strong influence on him. In fact, the way Mooney adapts acoustic playing to a modern electric format is one of his most distinctive trademarks.
In 1976 John moved to New Orleans and immersed himself in that city’s vibrant music scene. John regularly played with the likes of Earl King, The Meters, Snooks Eaglin, and the man who was to influence his music greatly, the father of New Orleans piano, Professor Longhair. He was playing regularly in front of New Orleans drummers like Zigaboo Modeliste, John Vidacovich, and Herman Ernest. At this place in time John successfully combined the sounds of the delta with the syncopated rhythms of the Crescent City to create the style that has become uniquely his own.