Who is John Clifton, and why are they saying those things about him? After 30 plus years on stage, the former frontman of a well-known, notorious Central California band started with his brother Bill, is spoken of not only in hushed whispers but in loud shouts as well.
Bluesman John Clifton has dedicated himself to the genre that wasn't getting the respect it deserved. But when you're a frontman who delivers the goods straight from the heart, soul, and gut, the Blues become relevant.
From the first note of the first song on stage, you know Clifton is the man in charge. Great musicians play off one another and take each other to new heights when they do. John taps into honest emotions, and by doing so, he brings the band along for the ride.
Clifton is a veteran road dog whose travels have regularly crisscrossed the U.S. in addition to playing festivals as far away as France, Belgium, Poland, and New Zealand to the tune of 150 dates a year. John's mad harmonica skills have placed him on stages shared by James Cotton, John Mayall, Luther Tucker, Kim Wilson, and a host of other talented bluesmen. His harp chops landed him the job of featured harmonica player while touring and recording with Big Bill Morganfield on his 2016 release, "Bloodstains on the Wall."
With each of the three records, he has made with Southern California blues, roots label Rip Cat Records the accolades and intensity increased. His first solo album, Let Yourself Go, was released shortly after signing in 2015 to worldwide acclaim and airplay.
Nightlife followed in 2018, and Clifton ramped up his game by multiple notches, seamlessly translating his onstage blend of West Coast and Chicago Blues, '50s style hard R&B and Soul to the studio. Once again, critical acclaim followed, and the album appeared on blues, roots, and rockabilly charts worldwide. The song "Still A Fool" from Nightlife was the #10 of the top new releases on Top 15 Rack of Blues Radio show on BB Kings Bluesville on Sirus XM Radio, Nightlife Spent 6 Months in the Roots Music Report Top 25 Contemporary Blues Albums and finished #72 For 2018 on The Top 200 Roots Music Report Contemporary Blues Chart.
His latest CD, In The Middle Of Nowhere, followed in the spring of 2019 with 11 tracks that sizzle and shake to perfection. The album features five all-new originals, along with six covers of songs by artists as diverse as Willie Dixon and Merle Haggard, and immediately became a fixture on the Top 50 Contemporary Blues charts, Sirius/XM's Bluesville, and Living Blues Radio.
Originality and fire in his harp and vocal stylings.
Electrifying excitement consistently brought onstage.
This is what keeps the John Clifton Band new and entertaining every time they take the stage!
There’s more! John used his skills as a record producer to take Polish artists, former International Blues Challenge finalists, The Boogie Boys, into the studio. The record he produced, Made in Cali, won Album of the Year honors in the Polish Blues Awards.
Producer David Z best known for his work with Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol, and many others, chose John's song "Anytime Is Cool" for the 2017 motion picture release "Shattered" John and Band were also asked to appear in the movie and were featured in the first scene.
Songwriter, producer, singer, harmonica player, showman; with John Clifton you get the whole package.
Doheney Blues Festival, Dana Point CA
Mount Dora Blues & Groove Fest , Mount Dora FL
Blues and Bones Festival Eagle ID
Biscuits and Blues San Francisco CA
Alley Fest Longview TX
New Blues Festival Long Beach CA
Wilbert's, Cleveland OH
San Francisco Blues Festival San Francisco CA
BB's Lawnside, Kansas City MO
The Shrine, New York NY
The Parkside, New York NY
St Georges Country Store, St Georges DE
The Big Easy , Houston TX
BB's Jazz Blues & Soups , St Louis MO
Midway Tavern ,Mishawaka IN
Soul City, Tulsa OK
The Garage, Portland OR
Belgian Rhythm & Blues Festival Peer BE
Kwadendamme Blues Fest. Kwadendamme NL
Polish Boogie Festival, Chorzow PL
Fiji International Blues Festival Suva Fiji
San Felipe Blues and Arts Fiesta, San Felipe Baja MX
Gisborne Blues Fest, Gisborne NZ
Blues Express Festival, Zakerwo PL
Crossroads, Antwerp BE
Blues Heaven Festival, Frederikshaven DK
Moor Blues Festival, Zottengham BE
Seven Nights to Blues Festival Lille FR
Eutin Blues Festival, Eutin DE
Keeping The Blues Alive Vlierden NL
Jazz and Blues Rally, Luxemburg
Austrian Boogie Fest, Vienna AU
Bluesy Blues Fest, Ridderkirk NL
The Shack, Oude Meer NL
Baine Du Blues , Bretagne FR