John Clifton is one of those special musicians. Through the creative power of his singing and his playing of harmonica and guitar, he lifts the individual human spirit to its rightful place as a positive force in everyday life. Since the late 1980s, he’s been a fixture on the vibrant West Coast blues scene—either as a headlining act or as a founding member of the legendary MoFo Party Band. John confidently revitalizes West Coast and Chicago blues, along with classic R&B and hybrid styles, when he performs at leading clubs around his Fresno home turf or on tours throughout the USA, from the Pacific Northwest down into the Southern states. He’s also on top of his game playing major outdoor roots-music galas, including California’s largest, the Doheny Blues Festival, where he shared the 2016 bill with Edgar Winter and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

John’s also a global ambassador of superior made-in-the-USA roots music. Starting in 1989, he’s played in Europe many times; on an especially noteworthy visit to France in early 2016, he won over concertgoers at the acclaimed Edition de Bain de Blues Festival. His fan base spreads across the Continent, from Poland to Denmark. John has traveled to blues outposts like New Zealand and the Fiji Islands, as well. Between his USA and overseas gigs, he’s busy about 150 nights a year.
When not igniting fires of excitement in clubs and at festivals, John gives it his all in the recording studio. His well-received debut album, Let Yourself Go (Rip Cat), released in late 2015, found him in excellent form, supported by his regular sidekicks--Scott Abeyta (guitar) and John Shafer--plus ace guitar-playing guests Rusty Zinn, Kid Ramos, Roger Perry, and John’s brother Bill. Not to forget rollicking pianist Bob Welsh and Polish piano great Bartek Szopinski. Let Yourself Go points out not only his considerable musical skills but also his ability to write strong, memorable songs. Moreover, the well-received album signaled that he’s a connoisseur of fine old r&b and blues tunes; he updates the likes of Titus Turner’s 1960s rhumba “Big John from Mississippi” and Les Cooper’s 1962 chart hit “Dig Yourself.”
Today, the blues and its related musical forms demand fresh infusions of heart and soul. John delivers the goods effortlessly. He provides just the right blend of incantation and inspiration that results in completely honest music that can make a listener want to shed a little tear one moment and get up and shout the next.

Welcome to his website, take a look around.  If you have an questions or would like to inquire about performance or booking related topics please see our CONTACT page. Thank you for visiting


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