Vocalist and harp player John Clifton is an outstanding, dedicated musician who plays genuine blues. The real deal!”

— Mick Martin , Capital Public Radio

You've got to work hard to make it look this easy and hard is where He starts. He knows how to light up a show with intensity, and doesn't know how to quit---so he doesn't . With the electricity turned up to 11, you can count on John Clifton to electrify you!”

— The Midwest Record

John Clifton is an excellent musician / harpist, with the urge to continue making great music. ”

— Rootstime.be

John Clifton may not be a name that instantly leaps to mind like many of the West Coast blues scene harmonica players, but maybe it’s time it should be as he is right there with the best.”

Cascade Blues Assocation

Bio

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. 

 

 

 

Notable Performances

USA

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

INTERNATIONAL

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sample track

Press links