BIO AND INFO
'bout Mr. Never...
It has been said that during performances, John Carleton, aka Johnny Never, channels the deep rooted spirit and soul of the original Delta and Piedmont blues greats. His music is indeed inspired by the old time blues masters, but he is no mere mimic. His original compositions possess the qualities of the genuine article, delivered through deft finger-style guitar work and a voice that rings with authenticity, yet it remains original and refreshing. His interpretations of vintage blues standards is as original as it is honest to the spirit of the source.
" John Carleton, (aka Johnny Never), is probably the most refreshing thing I’ve heard this year, where blues is concerned. " -Bill Chicken Wilson - Blues Reflections Magazine
In performances for venues large and small, he plays an entertaining mix of Vintage Blues, peppered with popular jazz standards from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, as well as timeless originals that have gotten radio play around the world. He performs in blues and folk festivals, bars and music halls, from Memphis to Ontario, Canada. Johnny was a quarter finalist in the IBC in 2014. In 2011, Johnny and his band were the only local band to perform in a Philadelphia Folksong Society concert featuring Guy Davis and other national acts, in honor of the 100th birthday of Robert Johnson.
His latest album, Blue Delta, has been enthusiastically received on radio and internet blues stations around the world, from California to Congo, New York to New Dehli, and has gotten rave reviews.
The 2 Johns
Johnny's work with harmonica player, John Colgan-Davis, offers enthusiasts a duo "reminiscent of Carey and Lurie, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee". The Two Johns perform in the greater Philadelphia area from Northern Delaware to Bucks County and New Jersey.
John Colgan-Davis - Harmonica
John Colgan-Davis started playing the harmonica in local blues and folk clubs back in the late 1960s while he was still a high school student. He played and recorded with Philadelphia singer-guitarist Jesse Graves and played and recorded with Bonnie Raitt when she lived in Philadelphia in the early 1970s. Through Bonnie, John got to meet and play with Mississippi Fred McDowell, Arthur Crudup, Buddy Guy, Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, and others. He has toured the Midwest and recorded two CDs, Cold and Lonesome on a Train and Heroes and Hard Times, with Tennessee bluesman Sparky Rucker. He performed and toured for three years with The John Cadillac Band. A founding member of The Dukes of Destiny, John also taught Social Studies at Friends Select School in Philadelphia for 29 years and has written articles and supplements for The Philadelphia Inquirer on Blacks in the American West, Black Literature, the History of Black Philadelphia, and other topics.
“… Johnny Never is the real deal!! Delta and Piedmont blues rarely heard this far north! A rare treat.” - Dave Strickler – Baltimore Blues Society
"Johnny Never, has crawled into the skin of acoustic blues greats from the Piedmont to the Delta, and gives authenticity to the music that he has studied, performed and loved for so many years - so much so, that he is the spiritual son of many names both famous and long forgotten.” -Jamey Reilly - Jamey’s House Of Music, Landsdowne PA.