J O N   P A R I S

Jon Paris/Kate Fenner/BB King/Felicia Collins
B B King


Reviews Press Links


  • Read about Les Paul's 90th Birthday Tribute at Carnegie Hall on June 19, 2005, where Jon Paris was the special guest band leader for the grand finale; in JazzTimes and Modern Guitars.
  • Check out Guitarbeque where Jon Paris sings the praises of good barbeque for the Food Network.
  • Read about Jon's latest venture, as the guitarist on a project to restore Elvis Presley's earliest recordings, in The New York Times. You will need a Times account, which is free.
    Album details are also available in the Discography.
  • Jon plays at Hubert Sumlinís 70th Birthday Bash at BB Kingís, 11/17/01, presented by the NY Blues & Jazz Society and WFDUís ìAcross the Tracksî.


  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Tuesday, July 5, 2005

    Whenever Jon Paris plays Summerfest, the occasion is part homecoming party and part blues seminar.

    Originally from Milwaukee but based in New York City, Paris is the consummate rock'n'roll blues sideman. He has played with everybody from Bo Diddley to Les Paul.

    When he gets back to town, old friends invariably show up to join the party. Monday at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, the guest list included Steve Cohen on harp and Warren Wiegratz on sax. There was something very appropriate about Paris' decision to close his set with Chuck Berry's homecoming celebration, "Back in the USA."

    Musically, Paris hits almost every vein of roots-rock and blues. Monday's set touched on Led Zeppelin and Johnny Winter and drew heavily on Paris' albums "Rock the Universe" and "Blue Planet." Pro that he is, Paris always keeps it interesting and fun. High points included "The Blues Had a Baby," "Deep Feeling," "Trying Times," "Blues This Bad," and his Harley-Davidson salute, "Milwaukee Metal."

    Paris mentioned that he had played a long run of Harley reunions, adding, "They should have had us instead of that English guy [Elton John] for the 100th."

    And he's right.

    - Dave Tianen

  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Friday, June 24, 2005

    Les Paul celebrated his 90th birthday at New York's Carnegie Hall last week with a number of stars from the entertainment world, including JosÈ Feliciano, Bucky Pizzarelli and Eumir Deodato.

    Waukesha-born guitar legend and inventor Paul called for his guests of the evening to join him for the grand finale. At his request, former Milwaukeean Jon Paris (on vocals and harmonica) led the band through a powerful, swinging version of the Louis Jordan/Ray Charles/B.B. King classic, "Let the Good Times Roll." Backed by Paul and his trio (Lou Pallo on guitar, John Coliani on piano, and Nicky Parrott on string bass) and augmented by Will Lee on electric bass and Omar Hakim on drums, it was an awesome showcase of talent. Also on hand for the impromptu jam were Milwaukee-born Steve Miller, Peter Frampton, Neal Schon, Joe Satriani, Derek Trucks, Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Lukather, Pat Martino, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and saxophonist extraordinaire Edgar Winter.

    Milwaukeeans will have two chances to hear rocker Paris this summer. He'll open for Little Feat at Summerfest (Maier Festival Park) on July 4 and will be a special guest with the Jim Liban Blues Combo at the Garfield Avenue Festival on July 9.

  • GuitarOne magazine August 2004

    HOT LICKS New Blues Releases

    The NYC guitar hero and former Johnny Winter sideman busts a move with a window-rattling set of low-down blues and high-powered rock. Hot Lick: Tough call, but "Juke Joint Jump" literally levitates with energy

  • New York Blues & Jazz Society 8/28/04

    "The blues had a baby and they named the baby rock and roll," sang Muddy Waters. I say they named him Jon Paris. Blues masters love to boast. Bo Diddley proclaims "I'm A Man." Muddy Waters brags "I'm a Hootchie Coochie Man." Jon Paris, not to be left out, sings I'm "Good To Go." In "Overhauled Cadillac, he preens, "I just got a tuneup and an overhaul. Now my Cadillac drives just like new. Let me take you for a ride, little girl, and I'll show you what my Cadillac can do." A talented writer, Mr. Paris authored both songs as well as the majority of tunes on the album.

    Although Mr. Paris began his career on drums and plays most electric instruments, here he limits himself to vocals, guitar, and harp. His expressive, commanding voice and bluesy, liquid guitar dominate the album. Ably backed for the most part by Amy Madden on bass and Sandy Gennaro on drums, Mr. Paris and guitar explode on "'Til I Lost You," "This Ain't The Planet I Signed Up For," and "Paris Blues." Some of his style may be attributed to the ten year stint playing bass in Johnny Winter's trio. Like a full-throttle locomotive, Mr. Paris steams through his John Lee Hooker tribute, "The Boogie." Slide guitar, however, turns out to be Mr. Paris's secret weapon. He kills on the Sonny Thompson's lament, "The Sad Night Owl," his own, dangerous,"One Step Forward and Two Steps Back," and the Elmore James' classic "Talk To Me Baby." The sparsely sprinkled harp serves as the piece-de-resistance. Dig the growling smears and high-note articulation on "Overhauled Cadillac."

    Tasteful, boistrous, commanding, respectful of the past but hooked into the future, Jon Paris had best start preparing to sing "The Bigtime Blues."

    - Roger-Z

  • Blues Art Studio Journal [Vienna, Austria], La Hora del Blues October 2004

    What can I say about Jon Paris that blues fans do not already know ? For about ten years he has been Johnny Winter's trio bass player and occasional harp player too. In this cd Jon reveals himself as an excellent rock and roll, boogie-woogie and rhythm and blues singer and guitar player. He gives us thirteen intense songs full of 'hard-drivin'rock-blues-guitar' that will make your home foundations shake like they were suffering a terrible tornado. You will immediately notice Johnny Winter's influences on Jon's guitar technique, although the repertoire is quite different from the one Winter is playing now. Kenny Krame and Sandy Gennaro at drums, Amy Madden at bass and Jon Paris at guitar, harp and vocals basically perform Jon's own compositions but also some versions of such great musicians like John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Brownie McGee and Hap Walker. The cd was recorded and mixed in New York, Jon's favorite city to live and work. GREAT

    - Vicente 'Harmonica' Z™mel

  • Blues Revue No. 20 Dec/Jan 1996

    If anyone can rock the universe, it's Jon Paris. Best known as a sideman (notably with Johnny Winter, with whom Paris worked for over ten years). Paris has also led a first-rate trio for many years that is easily one of the most popular live blues-rock acts in New York City. His long-awaited debut captures much of the energy and excitement of his live performances.

    Paris' originals sound like old R&B standards that someone you've managed to miss for all these years. Did Jon Paris really write "Born to Rock" and "So Much Love" and "Lost in the Shuffle" ? You bet he did.

    The few covers are chosen with great care. The Chuck Berry instrumental "Deep Feeling" showcases Paris' excellent slide work, and is given the stamp of authenticity by Berry's pianist Johnnie Johnson, who also plays on the Paris original "Goin' Nowhere Fast." Another excellent choice of cover material is Otis Rush's "Double Trouble," a chance for some deep, true blues, and for Paris to show his fine vocal abilities, in addition to his extraordinary guitar and harp work.

    Other guest artists lend their special touch to this release, notably the Uptown Horns, who make the rave-up "Rock-Rock-Roxanne" even punchier.

    Clearly, a lot of care has gone into this album, and it's easy to see why Paris has long been a favorite with New Yorkers. We've pretty much come to regard him as our private property, but once word gets around about the album I guess we're going to have to share with the rest of you.

    - Jennifer Zogott

  • Downtown

    Paris need bow his head to no one. Not Hendirx. Not Elmore James. Not Stevie Vaughan.

  • huH August 1996

    A blistering blues guitarist, Paris can hold his own with the best of the take-no-prisoner boys, including Johnny Winter (with whom he played bass for over a decade). But what makes this solo debut a real romper-stomper is the overproof material. Packed with such Paris originals as "Blues This Bad" and "Born to Rock" - whose titles sound like the instant roadhouse classics they are - Universe includes some inspired covers: a goose-bumpy deep slide treatment of Chuck Berry's "Deep Feeling" (with Berry piano man Johnnie Johnson) and an inventive shout/gospel reading of the Stones' "It's Not Easy."

    - rated 8 of 10 - Cree Mc Cree

  • True Blues July 1996

    What took him so long ? Seasoned New York club legend Jon Paris finally goes solo with a seamless mix of eight original tracks soaked in the blues-rock tradition and four excellent covers given fierce and fiery treatments. A veteran bass- and harmonica-man who's worked with people like John Hiatt, Link Wary, Ron Wood and most notably Johnny Winter, Paris proves an exciting frontman, with a great voice that's smooth and biting at the same time. smooth and biting at the same time.

    Anthems like "Born to Rock" and "Milwaukee Metal" steer clear of cliched FM hard-rock with the help of a genuine bluesy feel. Stand-out tracks include the slide-driven "Blues This Bad"; a bookie update on the Rolling Stones' chestnut "It's Not Easy"; the Chuck Berry instrumental "Deep Feeling" (with Berry's pianist Johnnie Johnson); and Otis Rush's "Double Trouble" (with the Uptown Horns), featuring some fiery guitar work.

    Ther's a sinewy purity to all this: it's rock n' blues without the bluster; power-packed chords without the posturing. This man deserves to be heard far and wide.

    - Brendan Foreman

  • The New York Post July 25, 1995

    New York club fixture Jon Paris, a guitar journeyman who's always sitting in at some-body else's gig, who is most famous as Johnny Winter's side man, has a disc of rootsy blues out today. Paris is an accomplished musician with a knack for drawing you in with liquid guitar riffs, fine vocals and make-you-cry blues harp. He knows how to burn through a song.

  • Guitar Player February 1996

    Formerly the bassist with Link Wray and Johnny Winter, and easily the most visible guitarist and harpist on New York's blues-rock scene, Paris takes a gutbucket approach on this debut, tearing things up with a variety of vintage tones and a growly, good-time singing voice. He traverses balls-out tunes of his own ("Born to Rock," "Rock-Rock-Roxanne," and other similarly intentioned odes) all the way over to Doug Yankus' supple "Trying times," spiking everything through with a deft, bluesy-yet-heavy lead style. Paris includes a poignant, slide-drenched cover of Chuck Berry's "Deep Feeling," where he's backed by Chuck's own Johnnie Johnson on piano. Elsewhere, his cleverly blended acoustic and electric slide parts, chugging shuffle rhythms, and rollicking solos punch up tunes featuring the Uptown Horns, Anton Fig, Amy Madden, and others. Paris is a magnet for rock warriors and under his command the battle gets won.

    - MR

  • Guitar World February 1996

    By the time Jon Paris got around to releasing his first solo album, he had already toured around the world and spent quite a bit of time in the studio. As a bassist and harmonica player, Paris spent more than a decade performing and recording with blues rocker Johnny Winter. He has also recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, Ron Wood, John Hiatt, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh.

    Last June, Paris finally stepped into the spotlight with the release of Rock the Universe (Fountainbleu). "I hope people get a chance to hear this," Paris says of his debut, which shows him leading his own band on guitar, vocals and harmonica. "When you spend years playing behind other musicians, people don't realize that you have your own trip."

    Before releasing the album, Paris built a following for his solo act performing in New York clubs and opening up for such artists and George Thorogood, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Albert King.

    Rock the Universe shows Paris and his band playing energetic, high-strung blues, with guest performances by Johnnie Johnson, The Uptown Horns, and drummer Anton Fig. "My feeling about music is that it's music," Paris says. "I wish there were no categories. If you had to categorize it, it's blues-rock. It's great to be compared to your idols."

  • The Austin Daily

    Paris's blues stylings are remarkable.

  • The Atlantic City Press July 2, 1996

    The last time I saw Paris, he was the bass player in Johnny Winter's superb blues/rock band.

    "Rock the Universe" is Jon Paris' first solo venture and it is a gem of a blues and rock disc, complete with powerful remakes and first-rate self-penned tracks.

    On this album, Paris turns his sights to playing some white-hot lead guiter. And he is aided by backing musicians whose collctive credits include stints with Billy Squire, Robert Gordon, Joe Cocker, and Paul McCartney.

    Regarding his stylistic approach, Jon Paris has a considerable amount of Johnny Winter in his playing.

    A touch of Pat Travers and a gallon of the late Rory Gallagher are present as well.

    My picks of this most consistent and emotive pack are the stirring Chuck Berry instrumental "Deep Feeling," "Blues So Bad," Otis Rush's time-honored "Double Trouble," and the Rolling Stones' "It's Not Easy."

    With "Rock the Universe", Paris is burning !

    - Greg Allen

  • The Album Network August 1995

    New York club legend Jon Paris helps to kick off a new label, Fountainbleu. Paris spent years playing alongside Johnny Winter, as well as stints with Mick Taylor, Ron Wood, Les Paul and Link Wray. Now we have his first solo outing, Rock The Universe. The album is rootsy and blues-based with progressions into boogie and rock. Joining Paris for the sessions were Johnny Johnson, The Uptown Horns and Anton Fig of David Letterman fame.

    Hot numbers includ "Blues This Bad," "So Much Love" and "Lost in the Shuffle."

  • Stereo Review November 1995

    A Manhattan fixture who has backed Johnny Winter (among others), guitarist/singer Paris goes solo with a set of road-house blues and boogie that recalls Dave Edmunds on overdrive, particularly in a shrewd cover of the Stones' rarely revived It's Not Easy. Rowdy fun.

    - SS



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