John Meyer's Blues Express (WA)
John Meyer was born in Three Springs a small farming town in rural Western Australia, the first born of Dutch Immigrants, John's father Jan was a jazz fan and John grew up to the sounds of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and the like, Jan known to his friends as 'Fred' also played the guitar, saxophone, clarinet and later at one stage played bass guitar in a band called the 'Spectors' which featured originally as the drummer, then lead singer a young Bon Scott who later went on to fame as the lead singer of AC-DC.
John Meyer feels very lucky that his dad had guitars, woodwind instruments and a piano etc. He used to amuse himself trying them all out, the guitar had seemed impossible at first. At that stage the heroes he really wanted to emulate were John Lennon and Hank Marvin of the Shadows. Around age 14, at a friends house a recording of Peter Green playing guitar with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers was heard and John's mission in life changed forever.
John started playing gigs in Perth nightclubs at age 16. Since then Western Australian audiences have witnessed the rise of John Meyer's guitar skills in performances and recordings with bands like Fatty Lumpkin and the power trio Saracen.
While still based in Perth, John spent the next few years touring Australia regularly, making some recordings, honing his skills, and rejected several offers from top Australian bands to move to the east coast. After one tour with Saracen who were often advertised as being the highest unsigned crowd pulling band in the country, John decided to move on.
After relocating to Sydney in 1982, John toured extensively with some of
the big names in Australian music including Swanee and Sharon O'Neil before
joining Australian legends Rose Tattoo.
Over the next few years John co-wrote with Angry Anderson many songs which appeared on the 'Southern Stars' and 'Beats of a Single Drum' albums.
John then joined Australia's premier blues band Chain, "I had been a fan of Chain since day one and regular guitarist Phil Manning was ill so Matt Taylor gave me a call, I had just left Rose Tattoo and was a little undecided about it at first, but once we started the first tour I loved the opportunity to play blues, although it took a while to play a more subdued style after years of heavy rock. Phil Manning decided not to return to the band so Matt asked me to sign up permanently well at least for the next 4 years!"
Albums recorded during this period included 'Australian Rhythm and Blues' and 'Blue Metal'. John also co-wrote with Matt Taylor for these albums and co-produced 'Blue Metal'. John also appeared on Matt Taylor's solo album 'Walls to McGoo' co-writing the track Adelaide River, "one of my favorite songs".
Also during this period Saracen briefly reformed for some sold-out reunion shows the band also recorded a self-titled album which although released independently, received some excellent reviews in European music publications.
John recorded his first all instrumental album in 1992 and was rewarded with that year's West Australian Music Industry's outstanding Album of the Year award. This Album also received the Producers' Award for John and Tom Thorpe.
John also has received Guitarist of the Year and in 1993 received an award from the West Australian Music Industry Association in recognition of Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the state through Achievements in the Arts.
John then spent time developing his studio, producing/composing music for television advertising and documentaries.
During this time session work for other studios and artists beckoned along with teaching select students. In 1999 John released an instrumental album 'The Shaman' with Jazz/fusion influences to critical acclaim.
In 2003 John was inducted into the West Australian Music Industry's Hall of Fame.
November 2005 saw the launch of the album 'John Meyer's Blues Express' featuring Peter Oats on bass and vocals, Ric Eastman drums, John on guitar.
John is currently working on several album projects, producing, composing and teaching.
The Shaman (1999)
Click Here to view blues CDs & DVDs currently available from the Australian Blues Music Festival from this website or in-store at the Goulburn Visitor Information Centre. More titles arriving all the time.
John Meyer's Blues Express featured at the 2008 Australian Blues Music Festival as part of the showcase of West Coast talent brought to you by the West Coast Blues Club. John also conducted a workshop at the 2008 Festival.
Visit John Meyer's website at: www.johnmeyer.com.au