Jon Paris played bass and harmonica from 1979 until March 1989. It’s been said that Bluesman/Roots-Rocker Jon Paris need bow his head to no one. For over a decade he played in-the-pocket bass guitar and over-the-top harmonica with Blues Legend Johnny Winter, touring the world and appearing on Winter’s Raisin’ Cain, Serious Business, and Winter of ’88 albums. He has also recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, (“Clean Cut Kid” and “Driftin’ Too Far From Shore”), Ron Wood, John Hiatt, Jimmy Cliff, and Peter Tosh. Leading his own band on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Jon Paris has maintained a consistent and loyal following in and around the New York area at top music clubs like Manny’s Car Wash, the Lone Star Road House, the Ritz, Tramp’s, the China Club, Dan Lynch’s…
He has also supported George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Fabulous Thunder birds, Huey Lewis and the News, and Albert King to name a few; and has provided backing for such greats as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker. Paris’s versatility has allowed him to sound equally convincing laying down solid bass lines with Rock-a-Billy pioneers Robert Gordon and Link Wray, tearing off searing guitar riffs with Chuck Berry’s legendary piano man Johnnie Johnson, trading licks with the Uptown Horns (the renowned horn section that often augments Paris’s trio), or guesting with guitar wizard Les Paul (at Les’s Monday night gigs at Fat Tuesday’s). Guitar World magazine proclaimed that “Jon Paris’s powerhouse trio puts on a fiery show.”
The Village Voice praised Paris’s contributions to the New York City club scene, noting that he “makes Rock and Blues a lively art.” Details recognized that “this blistering Johnny Winter vet trades rhythms and leads with ( former Rolling Stone) Mick Taylor like Taylor once did with Keith Richards.” The Austin Daily pointed out that “Paris’s stylings of Chuck Berry tunes and sliding Blues numbers are remarkable and highly energetic.” As a songwriter, Jon Paris’s efforts have gained some well-earned attention. Two of his compositions, “Blues This Bad” and “One Step Forward” can be heard on Johnny Winter’s latest release, Hey, Where’s Your Brother? (Point Blank/Charisma Records), and Paris’s performance of his anthem “Born to Rock” appears in Paramount’s block-buster motion picture Naked Gun 2 1/2. “Jon Paris is an extremely talented guy,” says Guitar World Editor Brad Tolinski. “He does a lot of things and he does them all well. I don’t run across too many guitarists who can combine such sure-footed skills with intuitive Blues sense like Jon does.”
As Jon Paris continues to move forward recording and performing with his own hard-rockin’ band, it’s obvious that more will share the same sentiments as the fans, critics and great artists who have already embraced him.