More on John

John hails from Montreal, QC and caused a sensation playing banjo for Big Redd FordThe Humber River Valley Boys, and other popular Canadian bands. (He’s mentioned in the  Encyclopedia of Canadian Music under Bluegrass.) In the early eighties he came to the U.S.  (yes, he’s legal)….


Early photo of John Allen Bluegrass Revue, later evolved into The Big Redd Ford. L to R: John Allen, Lou Moore, Mike Love, John Saunders

Here’s a photo of him with the well-loved Cleveland based Hotfoot Quartet.  (He’s third from left, alternatively, he’s third from right. Does that make him a palindrome?                                                 (from left, Roland Kausen, Steve Slottow, John, Bob Frank, Dennis Bailey)

Hotfoot Quartet

John’s Bluegrass banjo skills have led him to  perform with Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, Ricky Scaggs, Jerry Douglas, Byron Berline, Tony Trischka, Butch Baldassari, and many other great players. What’s more, when he was 17, Don Reno handed John his banjo and watched John play it on stage at Dawson College in Montreal. Neat memory.

From L to R, Dave Huddleston on bass, Vassar Clements on fiddle, Paul Kovac, guitar, and John Saunders, banjo. Cuyahoga Valley, 1994
An early photo of John joining in with Bob Fuller and others at The Blue Angel Club in Montreal.
L to Rt: Lou Moore, Mike Love, John Saunders, Randy Hill
L to Rt: Tony Ellis, Kathy Fink, John Saunders, Roland Kausen
John plays more classic bluegrass at the Wheel Club with Bob Fuller and Jeannie Arsenault.
L to R: Bill Bland, Rocky Rogers, Bob Fuller, Barbiel and John at the Wheel Club in Montreal
John playing with Bob Fuller and friends at the Wheel Club in Montreal
Upper photo, Bobby Vail on fiddle, another fiddler, John, and Jeannie; lower pic of Barbiel w/John in background
John playing banjo at The Cuyahoga Valley festival with Byron Berline on fiddle (yes, he played with the Rolling Stones), and Denny Jones on mandolin, Paul Kovac on guitar, and Bill Watson on bass.
A Bearded John playing with Hotfoot Quintet
In September of 1990 John (middle) on banjo was joined by Dan Levinson (left) on clawhammer banjo and his buddy Roland Kausen (right) on guitar.
John “guesting” with Butch Baldassari and the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble at the Kent State Folk Festival.
And recently, John has even been seen playing renaissance and medieval selections on the five string. What fun!
John and Roland Kausen playing in Cleveland
Michael on viola da gamba, John on banjo, Barbiel on guitar at The Jewel Stage, Michigan Renaissance Festival
Silent Lion performing at The Dulc-i-more Festival
John playing at the Barking Spider, Cleveland, Ohio