“John Sebastian is one of the very select group of songwriters- including also John Lennon, Ray Davies, and Brian Wilson – for which the term “genius” doesn’t seem just a publicist’s wild notion” – Percy Keegan
Over four decades the contributions of John Sebastian have become a permanent part of our American musical fabric.
His group The Lovin’ Spoonful played a major role in the mid-’60s rock revolution, but what leader, singer and songwriter Sebastian had in mind was actually a counter-revolution. “We were grateful to the Beatles for reminding us of our rock & roll roots,” John explains, “but we wanted to cut out the English middlemen, so to speak, and get down to making this new music as an ‘American’ band.”You know the songs by heart: “Do You Believe In Magic?” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice.” “Daydream.” “Younger Girl.” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?” “Summer In The City.” “Rain On The Roof.” “Nashville Cats.” “Six O’Clock.” “Darling Be Home Soon.” “Younger Generation.” These songs did more than simply answer the British invasion, they carried the musical tradition into the future. Thankfully John’s induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 hasn’t slowed him down. Whether the stage is at Carnegie Hall or a folk festival in some far-flung locale, John is still out there spreading his gospel of American roots music. He has also lent his music in support of social, environmental and animal rights causes.
Perhaps because it has been the product of heart and soul and history, the oldest song in the Sebastian catalog is as fresh and vital as the song he’s about to write tomorrow. That’s why you still hear his music everywhere – in movies, on television, in cover versions and samples – and why it’s always welcome. John is also a welcome media presence; his commentary, insights and anecdotes and stories are regularly featured in print, radio, TV and film documentary projects. John Sebastian is not only a master musician, writer and performer, he remains one of the best ambassadors American music has ever had.
Jimmy Vivino (aka Jimmy V) has always considered himself “a blues man with a job”. Although best known for serving 26 years as Conan O’Brien’s musical director, guitarist and bandleader, his experience in the music business predates that by 20 plus years. Jimmy V has produced, lead bands and recorded with a countless number rock and roll and blues artists for five decades including the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, Keith Richards, Elvis Costello, Johnnie Johnson, Son Seals, Shemekia Copeland, Levon Helm, Phoebe Snow, Dion, Laura Nyro, Bob Margolin, Lowell Fulson, John Sebastian, Joe Louis Walker and Al Kooper to name a few. When not producing, recording or touring with other artists, Jimmy still tours the country and the world with his own band.