Pappy Johns Band
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Pappy Johns Band


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The best kept secret in music


"Maple Blues Newsletter – John’s Picks - February 2004"

The Pappy Johns Band with Murray Porter "Full Circle" Indie
- John Valenteyn

Some of this material was part of their fabulous set at the last Soul `n' Blues Festival. They had just returned from playing the Chicago Blues Festival, including a TV appearance there and were obviously raring to play. It was evident at that show that these players are at the top of their game and all that remained was to channel their talents into a worthwhile CD. This is it. Porter's boogie piano intro to his "Make Your Mind Up", with its alternating vocals, to the Faron Johns rocker, "Playing Me" begin a bluesy journey through bar life in Southern Ontario. The soulful "My Baby's Crazy", from Porter's pen, leads to Johns' excellent "Trouble in the Wigwam". "Third Degree" has a fine solo from guitarist Joe Mahfoud. This song, and "Meat on the Bone", use more traditional blues structures and themes but are none the worse for that. "Let's Just Do" is another fine original, by Porter this time. Oren Doxtator on drums and Don Powless on bass round out this powerful unit and shine throughout. Maybe a live album in a `home' club would be a wonderful next project - this band cooks!

- Toronto Blues Society

"`Full Circle’ REVIEW - Pappy Johns Band"

By Eddy B (Brake) Blueheart Archive

For years Murray Porter has been one of my favouite artists anywhere. He can play the keyboards; sing and most of all, can write lyrics with the best of them. Then a few years ago I got to hear the Pappy Johns band for the first time, featuring Faron Johns on lead vocals, and I was knocked out once again. Even though the Pappy Johns band have been on the scene for twenty-five years, the formers members have reunited to create a Full Circle with this CD release. Faron and Murray and the musicians in their band hale from the Six Nations. Either Murray or Pappy wrote all the songs on the album. The band is a killer too, with Joe Mahfoud on vocals and guitar, Don Powless on bass and Oren Doxtator drums and percussion.

To hear these amazing vocalists on one recording is truly a Blues treat, so lets break into the tracks. The first song penned by Murray, Make Your Mind Up, has Faron, Joe and Murray all takin‚ turns on the verses. Faron sings his own composition around the topic, Playing Me. Murray’s slow song has him singin’ about My Baby’s Crazy and it’s all meant for him. He takes over lead vocal once again on his song Trouble in the Wigwam with a nice guitar solo from Joe. The lyrics of Murray’s tune Time Will Come, sung by Faron, really hit me. The tempo really rocks with Faron singing his song Third Degree and Joe takin’ another great solo on guitar. The pace drops down once again with Murray carryin‚ the lead vocal on another song he wrote, Little White Lies with Murray, Faron and Joe doin‚ the chorus background. The groove picks up again with some Blues from Murray on Meat on the Bone. Joe plays the slide guitar with Faron’s vocal on his number Time to Believe. A soulful and funky feel is givin‚ to Murray’s Let’s Do. Ending the CD is Faron singing a haunting tune he wrote, Through the Door.

Incredible singing, lyrics and playing make this record a have to have.

On the back of the CD case it states, “Finest in First Nations Blues”, and I can’t argue with that description. I hope to see the Pappy Johns Band with Murray Porter live again soon. Plus other great First Nation Blues bands at one of Elaine Bomberry’s regular Rez Bluez presentations in the near future. Things do come Full Circle.

Sail on...
Eddy B

"Chicago Blues Festival Highlight list:"

- Rich Schneider, Editor

Best Song: Native American Murray Porter `1492, Who Found Who?’
`Hats off to Barry Dolins for: …bringing in relatively unknown but worthy talents in the Pappy Johns Band, whom he heard in Toronto”

- Blues Beat Magazine

"`Review of Blues Summit & Maple Blues Awards’"

- Tim Holek

“The evening’s surprise smash at the showcases was The Pappy Johns Band. This award-winning First Peoples blues act delivered awesome soul & R&B. Lead vocalist, Faron Johns, resembles John Candy but has more roadhouse in him than Delbert McClinton. Songwriter/keyboard player Murray Porter impressed with his chops too. Their original tunes spoke of the red man singing the black man’s blues, living in a white man’s world…” - Blues On Stage

"Pappy Johns Band Performance at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival"

- Jenny Gabruch

The Pappy Johns Band ripped through some straight-ahead, rockin’ electric blues, tossing in a joke or two for good measure. Lead Singer Faron Johns `big, smooth voice mixed nicely with the band’s two other vocalists, who also took their turns in the spotlight. It was a satisfying blend of covers and originals that included tunes from their upcoming CD, Full Circle’. - The Star Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

"Rez Bluez"

In 1993 the Toronto Blues Society fulfilled a desire to connect with the Aboriginal community in the area by staging an event in conjunction with long time member, Elaine Bomberry, called "Real Rez Blues". The event was a massive success and the venue overflowed with enthusiastic fans of a wide range of artists. The TBS encouraged Elaine to carry on the concept and artists have continued to use the "Rez Blues" model to showcase, introduce themselves to blues and urban audiences, and increasingly raise profile. The relationship of key figures in the native blues scene like Murray Porter, Jani Lauzon, Ronnie Douglas, Derek Miller, Faron Johns, Pappy Johns Band and many others have begun to reflect the strong interest from Aboriginal artists, with the blues. With the release of "Skin Tight Blues" and the exposure in Native and mainstream media, Native identity will continue to grow and earn respect with blues fans around the world in the months and years to come. - Derek Andrews

"10 Years of Rez Bluez"

Rez Bluez began as a Toronto Blues Society event a dozen or so years ago. The plan was to showcase a few Aboriginal blues artists that were beginning to get some notice on the Canadian Blues Scene. I don’t think anyone new then how large and supportive the audience was, and how many great blues artists were ready to break out of that community. With the guidance and direction of Elaine Bomberry and Rez Bluez Productions artists like The Pappy Johns Band, Murray Porter, Ronnie Douglas and The Soul Kings have proven they deserve world class attention. - Gary Kendal

"Johns Blues Picks"

- John Valentyne, February 2002

Faron Johns is one of the best blues singers working and he gets to shine on the opening `Wishing Princess’ and the blues ballad `Blame It On Monday’.

- Toronto Blues Society


Liz Sykes, President, Ottawa Blues Society “Faron Johns and Murray Porter are two of the best voices on the Canadian blues scene”

Eric Paul-Hus, Montreal Blues Society “My discovery of the Blues Summit showcases is The Pappy Johns Band, along with astonishing vocals from band member, Murray Porter, he blew me away”.

Brent Staeben, Artistic Director, Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, March/03“I saw the show in T.O. and was very impressed…congrats on the Chicago gig”. - Liz Sykes; Eric Paul-Hus; Brent Staeben

"Fort Erie band wins 4 prizes at Aboriginal music awards"

The Pappy Johns Band took home four awards for the album Blame It On Monday. The Pappy Johns Band, which formed as a group in Fort Erie and was the house band on APTN’s Buffalo Tracks, the first Aboriginal variety and talk show on tv, was named Best Group/Duo, while the band’s singer, Faron Johns, was voted Best Male Artist. As well, Blame it on Monday was cited for Best Song/Single, and Alec Fraser and the band were honoured as Best Producer/Engineer honour. - Canadian Press


- "Havin a Good Time Now"2008
-"Kitchener Blues Festival Compliation 2008
- "Got Mojo" Grand River Blues Society Compilation 2007
- "Selected Tracks" 2006
- "Dig Your Roots Aboriginal" Compilation 2006
- "Blues sur Seine" compilation, France, July 2005 -
- “Toronto Blues Society 20th Anniversary
compilation 2005” TBS, May 2005
- “Full Circle” Independent, November 2003
- “Blame It On Monday” Independent, 2002
- “Skin Tight Blues” A First Peoples Blues
Compilation Sweet Grass Records/EMI Music



THE PAPPY JOHNS BAND are long time friends and brothers of the blues. The core players of THE PAPPY JOHNS BAND, Oren Doxtator and Don Powless , have been playing together for 25 years. Their two previous award winning CD's titled "Blame it on Monday" and "Full Circle" were recorded with Faron Johns and Murray Porter. Currently, they have added the services of an outstanding young guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Josh Miller. The band has also been blessed with the addition of well- known keyboardist and songwriter John Lee.

THE PAPPY JOHNS BAND are 2005 JUNO Award nominees for Aboriginal Recording of the Year. The band has won 2 Best Blues Album at the 2004 and 2009 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. They were also nominated for a 2005 and 2009 Indian Summer Music Award for Best Blues, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as well as Best Blues at 2009 Native American Music Award and 2009 Niagara Music Awards.

For the first time in their career, The Pappy Johns Band, performed in Europe. They performed at Blues sur Seine, a blues festival in Mantes la Jolie, France in November 2005, to an extremely enthusiastic response!

In Canada, they can be seen on REZ BLUEZ TV on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network ( and BRAVO Canada and in the U.S on Sunshine Network, which starting airing in Dec. 2005 and is currently in re-run on the same networks. Josh Miller was part of the posse of hosts and writers for this series. The Pappy Johns Band are in Show 1, and are seen performing at the 2003 Chicago Blues Festival.

The band also completed taping of Season 2 of Rez Blues currently airing on APTN. Rez Bluez 2 was shot in HIGH DEFINITION and 5.1 SURROUND SOUND. Pappy Johns bass player Don Powless and drummer Oren Doxtator also provided the rhythm section for Billy Joe Green and the Blues Hounds for segments on the show. Drummer Oren Doxtator provided back up for Wes Mackey as he did in Season 1 of Rez Bluez. WATCH FOR IT !!!

The band has also won four (4) awards at the 2002 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards: for Best Male Artist (Faron Johns); Best Group/Duo; Best Producer/Engineer (Alec Fraser & Band); Best Song & Songwriter for Blame It On Monday (Faron Johns).

The band has played such prestigious festivals as the 20th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Grand Opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s `National Museum of the American Indian’, on the Four Directions Stage (mainstage) for the closing concert.

DON POWLESS: Bass player, Mohawk, is originally from the Six Nations Reserve and currently resides in Fort Erie, Ontario. He has played in blues bands in Canada and the United States that include Bar Road Band, The Roadhouse Band, Painted Pony and most recently, the Pappy Johns Band.

OREN DOXTATOR: On drums, Oren, originally from Oneida Settlement, near London, Ontario, grew up in Buffalo, New York and currently resides in Fort Erie, Ontario. Don Powless and Oren, who are brothers-in-law, have formed a solid rhythm section for over 25 years.

JOSH MILLER: Also Mohawk from Six Nations, Josh plays guitar and vocals. Josh began his career at an early age, when he toured with Murray across Canada while still a teenager. Now a seasoned veteran of the blues scene, fronting his own bands, The Soul Kings, and Three Wheel Drive, Josh has performed across Canada and the U.S. His addition to the band is a mixture of youth and savvy.

JOHN LEE: Keyboards, born in Montreal, John currently resides in Kitchener, Ontario. John has played keyboard with some of the best blues bands across Canada and the U.S, some of which are Mel Brown & the Homewreckers, Matt Minglewood, Dutch Mason, Cheryl Lescomb, Charity Brown, Snooky Pryor. John has co-written and co-produced with too many artists to mention all.

Performance Highlights:
- Grand Opening of Four Winds Casino Resort in Michigan
- Opened for Jeff Healey, Jackhammers, Brantford
- Kiwannis Club "5 Bands for Kids", Brantford
- Opened for Jeff Healey, Little Big Horn,Cambridge
- `Blues-sur-Seine' Festival, Mantes la Jolie, France, November 17-20, 2005
- Rez Bluez Showcases in London, Ontario; Ottawa and Toronto in 2005
- Native Canadian Arts Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 2005
- `FestiBlues', Montreal, Quebec August, 2005
- Aboriginal Day Celebration Concert, Ottawa, Ontario June 21, 2005
- JUNO Aboriginal Honouring Celebration & JUNOFest, Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 2005
- Second Canadian band ever to perform at the 20th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, 2003
-Grand Opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s `National Museum of the American Indian’, Four Directions Stage (Mainstage), Washington, D.C.; September, 2004
- National Aboriginal Day, Ottawa, July 2005
- 25th Montréal International Jazz Festival, Labatt Bleu Stage (Mainstage), July 2004
- National Museum of the American Indian, Manhattan/NYC; August 2004
- Planet In

Band Members