Stephen Stills once said that the "one thing blues ain't, is funny." Obviously Mr. Stills has never sat in on an evening with John Lisi who, along with his band Delta Funk!, has made a career of turning the pitfalls of everyday life into funky-bluesy-body-shakin' music that just makes a person feel better. Hailed as of the the best guitarists in Louisiana by Offbeat magazine-quite a compliment in a state known for its musicians-John marries his sometimes humorous, sometimes serious lyrics with a guitar that can cry the blues one minute and break out the funk the next.
Originally from New Jersey, John began writing songs before he could play his first chord on a guitar. But it wasn't until he first saw a replay of Woodstock that the direction of his life became charted. He watched in awe as Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend and Alvin Lee wailed on their guitars. Already proficient on the trumpet, the young musician knew then that he wanted to plug in and jam.
By the age of 15, John was playing in bands in Tampa, FL. with much older musicians, honing the skills that would later become his trademark. Then, it was on to Los Angeles, where stints with blues, funk, rockabilly, swing, reggae, and even metal bands would lead to the montage of genres that defines his music today. He also did studio guitar work for popular shows such as L.A. Law and Quantum Leap.
After a few years performing on stages across the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico, John made New Orleans home and soon found himself playing with the likes of Dr. John, Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Raful and Kenny Neal, Rockin' Tabby Thomas, Bryan Lee, Galactic, Tab Benoit, and Jason Ricci, to name a few. Amidst a plethora of talent, the young man made a name for himself through his offbeat portrayals of life, the honesty ringing from his sultry voice and his ability to make his fingers fly over a dobro, mandolin, steel guitar or stratocaster as the mood took him.
Along the way, John has kept a busy recording schedule. In 1998, he played, sang, and co-wrote on Rockin' Tabby Thomas' "Long Live The King Of The Swamp Blues." In 1999, John released his debut album, "Blues For Chloe," which features guest blues legends Big Jay McNeely, Henry Gray, Larry Garner, and J. Monque'D. John's first album with Delta Funk!, "Preachin' To The Choir," was released in 2000 and followed up with "Can Ya' Dig It?!" in 2004. In 2006, John co-wrote and played on Big Chief Monk Boudreaux's album, "Rising Sun." John teamed up with Cody Dickenson (North Mississippi Allstars) and Jimbo Mathus (Elvis Costello, The Squirrel Nut Zippers) in 2007 to create "Dead Cat Bounce." In 2008, he was prominently featured on the West Coast rockabilly band, Devil Doll's, "Return of Eve" album. During the same year, John co-fronted the band, Six Strings Down. John Lisi received the 2009 Slim Harpo Award for Blues Pioneer, along side Dr. John and Alvin Batiste.
"Super~Most~Fantastic!," John's 2010 release, is a slammin' compilation of eclectic blues. John continues to entertain and amaze you with his bottomless bag of musical talents. Currently, John plays more than 300 dates per year and is working on his next CD, which promises further exploration of ways through which to mingle stunning guitar riffs with blues and funk to create music that is just downright fun.