Gaslight Presents Johnny Never!


East coast bluesman John Carleton, (aka Johnny Never) has a mission to deliver pure, unadulterated vintage blues to those who already love the blues as well as those who have never heard it. Whether solo or with accompaniment, Johnny has energized audiences in Northern Maryland, Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey from small bars and restaurants to music halls such as the MAC Concert Series, The Mainstay, the Kennett Flash and Jamie's House of Music.  He has performed in dozens of Music Festivals. 

Johnny can rivet an audience to their seats as a solo performer, and his two and three-piece acts, with stellar harmonica and upright bass, can bring audiences to their feet.

The Two Johns are headed to Memphis!  
They won their first round of the 
International Blues Challenge!

The Trio

Often referred to by blues enthusiasts as "the real deal", Johnny pays homage to, but does not mimic, the vast array of original bluesmen that gave birth to “the blues” a century ago. John has been called "the spiritual son" of blues greats for his covers of artists like Son House, Robert Johnson, and Charlie Patton.  His original compositions possess the qualities of the genuine article, delivered through deft finger-style guitar work and a voice that reeks of authenticity.  These qualities have earned him recognition by blues and folk music societies from Memphis to Philadelphia.  In 2014, Johnny was a quarter-finalists in the International Blues Challenge, in Memphis TN.

“… Johnny Never is the real deal!! Delta and Piedmont blues rarely heard this far north! A rare treat.”   - Dave Strickler – Baltimore Blues Society 

"Johnny Never, has crawled into the skin of acoustic blues greats from the Piedmont to the Delta, and gives authenticity to the music that he has studied, performed and loved for so many years - so much so, that he is the spiritual son of many names both famous and long forgotten.”  -Jamey Reilly - Jamey’s House Of Music, Landsdowne PA.

The Two Johns at The Hummingbird Bar in Wilmington DE

“Johnny Never (also known as John Carleton) released a remarkable lesson in finger-style guitar playing and an ability to make his new blues sound like they came fresh from the 30s…no mean achievement and one that I applaud. His album, Blue Delta, has a title that explains it all. A well known and respected performer across the East Coast of the US, doing many gigs solo or as a three-piece, he’s now put down on tape (or whatever it’s called now) of his authentic style on a mix originals and inspired covers. Opening with an original, Blue Delta Blues, he shows immediately how his picking style (whilst not typically delta) suits the blues so well; his voice too has an authenticity as he sings in the way a lot of the greats did…imagine a melange of Leadbelly, House and Johnson. On this track the bass and harp bring this original to life and helps make it sound like it was new in 1920 as well as 2020…lovely.”

Johnny's work with harmonica player, John Colgan-Davis, (Dukes of Destiny, Bonnie Raitt) offers enthusiasts a duo reminiscent of Carey and Lurie, Sonny Terry and Brownie. McGhee.

John Colgan-Davis on the left and Johnny Never

"John Carleton, (aka Johnny Never), is probably the most refreshing thing I’ve heard this year.  A superb guitarist with a knowledge of vintage blues, Johnny hit the mark with tune after tune.  From straight-ahead covers that capture the sound and feel of the original recordings to wildly reimagined covers that manage to stay well within the realm of vintage blues, I was thoroughly impressed.  What was perhaps even more impressive were the eight original tunes that made up the bulk of the album.  They, too, had that flair and sophistication that is normally associated with vintage blues."  "This one gets my highest recommendation.  This one reminded me, in many respects, of Leon Redbone."

  – Bill Wilson, Blue Reflections Magazine.   December 7, 2020

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