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How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live

Written by Blind Alfred Reed in 1930. I learned this from Ry Cooder’s first album and now seemed like a good time to arrange my own version. I stayed with the original lyrics because, other than the prices of 1930, the lyrics are almost ridiculously timely.

Lonesome Wind Blues- From Linoleum Years

“Elegant Americana: Eclectic, guitar drenched,bass driven music:This is what roots music might sound like if The Doors had been a country band.” Sin Eaters are John Maxwell on guitars and vocals, Steve Siegrist on bass and vocals and George Frangides on drums. Released in 1995, Linoleum Years landed a song (Heidelberg Swing) in 1998’s An Alan Smithee […]


“He plays with very good fluidity and taste,and some nice slide. His vocals are pleasantly lacking in fake black-isms that are the bane of ‘white bluesmen’. Even better, he sings the meaning of the words and understands that the story of the lyrics is vital”.

Bruce Iglauer- Alligator Records

You have to play for a long time before you sound like your self




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John Maxwell


Terry Hughes
A 1971 concert by B.B. King in Chicago set John on the path to study the guitar. At the Old Town School of Folk Music John found Johnny Long, a student of Homesick James, and slide guitar quickly became his passion.

Two years in Tulsa led John to adapt his bottleneck slide style to bluegrass and country but blues remained number one thanks to the early years in Chicago. While attending college in St Louis John met blues legends Henry Townsend and Tommy Bankhead and had the opportunity to play with both on stage as well as fronting his own trio, The Auxiliary Blues Band.

As Monty Python used to say, “and now, for something completely different…” The college life of 1974 introduced electric guitar to the mix and John found himself in both rock and jazz bands. In the Great California migration of 1976 most of his St. Louis music connections landed in the Bay Area and formed the seminal punk band

Eye Protection, sharing the stage with such bands as The Dead KennedysBlack FlagThe PlasmaticsJim CarrollChris Issac and SilvertoneSVT… How did this happen? What happened to the blues?

After six years of distraction John moved to Minneapolis and joined an R&B band featuring Wee Willie Walker. An opening slot for Gatemouth Brown jogged John’s brain back to his senses and he began to re-focus on acoustic blues and roots music. But the electric sound was to return four years later with an ex-bandmate of the San Francisco years.

The Sin Eaters Linoleum Years was released in ’95 and landed a song in the Joe Esterhas film Burn, Hollywood, Burn which won the Razzie Award as the worst movie of 1998! “Heidelberg Swing” is a wicked slide guitar instrumental backed by the rhythm of a printing press. In 2016 John also had a piece in the documentary “Shifting Sands” which is showing at the 2017 Sundance Festival.

While the “lost years” of John’s punk experience are not so evident these days the blues have remained and grown. Opening sets for ,Susan Tedeschi and Roy Rogers  brought John out of the shadows in the past. In the past year John has opened for the likes of Maria Muldaur, Ruthie Foster, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Jon Cleary, and David Lindley. John’s first solo CD,”Blues For Evangeline”   is garnering exceptional reviews as well as placing in the top 5 at the 2016 IBC in Memphis for best self produced CD. CD #2 is in the planning stage and should be available in late 2017. In August 2017 John taught slide guitar at the prestigious Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival.

get me six crap shooting pallbearers. get a chorus girl to sing me a song.

Love’s a funny thing.
Seems to come and go as it please.

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