The BLUES come to The Buttonwood Tree! A special performance by Chicago’s master slide guitarist and blues harpist, Studebaker John. He’s joined by Liviu Pop, a Hartford-based drummer who is known for his versatility in music styles and captivating soulfulness during his performances.
harmonica at age 7. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago’s famed blues
melting pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the ‘70s.
1978: After playing at various Chicago clubs, John records his first record, Straight No Chaser, released
on Retread Records. His second recording, Rocking the Blues, is released in 1985 on Avanti Records.
John continues to work clubs and concerts in Chicago and the mid-west region.
1988: Nothin’ But Fun is released in Europe on Belgium’s Double Trouble label. A European tour follows
in support of this recording. Due to the success of this release, Born to Win, also on Double Trouble,
is released in 1990 resulting in more European tours. At home, John continues to play throughout the
Midwest. The Chicago Tribune hails John as “a blues classic”.
1991: John joins the Yardbirds & Pretty Things to record a St. George and Demon Records’ release of
classic Chicago Blues. This recording leads to another Demon Records’ release Wine, Women & Whiskey.
1992: Rockin’ The Blues is re-released on the Double Trouble label.
1993: Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan, selects three songs from Nothin’ But Fun and Born To Win
to include in his film, Calendar.
1994: John records Too Tough, his 1st release on Blind Pig Records. Also in 1994, Atom Egoyan
produces another film, Exotica, featuring two songs from Too Tough.
1995: Nothin’ But Fun is renamed Outside Lookin’ In and becomes John’s 2nd Blind Pig Records release.
1996: John collaborates with record producer Jim Gaines on his 3rd Blind Pig release, Tremoloxe.
Studebaker John & the Hawks tour throughout the USA, Canada & Europe in support of this new release.
1997: Time Will Tell, John’s 4th Blind Pig recording, is released. Songs from the CD are featured in the 2001
film Cowboy Up, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Darrel Hannah. John’s music is also used for a CNN/NASCAR
Raceway break-theme and in a Ford Thunderbird commercial shown during the 2002 season premiere episode
of Fox TV’s “24”.
2001: Howl With The Wolf, released on Evidence Music, revisits John’s roots, one last look at the past before
looking exclusively to the future.
2004: The Avanti Records’ release, Between Life & Death, showcases John’s unique songwriting talents, and
his blazing guitar and harmonica technique, creating a new sound that transports the blues genre into the
CD 2006: Avanti Records’ Self-Made Man contains nearly 80 minutes of all original steamy blues and smokin’
blues-rock, incorporating Chicago, boogie, swamp, swing, and harmonica blues, all recorded with a live-in-the-studio
sound that is true to Studebaker John’s stage performances.
As a songwriter and musician, Studebaker John has emerged as a major creative force in the world of the blues
today. Ahead of the pack, with vision and foresight, creating a new standard and landscape for this music’s future…
with John at the wheel, the future is now!
Drummer LIVIU POP keeps a busy schedule performing soul, blues, funk, jazz, electronic, world and experimental
music. He plays with many national and international blues & soul artists and with some of the most prominent
musicians in New England besides leading his own group.
Liviu is known for his soulfulness, intensity, creativity, hard-driving grooves and most of all, for his musicality and
Liviu has toured and performed with: Hubert Sumlin, Sam Lay, Mighty Sam McClain, Lucky Peterson, Debbie Davies,
Lil’ Dave Thompson, Tony Lynn Washington, Ruben Wilson, Kal David, Bruce Katz, Chris Tofield, Slam Allen, J.D. Hill,
Murali Coryell, Roberto Morbioli, Grayson Hugh, Lisa Mann, Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze, Roomful of Blues, Monster
Mike Welch and many others.
In 2018, Liviu was inducted in the CT Blues Hall of Fame.