John began his music career in the early 1970s as a guitar, bass, and mandolin player in numerous bands, including the Eric Clapton Band, Ginger Bakers NNG, and Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance. He also appeared as a session musician on many recordings for artists including Bryan Ferry, Marianne Faithfull, Eric Clapton, The Wailers, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, Buddy Guy, and The Smiths.
From 1972 until 1974 John toured with Roxy Music, playing the bass on the iconic recording, For Your Pleasure. Shortly thereafter, John earned his first production credits on Bryan Ferry’s solo projects.
By the mid-70s, John served as the house audio engineer for The Beatles Saville Row Apple Studios. He then went on to become a Contract Producer for BBC Radio One, where John recorded acts such as UB40, Elvis Costello, and The Smiths. In the early 80’s John established himself as a leading record producer with the release of two seminal albums from The Smiths: The Smiths (1983) and Meat is Murder (1985), which rank as #481 and #296, respectively, on Rolling Stone’s 500 Best Albums of All Time.
A move to America in 1989 solidified John’s reputation as a key player on the Blues circuit, with a string of production credits including multiple albums with Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Otis Rush, John Mayall, and Keb’ Mo’, which led to a series of Grammy nominations and wins in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category (1992, 1994, 1997, 1998). John also worked on three B.B. King records, including producing the successful crossover album Deuces Wild, which featured duets with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and D’Angelo.
In 1999 John founded his own record label called Jericho Records, and was appointed as President & CEO of Cello Studios, formerly United Western Recorders and Ocean Way Studios. During this period John continued to work in the studio, producing albums for R.L. Burnside, Jimmy Smith, Lucky Peterson, and Jon Cleary & The Monster Gentlemen.
By the mid-2000’s, John was a well-established producer in Los Angeles. His impressive discography and string of Grammy wins got the attention of younger artists, and John brought his production skills to a number of pop records including Ryan Adams’ critically-acclaimed double EP Love is Hell Pt 1 & 2, and Missy Higgins’ debut album The Sound of White, which went nine times platinum in Australia. Most notable was John’s production and guitar playing on Los Lonely Boys’ eponymous debut album in 2004, which went two times platinum in the U.S., and was nominated for five Grammy awards, including Record of the Year, winning for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 2005.
In 2010 John fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. Through his love of jazz, R&B and funk, John quickly became a key player in the local music scene, working with New Orleans artists such as Dr. John, Jon Cleary, Honey Island Swamp Band, Maria Muldaur, Ricky Lee Jones, and Tommy Malone. In addition to producing, he also began mixing and post-production in his home studio, Independence Street Studio. Despite slowing down the pace of production, John continued to produce hits, most recently for Jon Cleary, who won the 2016 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Album with his 8th album, Go Go Juice. His latest production, Gulfstream by Roddie Romero & The Hub City All-Stars is nominated for 2 Grammy Awards this year – for Best Regional Roots Album and Best American Roots Song – Gulfstream. John was also named the 2016 Producer of the year by OffBeat Magazine.
John has now returned to his native England, where he continues to work out of his home studio.