Jon Gorman » Guitar
At age 18, Jon picked up the guitar later than many players when he listened to Eric Clapton, his first great guitar hero. From Clapton, Jon discovered his love for the blues and like Clapton, the road lead back to others. Immersing himself in B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jon began to dig deeper, looking up the original artists and finding and absorbing his most fundamental influences, master blues artists such as Albert King, Freddy King, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Albert Collins, Guitar Slim, Hollywood Fats, Junior Watson, Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl. The latter was also a teacher of Jon’s during Ronnie's time as a visiting artist at Berklee.
In 1995 Jon entered Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, he played with bands across the musical spectrum from blues, rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, latin, R&B and funk, further flavoring his blues with influences from rock, fusion and R&B, names like Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, John Scofield and Robben Ford.
Jon played regularly in the blues jams such as Johnny D's in Somerville, and after leaving Berklee, gigged with various local blues bands, several rock bands, and even subbed on guitar for a time with a local Reggae band. In the summer of 2004 Jon began playing with drummer Chris Brown and began the search for the final pieces of Blue Train.
Allyn Dorr » Bass/vocals
Roughly 10 years before guitarist Jon Gorman was born, Aldo (as we call him) was recruited at the age of 15 to play bass for a high school band. Turning down the treble control on an early Animal’s album, Aldo fell in love with the four-string way of life. Blue Train’s old man gave up on the trumpet and flute before the Beatles, Bob Dylan, campfires and girls lured him towards the guitar. A random trip to a public television studio in Cambridge found him sitting at the feet of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry and the blues seed was planted deep in Aldo’s brain.
Starting in the early 70’s on Cape Cod and later, Amherst/Northampton, Aldo survived disco and the oil crisis, gigged and recorded in an eclectic assortment of bands (big band jazz, psychedelic jam, classic country, purist reggae, and of course, blues) culminating in the early 80's with New England reggae favorites, Loose Caboose. On the road around New England and New York, often crossing paths with the lame and slightly famous, Aldo performed in bands that opened for Taj Mahal, Gil Scott-Heron, Herb's Herd, Bonnie Raitt, and Roomful of Blues before "retiring" in the mid-80’s to raise a family.
Inspired by his son's entrance into the music business in the late 90's, Aldo is back with the “Smoothtone,” his vintage Fender P-bass, adding his signature backbone bottom end to the Blue Train rhythm section. Aldo dreams that he might someday be mistaken for bassists like Duck Dunn, Jerry Jemmott, and Chuck Rainey.
This Fall Blue Train will be playing with J Place. J has been on the New England blues scene for some time now and has worked with Blue Train on many occassions in the past and will now be working with us more consistently this Fall. He's a great singer and entertainer and known for his tremendous abilities on harmonica (there's a reason they call him "J Place the Harmonica Ace"). So if you come out to see us soon you'll probably see a new face in place of our recent vocalist.
We have also been lucky to work with a virtual who's who of New England blues singers on various occassions. If you come out and see us often there's a chance you may see one of these exciting guests with us as well. The following are the voices filling in most frequently:
Sweet Willie D. (click here for Willie's website)
J Place (click here for J's website)
Lisa Marie (click here for Lisa Marie's website)
John joins us from New Hampshire where he has been a veteran of the New England Blues scene now for years. John's experience always shows through whether we're grooving to a shuffle or funking it up. How about a little hip-hop with your Thrill is Gone? Then, give John a call. John has played with or in front of a ton of great people (in fact as I write this, he's opening for BB King with 2120). These days along with Blue Train, John can be heard with Charlie Sawyer's 2120 South Michigan Avenue. John has had other stints with Maine blues veteran Fran Calo and husband Paul, The Skip Philbrick Blues Band, Kid Pinky and his Restless Knights, and numerous others. And, as proof that his youth was not entirely mis-spent, in the early, pre-Beatle 60's John (with Charlie Sawyer of 2120 and Tom Wright of Kid Pinky) performed Ventures and Lee Dorsey covers at the legendary Barn in Georges Mills, NH, part of a rotation of bands that included a local crew featuring the very young singer and drummer Steve Tyler (then Tallarico). Fran Calo is quoted as saying of John, "he plays the greaziest flat-tire groove on the planet", undoubtedly true but believe me, that merely scratches the surface of what John can do behind the kit.
Guest Drummers Filling in for John sometimes, you may also see: