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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Swing Blues - The Moeller Brothers

Johnny Moeller (born Jon Kelly Moeller, 31 October 1970, Fort Worth, Texas) is an American blues guitarist currently with The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

He had early exposure to music in the home as his father played a little boogie-woogie piano and was constantly listening to music. He started playing guitar in his early teen years and soon discovered Slim Harpo and Jimmy Reed in his father's record collection. Additionally, Moeller remembers hearings lots of both ZZ Top and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Over the years Moeller's main influences have been from Freddie King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Earl King and Grant Green. Lesser, but meaningful influences come from a wide variety of other blues, soul and funk artists.

He began playing in Dallas and Fort Worth blues clubs whilst still in high school. During the summers Moeller and his year and a half younger brother Jay Moeller, who was already playing drums (and is now the drummer with The Fabulous Thunderbirds), would travel from their home in Denton down to Austin to "hang out" with their father. The summer they were 16 and 15 their father convinced Clifford Antone of the Austin blues club Antone's to let his sons periodically sit in with the evening's performers. The first night Moeller appeared on Antone's stage was with Little Charlie & The Nightcats. It was an event that Moeller would never forget and from that night on Antone was one of Moeller's biggest supporters.

After Moeller finished high school in Denton he moved to Austin and into the music scene that is 6th Street (Austin). He worked many of the city's well known venues and often soaked in the music of the constant stream of blues artists which Antone brought. Amongst those that played Antone's were Earl King, Albert Collins, and James Cotton.

Years later the Austin Chronicle quoted Antone (who also helped launch Stevie Ray Vaughan) as saying: "Johnny, nobody can burn like that kid. He's got the heart like Stevie had, about the only one I've seen with that kind of heart. Johnny's so quiet and bashful, just a sweet kid and sometimes those kids get overlooked."

By the time Moeller had joined The Fabulous Thunderbirds in mid 2007 he had recorded, played regularly with, or toured North America, Europe and Scandinavia with Darrell Nulisch, Lou Ann Barton, Mike Barfield, Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Primich, and Guy Forsyth.
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