The Reel Blues Fest logo
Site Navigator Layer 6 Layer 5 Layer 4 Layer 3 Layer 2 Layer 1
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007
Academy of Music
274 Main Street,
Northampton, MA
doors open at 7:30

This is a show you’re guaranteed to remember.

Ticket prices are $25.00 for adults,
$35.00 VIP Seating & meet & greet,
$17.50 for students and Club NiFF holders.

Tickets available at the Academy of Music Box Office,
Ticketweb, and at the door.
Boxoffice: 413-582-1832
or ticketweb link: Link out of date


     His father, also named John Sebastian, was a noted classical harmonica player and his mother was a radio script writer. John Benton Sebastian grew up in Greenwich Village in New York City in the late '50s and early '60s surrounded by music and musicians, including Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie and hearing such players as Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt in his own neighborhood. By the age of 16, he was stepping onto the stages of coffeehouses and folk clubs, and by the age of 18 he was appearing as a sideman on recordings.
    One of his first recording gigs was playing harmonica for Fred Neil on his Bleecker & MacDougal album in 1965 and playing bass on Bob Dylan's first electric album, Bringing It All Back Home.
     In 1964, he joined the Even Dozen Jug Band, with luminaries Dave Grisman, Maria Muldaur, Stefan Grossman and others. He was also briefly in the Mugwumps, along with future Lovin' Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky and future members of the Mamas and the Papas Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty. Sebastian and Yanovsky joined with Steve Boone and popular drummer-vocalist Joseph Campbell Butler to form the Lovin' Spoonful, named after a Mississippi John Hurt song.
     The Lovin' Spoonful became part of the American response to the British Invasion. Folk rock in nature the Lovin' Spoonful had a string of hits in 1965-1967 that included the chart-toppers "Daydream," "Summer in the City," "Jug Band Music," "Do You Believe in Magic", "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice," "Nashville Cats," "Rain on the Roof," "You're a Big Boy Now,""Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind," "Six O'Clock," "Darling, Be Home Soon.""Six O'Clock," and "Younger Girl."
     After leaving the Lovin' Spoonful in 1968, Sebastian was popular among the rock festival circuits. He had a memorable, albeit unscheduled appearance at Woodstock, appearing after Country Joe McDonald's set, playing songs such as "I Had A Dream," "Rainbows All Over You Blues" and "Younger Generation" which he dedicated to a newborn baby at the festival. Sebastian also returned for Woodstock '94, playing harmonica for Crosby, Stills and Nash. Sebastian released his eponymous LP John B. Sebastian in 1970, which featured him accompanied by various L.A. musicians which included favorites like "She's a Lady" and "Red Eye Express."
     In 1976, Sebastian had a number one single with the theme song to the Welcome Back, Kotter television show, which found new life decades later when a sample from it became the hook for rapper Mase's 2004 hit "Welcome Back."
      Several modern musicians cite him as a large influence, including renowned blues harmonica player, Mike Tetrault. As a songwriter, Sebastian's songs have been covered by Elvis Costello ("The Room Nobody Lives In"), Dolly Parton, Del McCoury, Helen Reddy, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin, Slade, Joe Cocker and Jimmy Buffett ("The Stories We Can Tell").
     And as an instrumentalist, primarily playing harmonica, he has accompanied a wide range of artists including Judy Collins, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Doors, Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, Art Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot, Laura Nyro, Graham Parker, Dolly Parton, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Prine, and Bonnie Raitt. Sebastian played harmonica with The Doors on the song "Roadhouse Blues" under another name to avoid problems with his contract, which was featured on Morrison Hotel album, also played on "Little Red Rooster" on the live album Alive, She Cried and on seven songs on Live In Detroit. He is also credited with playing harmonica on Crosby Stills Nash & Young's "Déjà Vu" from the album of the same name.
      Recently, he has played with John Sebastian and the J-Band, a jug band including Fritz Richmond from the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Yank Rachell, an original jug-band leader, and Geoff Muldaur. Sebastian and the J Band appear in the documentary about the roots and influence of jug band music, Chasin' Gus' Ghost, which screened in August 2007 at the San Francisco Jug Band Festival and made its film festival debut in October 2007 at the Woodstock Film Festival. In the film, Sebastian, known widely as a crowd-pleasing storyteller, humorously explains, with musical accompaniment, how his hit song "Younger Girl" was inspired by Gus Cannon's "Prison Wall Blues."
     Of Sebastian and Grisman, their musical history dates back to college days at New York University, circa 1963. They made their first recording together as members of the Even Dozen Jug Band. Finally, after a 40+ year hiatus, their paths crossed again at a benefit concert in Mill Valley, California. After this mutually enjoyable evening of spontaneous music, it became obvious they would continue collaborating and the result is their new 2007 album, "Satisfied."
     In the folk tradition, like Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Roger McGuinn, and others, Sebastian continues to advance in his own musical art while playing and keeping alive the traditional American forms. From folk to jug band to blues to his own inimitable American pop, solo or with the Lovin’ Spoonful, John Sebastian is an American treasure.

John's Web Site



     Ernie and the Automatics is a blues band based in Boston, Massachusetts. The band is notable for having two former members of the band Boston, Barry Goudreau on guitar and Sib Hashian on drums. Also on guitar is Ernie Boch, Jr., CEO and president of Boch Enterprises, a $1 billion business comprised primarily of automobile dealerships in Norwood, Massachusetts. Ernie is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a fan of traditional jazz (bebop) and modern rock. Tim Archibald plays bass for Ernie and the Automatics. Tim starred with New Man and has recorded and performed with Peter Wolf, RTZ, Chris Emerson, Áine Minogue, and others. Brian Maes started as a member of Orion The Hunter, where he met Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau. All three of them went on to form RTZ.
     The band first played at the "Reel Blues Fest" on August 2, 2006 at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis. They have since opened form many national acts including Johnny A., Los Lobos, and B.B. King.

Ernie & The Automatics is Tim Archibald, Bass – Sib Hashian, Drums – Ernie Boch Jr., Guitars – Barry Goudreau, Guitars – Brian Maes, Keyboard.

Ernie & The Automatics' Web Site


more photos coming
copyright 2007 The Reel Blues Fest, Inc.
all rights reserved

Barry M. Miller photographer's work can be found at: &






Valley Advocate ad

The Reel Blues Fest, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping musicians receive access to medical care and to supporting the work of independent filmmakers. Proceeds from events will be distributed to eligible 501 (C) (3) organizations pursuant to the guidelines established by The Reel Blues Fest, Inc.

For more information call 508-495-FILM
web design