OCCAPELLA! FHQ Records
"Having fun with the songs of Allen Toussaint," Jon Cleary has chosen a mix of popular and less familiar pieces penned by legendary songwriter Allen Toussaint to re-imagine, like the lesser-known title track as well as better known tunes like "Southern Nights," "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky," and "Fortune Teller," most recently made popular by Robert Plant/Alison Krauss.
In the hallowed ranks of New Orleans "piano professors," Jon Cleary is on the tenure track. Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Jon Cleary is a triple threat combining soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and a knack for composing infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. He balances performing - solo on piano, with his new trio The Philthy Phew and noted funk band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen - alongside a longstanding career as a notorious hired gun with the likes of John Scofield and Eric Clapton. His performing and recording credits also include work with B.B. King, D'Angelo, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, India Arie, Ryan Adams, and former band leader Bonnie Raitt who has covered Cleary originals ("Fool's Game," "Monkey Business," "Unnecessarily Mercenary," and "Love on One Condition").
"Cleary plays piano as if he's revving up an engine and sings as if a line drawing of his behatted self were next to "soul" in Webster's." - The Washington Post
"Cleary can be an absolute monster on his own, but Cleary's full combo R&B is as broad, deep and roiling as the Mississippi river, the combined swinging product of local keyboard tradition, Cleary's vocal-songwriting flair for moody Seventies soul and the spunky-Meters roll of his Gentlemen." - Rolling Stone
★2013 OffBeat Best of the Beat Award Nominee for Best Piano/Keyboardist - an impressive fifth year in a row.
★2013 DownBeat Critics Poll - Jon Cleary's Occapella ranked among the Best Blues Albums of the Year
★2012 OffBeat Magazine Best of the Beat Award Nominee for Best Piano/Keyboardist. Band members James Singleton and Matt Perrine were also nominated for Best Bass Player and Best Tuba / Sousaphonist respectively.
★2012 Blues Music Award Nominee - Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year (3rd nomination in this category)
★2011 OffBeat Best of the Beat Award Nominee for Best Piano/Keyboardist
★2011 Named among the Best Keyboards in Blues Matters (UK) International Writer's Poll
★Featured in Season 2, Episode 20 of HBO's Treme, performing "Frenchman Street Blues" and Season 1, Episode 9, performing "When You Get Back"
★Touring member of Bonnie Raitt's band since 1999 and appeared on the albums Silver Lining and Souls Alike. On these recordings, Raitt covered the Cleary originals, "Fool's Game," "Monkey Business," "Unnecessarily Mercenary," and "Love on One Condition."
★Toured with John Scofield and featured on vocals and keyboards on the recently released, Piety Street by John Scofield & The Piety Street Band.
★Recorded with artists such as Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Eric Clapton, D'Angelo, India Arie and Ryan Adams, among many others