John Koerner

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For the Canadian artist, see John Koerner (artist).
John Koerner
Birth name John Koerner
Also known as "Spider" John Koerner
Born (1938-08-31) August 31, 1938 (age 76)
Rochester, New York, United States
Origin St. Paul, Minnesota
Genres Blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active 1963–present
Labels Elektra
Red House
TimKerr Records
Associated acts Koerner, Ray & Glover, Tony "Little Sun" Glover, Dave "Snaker" Ray, Willie Murphy
Website Official web site

"Spider" John Koerner (born August 31, 1938, Rochester, New York, United States) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is best known as a guitarist and vocalist for the blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover, which included Dave Ray and Tony Glover. He has also made albums as a solo performer and with collaborator Willie Murphy.


Koerner grew up in Rochester, New York, and after a brief military service attended the University of Minnesota. He intended to major in engineering, but soon became involved in the local music scene where he met Dave Ray and Tony Glover. They formed a loose-knit trio, releasing albums under the name Koerner, Ray & Glover. The group gained notoriety with Blues, Rags and Hollers originally released by Audiophile in 1963 and then re-released by Elektra Records.[1][2]

Koerner was an early influence on Bob Dylan and is mentioned in his autobiography Chronicles. Of that time period, Koerner later said, "We were all goofy, you know. We were thinkers and drinkers and artists and players, and Dylan was one of us. He was another guy."[3]

In 1965, Koerner recorded his first solo album, Spider Blues, for Elektra and appeared at the Newport Folk Festival accompanied by Glover. He continued playing on the folk circuit and joined with Willie Murphy to record Running, Jumping, Standing Still in 1969.[4] The duo eventually split up and Koerner pursued an unsuccessful career in film-making, retiring from music and moving to Copenhagen, Denmark.[5] He later returned to music in the traditional folk music genre and continued to perform and release new albums from time to time.[1] He now lives in Minneapolis and has two sons and a daughter.

On Sunday March 11, 2012, Koerner reported, in an interview with WLRN-FM's Michael Stock, that he will soon be returning to the Newport Folk Festival.



  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Allmusic biography of John Koerner". Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ Harrison, Mark (September 2009). "Spider John Koerner at The Green Note Cafe". Blues in London. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ Sokol, Brett (January 28, 2000). "Ensnared in Spider's Blues". Miami NewTimes. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ Allmusic, Release particulars of Running, Jumping, Standing Still. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  5. ^ Blues, Rags and Hollers: The Koerner, Ray & Glover Story. 1995. Latch Lake (Video documentary)

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