Joe Krown

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Joe Krown
Joe Krown playing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, 2008
Background information
Genres Rhythm and Blues, blues, funk
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Organ, piano
Years active 1980s–present
Labels STR Digital, ShortStack
Associated acts Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Luther Johnson
Walter "Wolfman" Washington

Joe Krown is an American keyboardist, based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is currently touring all over the U.S. and the world as the organ/piano player for the multi award winning, chart topping Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. He is a New Orleans styled piano and Hammond B-3 player. He is a Hammond endorsed artist and is part of the Hammond artist family. Joe's played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as a feature artist every year since 2001 and the French Quarter Festival every year since 1998. He has been nominated twice and won a 2000 New Orleans Big Easy Award in the Blues category. His trio with Johnny Sansone & John Fohl won a 2004 New Orleans Big Easy Award in the Blues category. His Hammond organ trio featuring legendary Louisiana guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington won a 2009 New Orleans Big Easy Award in the Blues Category and a 2009 Offbeat Award for Best R&B/Funk Album. In April 2014, he was honored with a Piano Legacy Award, presented by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and for being a "Master of Piano".[1]


Early years[edit]

Krown was raised in Westbury, Long Island, New York.[citation needed] He started playing piano in his childhood. While attending the State University of New York at Buffalo, he discovered the Hammond organ, and soon left the University to pursue career as a professional musician.[2]

In the 1980s, Krown relocated to Boston, formed his own band with his then wife and played around New York and New England. During this time he joined Chuck Berry's back up band featuring legendary Nashville producer Tom Hambridge on drums and toured with him on the East Coast.[2]. They also backed up great 1950s doo-wop acts like the Platters, Marvellettes and the Drifters.

Krown joined ex-Muddy Waters guitarist Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson's band in the late 1980s. He toured nationally and internationally and recorded two albums with Johnson during his tenure with his band.

With Clarence Gatemouth Brown[edit]

In 1991, Krown moved to New Orleans to join Gatemouth's band, Gate's Express. From then on he held the keyboard chair of the band until Gatemouth's death in 2005. Krown recorded four albums with him, and toured across U.S. and overseas.[1] In 1995, Gatemouth was chosen as an opening act for Eric Clapton's world tour, and Krown toured with him as a member of the band.[1]

Solo career[edit]

In 1998 he debuted as a solo artist. He released Just the Piano...Just the Blues on STR Digital Records. It was a piano solo album in strictly traditional blues and boogie woogie style.

Joe's band, the Joe Krown Organ Combo (New Orleans, LA) was formed in 1999. The Joe Krown Organ Combo performs every week at one of the many New Orleans nightclubs, including the Maple Leaf Bar, House of Blues, Tipitina's, Le Bon Temps Roule and dba. The "Combo" makes regular appearances at the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The band made its European debut in November 2001 at the Ingolstadt Jazztage in Ingolstadt Germany. The Joe Krown Organ Combo has 4 CD releases. Down & Dirty (1999), Buckle Up (2000) and Funkyard (2002) were all released on the New Orleans label STRdigital. The Joe Krown Organ Combo’s newest release, Livin Large was released in February 2005 and is Joe's first self-produced, independently released CD.[1]

Apart from the Organ Combo, Krown started to play with guitarist John Fohl and harmonica/accordion player Johnny Sansone in 2000. They played traditional blues with Krown on piano, and Fohl and Sansone sharing the vocal duties. This trio Sansone, Krown & Fohl released a self-titled album from Sansone's label ShortStack Records in 2004.[1]

Joe has two solo piano CDs on the New Orleans label STRdigital. Just the Piano...Just the Blues (1998) and New Orleans Piano Rolls (2003). Both are solo piano performance featuring original New Orleans piano/boogie-woogie style compositions and classic New Orleans piano songs. His current solo piano CD, Exposed is a follow to the STRdigital CDs. He's been a headline performer at WWOZ's Piano Night during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival every year since 1997. Joe plays regular solo piano performances in New Orleans at Ralph's on the Park, Le Bon Temps and the Jazz Playhouse in the Sonesta Hotel on Bourbbon St. In October 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and the failures of the federal levee systems destroyed Joe's home city of New Orleans, he returned home and started playing around New Orleans with his piano trio, the Joe Krown Trio. In March of 2007, Krown released his 8th CD Old Friends (2007) featuring the trio.[1]

In the spring of 2007, Joe started playing every Sunday night at the Maple Leaf Bar (New Orleans, LA) with Walter Wolfman Washington (guitar & vocals) and Russell Batiste (drums). It features Joe playing Hammond B-3 organ where Joe plays all the bass parts on the organ. The Sunday nights were so successful that the trio released a live CD, Live at the Maple Leaf (Oct. 2008). Live at the Maple was produced by Joe and will be the first live CD in Joe’s catalogue. Live at the Maple won a 2009 Offbeat Award for Best R&B/Funk CD. The trio also won a 2009 Big Easy Award in the "Best Rhythm & Blues Band" category. In the fall of 2010, the Trio released Triple Threat (JK1004), the follow up to Live at the Maple Leaf and their first studio CD. The trio released it's 3rd CD Soul Understanding (JK1006) for Jazz Fest 2013. The Trio was invited to be part of 15 city U.S. tour called "New Orleans Nights" (November 2010). The band was a feature along with Nicholas Payton and Allen Toussaint. In the fall of 2017 Russell Batiste left the Trio and Wayne Maureau took over the drum chair.[1]

After the untimely passing of the legendary great Allen Toussaint in November 2015, Joe was selected to fill the maestro's chair by playing piano with Toussaint's band backing up greats like Bonnie Rait, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Cyril Neville and more at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest, Hollwood Bowl, Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center and more.[1]

In May 2017 in addition to being a headline performer for the 29th annual WWOZ Piano Night at the New Orleans House of Blues during the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Joe was selected to be the producer for the event. As producer, Joe put together a great show featuring 10 of the best local New Orleans piano players. The 2017 WWOZ Piano Night was so successful that Joe was named the permanent producer of the WWOZ Piano Night. The 2018 WWOZ Piano Night was even more successful with a sell-out show.[1]

Joe made his acting debut in the HBO series Treme. He did a scene in Season 1, episode 4; "At the Foot of Canal Street" (air date 5/2/10) and Season 3, episode 5; "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say" (air date 10/21/12). He also has music from some of his CDs featured on the show. Moore Women Shuffle (Piano Rolls) was featured in "Meet De Boys on the Battlefront" (air date 4/18/10) and All That and Then Some (Exposed) was in "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say" (air date 10/21/12). Joe can also be seen in several episodes of the TNT series Memphis Beat and the Deniro/Stallone movie Grudge Match (2013).[1]

With Kenny Wayne Shepherd[edit]

In June 2017 Joe joined the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band as the full time piano/organ player. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has been nominated five times for a Grammy Award, has received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards and two Orville H. Gibson Awards. The band has had 3 platinum (1 million sold) selling CDs and 1 gold (500,000 sold) selling CD. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is a headline act on the modern blues scene, has made appearances on late night TV and been an opening act for major acts like Van Halen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd.[1]


Leader albums[edit]

  • 1997: Just The Piano Just The Blues (STR Digital) solo piano
  • 1999: Down & Dirty (STR Digital) Organ Combo
  • 2000: Buckle Up (STR Digital)
  • 2002: Funk Yard (STR Digital) Organ Combo
  • 2003: New Orleans Piano Rolls (STR Digital) solo piano
  • 2004: Sansone, Krown & Fohl (ShortStack)
  • 2005: Livin' Large (Joe Krown) Organ Combo
  • 2007: Old Friends (Independent) Joe Krown Trio
  • 2008: Live at the Maple Leaf (Independent) with Wolfman Washington & Russell Batiste Jr.
  • 2010: Triple Threat (Independent) with Wolfman Washington & Russell Batiste Jr.
  • 2012: Exposed (Independent) solo piano
  • 2013: Soul Understanding (Independent) with Wolfman Washington & Russell Batiste Jr.

Works with Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson[edit]

  • 1990: I Want to Groove with You (Bullseye Blues)
  • 1992: It's Good to Me (Bullseye Blues)[3]

Works with Gatemouth Brown[edit]

  • 1994: The Man (Verve/Gitanes)
  • 1997: Gate Swings (Verve/Gitanes)
  • 1999: American Music, Texas Style (Verve/Blues Thumb)
  • 2001: Back to Bogalusa (Verve/Blues Thumb)
  • 2003: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown" in Concert (in-akustik - DVD)
  • 2006: Carlos Santana Presents Blues at Montreux 2004 (RED Distribution - DVD)[4]

Other works[edit]

  • 1998: Bobby Charles / Secret of the Heart (Stony Plain)
  • 2000: Kid Ramos / West Coast House Party (Evidence Music)
  • 2003: Mathilda Jones / There's Something Inside Me and It's Called the Blues (Southland)
  • 2003: Patchwork: A Tribute to James Booker (STR Digital Records)
  • 2004: Amanda Shaw / I'm Not A Bubble Gum Pop Princess (Little Fiddle Records)
  • 2004: Bobby Charles / Last Train to Memphis (Rice 'n' Gravy)
  • 2005: Juice / Hey Buddy (DJR)
  • 2008: Bobby Charles / Homemade Songs (Rice 'n' Gravy)[5]
  • 2011: Zigaboo Modeliste / New Life (JZM Records)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Chris Ryan. "Joe Krown - Bio". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Chris Ryan. "Joe Krown -". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson discography on Allmusic
  4. ^ Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown discography on Allmusic
  5. ^ Credits on respective CDs

External links[edit]