Papa John Mole was born June 27 1954 and was raised in Brooklyn New York. He started playing drums at the age of six, and at age twelve, made his first recording on an ABC radio show for renowned New York deejay, Cousin Brucie Morrow’s, Battle of the Bands program. When he was just thirteen, Mole was playing gigs in night clubs all over the New York area.

He became interested in blues music in his high school years, when a guitar player friend turned him on to Albert King, Mike Bloomfield and James Cotton. Other early teenage influences were Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin and BB King.

Mole took a moment at the opening of the event to remember, especially, the encouragement and inspiration given him by the late Bill Perry, with whom he had played for many years. In addition to Perry, throughout his career, Mole has played and recorded with an array of noted artists, including Murali Coryell, John Hicks, Ralph Lalama, Slam Allen, Joe Lavono, Otis Rush, Jimmy Vivino, Danny Draher, Lee Delray, Chris Carter, Chrissie O'Dell, Dean Scala, Tommy Hunter, Little Sammy Davis, Poppa Chubby, Michael Hill, Pat O’Shea, Roxy Perry, Uptown Horns, Bobby Kyle, Mike Quick, Inner Urge, Sam Morrison, Sly Geralds, Lee Delray, Rich Cohen and Ben Blake, among others.

John Mole was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on September 25, 2011 as “Great Blues Artist from New York”.

© September 2011
Photos: Susan O'Kane