John Koerner

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John Koerner
Birth name John Koerner
Also known as "Spider" John Koerner
Born (1938-08-31) August 31, 1938 (age 79)
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
Tim/Kerr 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, in Rochester, New York, United States) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is best known as a guitarist and vocalist in the blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover, with Dave Ray and Tony Glover. He has also made albums as a solo performer and with 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 Minneapolis 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 notice with their first album, Blues, Rags and Hollers, originally released by Audiophile in 1963 and re-released by Elektra Records later that year.[1][2]

Koerner was an early influence on Bob Dylan, who mentioned Koerner in his autobiography, Chronicles. Speaking of the early 1960s, 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 filmmaking, retiring from music and moving to Copenhagen, Denmark.[5] He later returned to music in the traditional folk 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.



  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "'Spider' John Koerner: Biography". 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 (video documentary). 1995. Latch Lake.

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