Blue Yodel No. 9 is a acoustic string band quartet from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Taking their name from the classic Jimmie Roger’s song. Blue Yodel No. 9, draws inspiration from the music of bluegrass, country, blues and swing performers from Hank Williams to the Delmore Brothers to Jimmy Reed to Bob Wills and the occasional take on more modern songs.
Mixing bluesy, up-tempo numbers with a large blend of original songs, the band features an eclectic set-list, tight harmony and swinging instrumentation. The Blue Yodelers are: John Whitehead on vocals, guitar, mandolin and banjo; Ross Johnson on vocals, six string and slide guitars and harmonica; John Haer on vocals and upright bass.
Songwriter, guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals
I began playing at fourteen - my brother Paul showed me three chords on his Harmony guitar. In college and beyond, I jammed in basement bands but mostly rocked the living room. About15 years ago, I stumbled into an Old-Time fiddle and banjo jam. Hanging with top-notch bluegrass/old-time players kicked my own playing up a notch. I picked up the mandolin, learned a lot of songs and eventually started writing my own.
Bass and vocals
Raised on the Mobjack Bay in Virginia, I had my first taste of "Americana" music at a young age. Since then it's been everything from bluegrass to rockabilly, blues to swing, and anything else that can handle a 'dog-house' bass. I am also the tallest member of the group, which is good since I usually stand behind the other band members! (He's a mean slap bass player too and has a cool 5 string stand-up bass by the way).
Songwriter, guitars, harmonica and vocals
My father was part of the 60's "folk scare" and I learned a lot of bluegrass and folk music through osmosis from his guitar and banjo playing and singing. Gravitating toward blues and popular rock music in my teens, I now blend it all together stylistically on guitar, slide guitar and especially the harmonica. I am the short guy in the band, so I wear hats to make me a few inches taller!