As a teenager with absolutely no musical ability (seriously, the only thing I play is my ipod), I’ll be the first to say that young performers 07-07-10-lakota.gifare pretty cool. And I don’t mean school band/orchestra performers (though they deserve their due) I mean kids out there doing their own music and with no grades involved — they do it for the love of music. There are plenty of teens like this out there, but very few are fortunate enough to be able to really pursue their dream, so having both the love and the opportunity is amazing.

Lakota John is one such lucky kid. He started performing at a mere eight years old on the harmonica, his mother Tonia Locklear explained. Then when he was 10 he played the acoustic bottleneck slide. He is now 13 and plays the blues — and is pretty darn successful at it too.

“I just listened to my dad’s music growing up, and I just started playing at places like at church — and I just like the blues.” Lakota John explained.

The teenage years are all about learning. Learning how to deal with society, your place within, and how to be a grown up, but fun should never be far behind because until you turn like 30, depending on the person, you’re still a kid whether the law agrees or not. In what I consider to be the true teenage spirit Lakota John simply said, “I just like getting up and playing the blues on stage, and I like entertaining the crowd.”

Well Bravo! I say. Music played for the sake of music is the best of all!

Lakota John is pretty well known, and to some is considered a blues prodigy, but he owes part of his success to Claudia Schwartz who often invites him to play with her band Blues Enigma. Some credit is also due to Professor Mario Paparozzi who got him his first large show in Wilmington and taught him his first three chords. Also George Johnson who has been very supportive in welcoming him into the musical community, and introducing him to Schwartz and other artists, should be acknowledged and all should be given credit where credit is due.

When asked what his favorite part of performing was Lakota John again answered simply and truthfully, “Just getting gigs and stuff.”

Lakota John cites several different artists for inspiration such as Jimmy Hendrix, Duane Allman and several other notable musicians, but he doesn’t want to BE a musician. He wants to be an architect who performs music on the side.

Being thirteen and a performer is impressive, and doing it just for the love of music is even more so, but having that chance to share it with other people who appreciate your work is extraordinary!

(PHOTO) Local teen Lakota John loves to jam and play the blues.

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