John Rocklin – The Country Blues

John David Rocklin was born in 1962 in New York City to abstract expressionist artist Raymond Rocklin and Carol Rocklin. The home he was born into was at 118 E 10th Street in Manhattan and was the birthplace of Stanford White. John’s parents were considered “pioneers” as the block at the time consisted of rooming houses and was in quite a bad state of crime and decay. 

John also partly grew up in Orwell, Vt and after the age of 8 in Furnace Woods outside of Peekskill in the Hudson Valley. After an extended visit to see the country by thumb and living a few years in Peekskill John moved to Northeastern Pennsylvania where he has spent his entire adult life. He resides with his wife, photographer Danielle Herzog Rocklin in Honesdale in Wayne County.

John’s photography career started as a result of becoming involved in all aspects of Blues Harmonica legend Little Sammy Davis’ career.  Starting as a student of Sammy’s guitar player Fred “Midnight Slim” Scribner in 1996, John quickly became immersed in everything blues and eventually trekked to Mississippi finding Sammy’s family he had not seen in 58 years, eventually re-uniting them.  Being around Sammy and booking shows and promoting his career gave John an opportunity to be around a plethora of other blues musicians. “At some point I just could not stand not documenting these important and beautiful people I was around” John has stated.  “The history needed to be preserved artistically”.   All this led to John introducing Sammy to Levon Helm at the Joyous Lake in Woodstock one night.  Sammy sat in and Levon fell in love with Sammy’s music and musical spirit, eventually making him the front man of his band when he lost his voice to cancer. 

John has had numerous showings of his photos since those beginnings and the galleries include, The Hudson River Museum, The Katonah Gallery, The Hanson Gallery, Narrowsburg Union Digital Gallery, The Moonshine, the Green Hill Gallery, The Howland Cultural Center and many more. 

John has spent the last 6 years playing guitar in original Blues based Funk & Rock -N- Roll band the Barn Cats www.thembarncats.com 

More of John’s photography can be viewed at, www.johnrocklinphotography.com


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