Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Most blues guitarists haven’t played in a handful of metal bands and aren't influenced by jazz icons like Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery. Which, as much as anything, explains why South Florida based JP Soars doesn’t sound like any other area guitar slinger. The guitarist and vocalist fronts a self titled blues band and plays with both former Elvin Bishop saxophonist/vocalist Terry Hanck as well as “the Gypsy Blue Acoustic Revue”, which updates the classic 1930s and 1940s material of Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli.
JP was born in California and raised in Arkansas. He moved to South Florida in 1985. "I love Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan… but I don't try to play like them. I listen to the guys they listened to, like Albert King, Johnny Guitar Watson, T-bone Walker, Muddy Waters and Guitar Slim. I'm also very into Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery as well as horn players like Louie Jordan".
A trip to Memphis Tennessee to meet Blues legend Jessie Mae Hemphill was a life altering moment. The simple beauty of the hypnotic country blues, and a chance meeting with Cigar box guitar pioneer John Lowe opened another door of musical majesty to a very receptive JP.
Another trip to Memphis as a side man with The David Shelley and Bluestone for the International Blues Challenge in 2007, gave JP a glimpse of the finals of the Competition, as the Dave Shelley Band made it to the top ten. It wasn’t long after that JP formed the Red Hots and would be on that very stage again in 2009.
JP and the Red Hots made their second trip the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee after winning the local South Florida Blues Society competition 2 years in a row. In 2009 at the IBC Challenge, the band proved that their popularity was not just in Florida when they took home top honors. JP was also awarded the Albert King Blues Guitar award, confirming the fact that this young kid from Arkansas who may not have started out as a blues player, has surely found his place in the blues world.
Soars has just released his own cd entitled “Back Of My Mind”. He is a versatile guitarist who is constantly evolving and reaching for new heights.