Interview of John Hahn by Monica Yasher

Posted on 4/07/2010 by Monica Yasher

John Hahn, born in Chicago, discovered the blues through British artists like the Yardbirds and the Stones. If not for that connection, he feels he wouldn’t be managing an artist such as Shemekia Copeland, nor writing songs recorded by Koko Taylor, B.B. King, Son Seals, or Ruth Brown.

His blues journey, started with being a vice-president creative director for two of the most prestigious advertising agencies in the world, BBDO and McCann-Erickson. While there, Hahn wrote commercials for products such as Alka-Seltzer and AT&T. At this position, his accomplishments were recognized by the International Film and TV Festival of New York and the Chicago Film Festival. It was here where he met and worked with blues artists such as Delbert McClinton, Art Neville, Lou Ann Barton, Levon Helm, and many others. And, it was here where the Copeland family relationship began to grow.

Hahn produced Johnny Copeland‘s record, Flyin’ High. He met Johnny’s daughter, an eight year old girl living in Harlem, named Shemekia. If you ask Shemekia today who she would thank for her career, John Hahn is at the top of her list. There must be others that agree with Shemekia, for in February 2009, Hahn was awarded, Keeping the Blues-Manager of the Year Award, by the foundation that he once served as Vice President on.

Hahn’s relationship with Shemekia goes beyond business and he feels she is a friend forever. Hahn has been there since the beginning of Shemekia’s career, managing her first CD effort. With the watchful eye of Hahn, Shemekia’s second CD, Wicked, was a Grammy nominated effort.

Hahn, an accomplished songwriter, has had his song, ‘Turn the Heat Up‘, nominated for the Blues Music Song of the Year in 1999. In 2006, ‘Who Stole My Radio‘, was nominated for a Blues Music Award. Despite the awards, Hahn says the greatest joy of being a songwriter is sitting back stage and hearing an audience sing his words.

By working with Shemekia, Hahn recognizes the importance of writing songs that convey a strong, contemporary woman. Together both artists respect the tradition of the blues. From this tradition, they are cautious not to tear down what the essence of the blues is, while still trying to build upon the genre to create a new, fresh sound to introduce to a new blues generation.

Hahn feels that capturing the essence of today’s world is challenging and fun, which allows him to grow as a songwriter. Hahn shares he could never have imagined being in a position of writing songs with people like Steve Cropper (pictured right with John) or Dr. John. He feels he is living a dream job hanging out backstage with people he used to watch as merely a fan.

Hahn is not a pro war advocate, but it came to his attention that the U.S. troops were not being supported by the entertainment industry. As co producer of the Bluzapalooza tour, he works with many blues organizations and businesses to bring U.S. military personnel the best of live blues entertainment. Hahn is thankful for his success and shared that this was a way to pay a little back. Instead, what he has found, is he has gotten back ten fold what he has given. The troops, who are often forgotten, have been so appreciative and thankful of his efforts and the blues artists.

Thank you, John Hahn, for your commitment to the blues. I can see why Shemekia Copeland speaks so well of you. You are definitely at the top of the list!

To read the Shemekia Copeland Interview, click here.

BTW-Look for the Yardbirds interview coming up by J. Blake!

Copyright © 2010 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.
Photographs provided by John Hahn. All Rights Reserved.  Thanks for sharing your life with us, John!

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

Internet Marketingdata recovery