John Shively started playing bass at an early age. He was hooked when he first heard the Beatles and then saw them on the Ed Sullivan show. The first bass he ever owned? Of course it was a Hofner Beatle Bass. It was an imitation but… it was a Beatle bass! That was about 40 basses ago.
He has played in many bands over the years but his favorites were “The Shakes”, “Sex Rodeo”, “PM and the New Breed” and “20 Year Itch”.
He has played every style from Country to Punk, Rock and Roll, Funk and Soul. He enjoys everything from “Jaco” tearing it up, to Duck Dunn deep in the pocket with Booker T and the MG’s. Some of the bands that had an influence on John were The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, all of the Stax, Mowtown artists anchored by Jamerson, Babbit and Dunn. He was also influenced by Sly and the Family Stone….and the Godfather….James Brown. He grew up in a house full of country music so he can’t forget the great Hank Williams. Those are just a few that have had an influence on John’s playing style.
John also writes his own music and lyrics as well as collaborating with other musicians.
What are his musical goals? “To play good music with good musicians!”
He got involved with The Genre Project through Bob Sworaski. He has known Bob for a long time and they have played in 2 bands together: Sex Rodeo and 20 Year Itch. Bob has spent years off and on working on this project and he was excited to be invited on board. “They are really good songs and Bob has a lot of great musician friends” that he really enjoys sharing tracks with. He had a great time on this project and found it very easy to work with Bob. He feels that all of the tracks came out “great” and says that everyone will enjoy this CD as much as he enjoyed playing on it.
John gets the most satisfaction as a bass player listening to the rhythm section. If it’s doing its job, it can stand on its own. When everything else is added or subtracted, and the groove is still strong, he knows he has done his job!
You can email John at