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Twelve Tone Music bio picture

John Schirmer - Artist and Tour Management, Producer, Mixer

“You don’t grow up in the rich musical melting pot that is New Jersey, without soaking up some of it’s musical heritage.”

2011 Grammy nominated Producer, Engineer and Mixer, John Schirmer grew out of the very seed planted by the Garden States musical royalty. Artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Les Paul, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, George Clinton and William “Count” Basie left behind an indelible imprint within the soil that makes up the Garden State. An Imprint that would inspire for decades, young musicians to break free of their meager beginnings and search for something better, something more musical.

For the last seventeen years John Schirmer has strived to obtain nothing less than something better, something more musical. Cumulating his expectations into a personal journey that has afforded John the opportunity to tour the world with major label and independent artists.

As a Producer, FOH and Studio Mixer, Tracking Engineer, Production and Tour Manager, John has had the opportunity to develop an insiders perspective of the people and places that make up the fabric of the entertainment industry. This is a privilege that John does not take lightly. John believes that his experiences with both live and studio artists , and his interactions with the artists label and management on the road and behind the glass, allow him to meld both the live and studio enviroments into one unique perspective that brings out the best in his artists. Both on the road and in the studio John uses his insight, experience and contacts to facilitate an interaction between artists and environment, that is both positive and creative, and always capable of delivering the best possible performances.

“If the vibe and the energy are just right, the feel of the music will be undeniable.”

Over the last six years, John has worked almost exclusively with three time Grammy winning Songwriter and Artist Keb Mo. John and Keb Mo have established a professional and personal relationship like none other within the music industry.

 “John Schirmer is my right hand man, he is the Holland to my Dozier.” -Keb Mo

John has taken on multiple roles within the Keb Mo organization, roles that have become mutually beneficial to Keb Mo and to the artists outside of the Keb Mo organization that John has had the privilege to work with. For the last six years with Keb Mo, John has filled the role of Tracking Engineer and Mixer (Live & Mo, The Reflection, The Reflection Acoustic EP, The Christmas EP), FOH Engineer, Tour Manager and Production Manager for every tour  Keb Mo has done since 2006’s ‘Suitcase” tour. John designed and equipped Keb Mo’s Nashville based, 2000 square foot Stu Stu Studio, where Keb Mo and John work tirelessly producing, engineering and mixing artists records for Keb Mo’s label Yolabelle International, as well as scores for the multitude of television shows that Keb Mo composes for. (Mike and Molly; CBS, Memphis Beat; TNT and Are you There God it’s Me Vodka; Comedy Central)

Outside of his relationship with Keb Mo, John, through the years has had the esteemed privilege to work with some of the most talented artists in the entertainment industry. Just some of the Artists, John has been able to call clients, colleagues and most importantly friends include:

Keb Mo, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Angelique Kidjo, The Black Eyed Peas, Vince Gill, Lee Roy Parnell, Gary Nicholson, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, Marcus Miller, Coco Montoya, Melissa Manchester, Playing for Change, Drag Pipe, Monster Magnet, Ween, Reach 454, Nicole Atkins, The Roots, Thelonious Monk Jr., Kirk franklin, Rebecca St. James and India. Arie.

Just as my predecessors from the great Garden State of New Jersey, I live for the moment the lights go down and the bass rolls across the floor. These are the moments that define me, the moments that I anxiously await waking to each and everyday. My life is based around watching V.U. meters and riding faders. Music is my life and it defines me.”

Category Archives: On the Road

Here you can find posts about my life on the road with Keb’ Mo’.

Finished Solo Acoustic Tour, Now for the Record!

Keb’ Mo’ wrapped up his solo acoustic tour at the end of March. We did just over three weeks of touring between the months of January and March with special guest Susan Werner. It was a very successful tour and had some really great highlights. One particular highlight was our show at the Ryman Theatre in Nashville, TN. where Keb’ performed to a very enthusiastic sold out audience. This show was extra special to Keb’ and myself as the Ryman will be our new home venue, and for a new home, Nashville welcomed us with open arms.

Back in LA now and we are continuing work on Keb’s upcoming summer release. We should begin mixing this record soon. Looking forward to it.

38 Shows in 49 Days as Keb’ Mo’ Covers Over 5000 Miles of U.S. Landscape.

imagesAfter 2 months of straight touring and 38 shows, I finally touch down in my home of Santa Clarita, Ca just in time for Thanksgiving with the family.

The Keb’ Mo’ band and crew really put themselves out there for this tour in support of Keb’s new record Live and Mo’. The tour started in New Hampshire on October 15th and ended in Portland, Or on November 24th. Keb’, the band and crew alike, brought a new level of performance to the Keb’ Mo’ organization and to Keb’s fans. Every aspect of this tour was a major success and yet again I was happy to be a part of it.

A big heart felt thanks goes out to my crew for helping make this one of the most successful tours of years past for Keb’ Mo’ and his fans.

And once again I tracked the whole tour to Pro Tools HD, so keep your ears and eyes open for another Keb’ Mo’ live release this spring.

Keb’ Mo’ Keeps on Truckin’


images-1So we have reached day 7 of our 11 day run through the Mid-West. So far this week we have performed to four sold out venues in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming. We have been blazing a trail of blues and funk and we are moving right along into Grand Rapids, Michigan and Lisle, IL for our last two shows of July on Thursday and Friday.

Yesterday we had a great day off in The Grand Tetons National Park, where our guitar tech, tour manager and myself went for a 20 mile mountain biking excursion. It was a much needed break from our hectic schedule and a lot of fun.

Related places:
  1. A
    Bayfield, WI
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  2. B
    Apple Valley, MN
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  3. C
    Sioux Falls, SD
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  4. D
  5. E
    Grand Rapids, MI
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  6. F
  7. G
    Grand Teton National Park
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“The Domino Effect” NOLA…..5/30/09

skipbolen_dominoeffect_littlerichard_mg_3722_72The Domino Effect was a star-studded tribute concert celebrating the life and influence of rock and roll legend Fats Domino. Musical legends from far and wide gathered in New Orleans for one historic night to pay tribute to Fats and his feats throughout his lifetime. A portion of the proceeds from this music extravaganza will benefit the Brees Dream Foundation’s ongoing efforts to provide care, education and opportunities for children in New Orleans.

Despite drawing some of the biggest names in music over the last 50+ years, (BB King, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Junior Brown, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Mahal, Wycleff Jean and Ozomatli) This event fell short of it’s projected goals of drawing 15,000 fans and large sums of money for it’s charities. However for those of us lucky enough to be in the building with these icons of music, we were treated to one memorable evening of music. 

As always Keb’s performance was stellar as were the performances of all who performed. Even though it was a poorly attended event. The Domino Effect was greatly appreciated. And for me it was fun to mix a show in an arena again.

“Let The Sun Shine In”

poster On May 25th, 2009, The Narada Michael Walden Foundation produced a concert at Louise M Davies Symphony Hall to benefit young Christopher Rodriguez, who at age 10, was disabled by a stray bullet while at his piano lesson in Oakland early last year. The Concert at Louise M Davies for Christopher featured artists Keb’ Mo’ and Sting along with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis of 5th Dimension Fame, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Earl Klugh, David Grisman, Bob Weir, Gerald Alston of the Manhattans, Lisa Fischer,Tevin Campbell, Shanice Wilson, Jeanie Tracy, Ralphe Armstrong, Dale “Satchmo” Powers, the Narada Band, AND an orchestra of students from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music conducted by Michael Morgan of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, along with many other surprise performers. 

We as the Keb’ Mo’ organazation were extremely proud to be a part of this event. And our hearts go out to Christopher and his family.