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About John

About John TatumJohn started playing when he was 8 years old with family bluegrass music. He became proficient flat picker and toured some with Ricky Skaggs & Mike Cross playing guitar and banjo. During the 80’s he got consumed with the blues and concentrated totally “on every aspect of that I could”.

He played with various bands for the next couple years opening for major touring acts such as The Allman Bros. Then settling in with current band The Promise Breakers as well as a bluegrass or blues side man. He was offered a job by the late great zydeco bluesman Clifton Chenier and has performed with blues great Otis Grand, a winner of several W.C. Handy awards.

He operates his own John’s Guitar Shop and Southport Johnnies where he teaches stringed instrument lessons and buys, sells, trades, repairs and consigns quality instruments and amps. ┬áJohn has taught privately and at numerous colleges for over 25 years.


  • Head Hunters Live at P.B.Scotts
  • Winston-Salem All-stars
  • Promise Breakers “Don’t Make it if you can’t Break it”
  • Guitar Picks with John Tatum
  • Promise Breakers “Live at Ziggys”