Band Members

Luther

(vocals, trombone) has been fronting bands since the 1980s. A native Nebraskan, he fronted the Frenetics, a busy Omaha-based band, before moving to New York. Luther was a founding member of the Blues Maneuver, which debuted in February 1996. He is a devotee of old-school R&B labels, including Okeh, Old Town, Philadelphia International, Hi, Motown and Stax. When not working as a regional rock star, Luther writes about true crime for the New York Daily News and News Ink Books under his nom de plume, David J. Krajicek. Despite being raised a Catholic in the Midwest, he likes to sing and dance.

Jesse Xavier Vishnovitsky

(guitar, saxophone) has been playing guitar for some 40 years and has actually figured out the difference between shit and pound cake. After decades of playing blues and R&B in the raunchiest bars of NYC (Dan Lynch, Nancy Whiskey Pub, etc.) he settled in the Catskills and joined the Blues Maneuver and has contributed as arranger, A & R man, soloist and talent scout. Inventor of the “three-note method ” of teaching improvisation, Jesse is now holding workshops on a regular basis at his home in Delhi. Jesse has appeared over the years with The Rump-rollers, The Sweet Nothings, The Confessions and The Fabulous Swill-tones.

Rebecca Harrington

(vocals, tenor sax, flute, trumpet) actually pursued an education and has two degrees in music from the College of St. Rose. Trained as a classical flautist, she can play just about every wind instrument put before her. Her musical experiences prior to joining the Blues Maneuver also include sound engineering and record production. Rebecca supports her band habit by working as a health educator for SUNY Oneonta.

John Heney

(bass, vocals) has been performing in various bands for 40 years, playing everything from R&B to Celtic to Klezmer, including stints with Doo Wop groups The Impalas and Randy and the Rainbows and the Celtic rock band Shaman. Born and raised in Queens, New York John’s main musical affection is for “old-style” Soul and R&B music. After moving to Jefferson, N.Y., in 1995, John found a place to express this affection when he found the other members of The Blues Maneuver. When not dispensing the healing power of music with the band, John works as a Registered Nurse in a local clinic.

Kristina Johnson

(saxophones) has been playing saxophone for a few decades. She started performing during high school in Los Angeles, mainly in jazz quartets and big bands. Her love for jazz and dance bands has continued through the years. For the last 11 years, she has been the lead alto saxophonist for the Joey Thomas Big Band. The swinging Albany-based, Grammy-nominated ensemble performs Sinatra and World War II music. The group has also backed up the legendary Temptations. The newest member of The Blues Maneuver, she likes to play funky dance grooves while the whole room is dancing, the walls are vibrating, and this group shakes, rattles and rolls. She is on the faculty at SUNY- Cobleskill, where she conducts the choir, jazz band and small ensembles.

John Kincheloe
(percussion, vocals) started playing drums in first grade when out of fear and boredom–fear of Miss Cratty, who was six feet of ugly–I tried to make my little fingers make the sound of a horse galloping on my desk. My education credentials are impressive and useless in this context, but I love to teach and this is what I do for a living–High School and College History. As a recent college graduate with no particular academic ambitions I accompanied my twin brother George (an excellent singer/songwriter) from Massachusetts to California in the fall of 1973. Two years of living in Lost Angeles left me with some amazing memories of near rock and roll stardom and an overwhelming feeling that I needed to live somewhere else–where one could breathe deeply without fear of lung damage. Moving to San Francisco and playing music there in two more original bands with my brother seemed to solve the problem. Musicians that we played with/hung out with/opened for or learned from at close range during those west coast years included Gram Parsons, Loggins and Messina, Andy Kolberg from Sea Train (who produced our L.A. band), Dave Mason, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Doobie Brothers–that was really cool– Huey Louis, Dan Hicks. But whoa, I’m dropping names so fast it hurts. One of the best connections ever in my professional experience has been a long-running partnership with two Canadian brothers, Marty and James Atkinson, who grew up with Rick Danko of The Band (James toured with Ronny Hawkins) and with whom I have shared some beautiful music. Through them I have enjoyed a modest connection to that amazing musical tradition, including being the drummer of choice at a music festival in Simcoe, Canada, Ontario, for a band led by Terry Danko, Rick’s younger brother. Enough of that. I love playing with the Blues Maneuver because we explore so many different styles and rhythms (a word I have never felt confident spelling), and because we have so much fun making people happy. “Five Star” entertainment, we like to say.

Ira McIntosh
Bovina Records recording artist Ira McIntosh (guitar, mandolin, vocals) was entirely unknown until 1971, when he was born. He is a Catskill Mountain entertainer who serves up a variety of material that has delighted fans and strangers for decades. His performances include all sorts of stories and many genres of music, all made to order and seasoned to taste with a dash of originality. All over the United States, but mostly here in the Northeast, Ira has done solo shows and played with a variety of bands including The BluesTone Cutters, Celtic Fire, Country Express, The Dairy Heirs, Disciples of Agriculture, Folkloric, The Hudson River Sloop Singers, The Sidetrackers, The Slide Mountain String Band, Swing-I-Round, and more. His most personally satisfying experience in recent memory was at the Clearwater Revival Festival where he performed with Pete Seeger in the closing ceremony. Pete has been a profound inspiration for Ira since they met at the Catskill Mountain Folk Festivals in the 1970s. Ira’s musical mainstay on weekends for more than 10 years now has been the mighty Blues Maneuver band. From 1998 until 2003, he was the bass player in the band. Then in 2003 he moved over to guitar and mandolin to fill the slot of departing guitarist John Monje, and to make room for the incredible John Heney. Ira was born and raised in Delaware County, where generations of both of his parents’ ancestors lived. As a child of a Catskill Mountain woodsman and a folklorist, Ira has spent his life simmering in good old-time heritage. He still performs many of the stories and songs he learned as a youngster while tagging along with his mother, who was doing her graduate research in ethnomusicology, interviewing old-timers in the Catskills. He is an eclectic yarn-spinner and musician who feels at home with any stringed instrument. Ira often teams up with his wife, “Story Laurie” McIntosh, to perform musical storytelling programs they share with folks of all ages. They can regularly be found spreading fun and exuberance at libraries, schools, special events, fair and festivals from Buffalo to the Big Apple and beyond. In 1993, Ira earned a Master’s Degree in Autodidactics from the University of Hard Knocks. His PhD is in Indolent Studies, and his dissertation is on file in the round file. During his spare time (of which there rarely is any), he pursues post-doctoral research in Practical Stair Ascension. Ira has never owned a television but he plans to hop a freight train when boxcars get cable.

Band members photos (with the exception of Kristina) were taken by Jill Ribich of www.catskillimages.net