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Taking his stage name from an automobile he once owned, Studebaker John Grimaldi was a product of the vibrant blues scene of Chicago's West Side. Born November 5, 1952, his father was himself an amateur musician, and as a youngster, Grimaldi began playing the many instruments lying about the house. Becoming a fixture at the open-air flea markets in the Maxwell Street area — a venue for countless blues buskers — he began focusing on harmonica after catching performances from the likes of Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson; after taking in a Hound Dog Taylor club date, Grimaldi also turned to guitar. He formed the blues-rock band the Hawks during the early '70s as a showcase for his reedy vocals, primal harp sound, and blistering slide guitar skills, and in the years to follow also developed into a fine songwriter. While keeping his day job as a construction worker, Grimaldi began recording during the mid-'80s, issuing a live Netherlands set later re-released domestically as Rockin' the Blues '85. His next major release was 1994's Too Tough, followed in 1995 by Outside Lookin' In. He maintained a prolific recording schedule in the years to come, issuing Tremoluxe in 1996 and Time Will Tell in 1997.