The Prairie Clams
Led by the one and only Johnny Hinkes, known to anyone who’s ever strolled through Oxford as the undisputed guitar king of Oxford’s street entertainers, he is joined by wonderfully talented bandmates Simon Winner and Hugh Blaza.
The Deadbeats and other intrepid orienteers at Truck’s Apple Tree stage were wowed by their authentic and imaginative interpretations of an eclectic, not to say promiscuous, range of material.
JOHNNY 'Honky-Tonk' HINKES guitars vocals
I got my first guitar at the age of nine in 1962. After playing around Oxford in various local bands, I moved to London in 1979. I had many exciting musical experiences including joining the Demolition Decorators and working on various theatre projects at the Old Albany Empire. In 1984 I returned to Oxford, started learning pedal steel and joined the Allen James country band. 'Big Al' introduced me to the UK country music scene and I played many clubs and festivals with him. I also played for a while with the legendary Muscle & Curves band. Now I earn my living playing guitar every day in the streets of Oxford .
SIMON WINNER double bass vocals
In the 1970s, Simon played flute and congas in a band called Mindless Pleasures. He took up the double bass late in life, playing swing jazz, bluegrass, and country, and enjoyed his first paid gig in the week that he retired from the NHS
HUGH BLAZA guitars vocals
Hugh Blaza’s musical career has its roots in the 1970s when he listened to nothing but Little Feat for 9.5 years. When Lowell George died, he went to pieces. In 2018, Johnny Hinkes persuaded him to join the Prairie Clams and the blood began to flow in his veins again. Hugh sleeps with his vintage Fender Telecaster and custom black Martin acoustic.