Lakota John (LJ) 

“Pembroke’s Lakota John Locklear is a prodigious blues guitarist of Lumbee and Lakota lineage.” – Indy Week

Lakota John is an old soul with a love for the blues. He is a talented musician from Southeastern North Carolina, who grew up listening to his dad’s music library. At 6 years old he picked up harmonica, and at age 7 guitar. LJ learned to play guitar left-handed, in standard tuning, and was intrigued by the sound of the slide guitar. At age 10, he bought himself a glass slide, placed it on his pinky finger, and he has been sliding over the frets ever since. 

Lakota John blends traditional styles of the Roots, Blues, Ragtime and Jazz with slide guitar, banjo, and mandolin. He adds in a bit of harmonica, and mixes in part of his Indigenous heritage with sounds of the Native American flute. LJ received two scholarships in 2008 and 2009 to attend Centrum’s Acoustic Blues Festival in Port Townsend, WA. There he participated in a week of guitar workshops and jam sessions, learning in the classrooms of the blues masters John Cephas, Phil Wiggins, among others. In 2009, this guitar prodigy joined the Music Maker Relief Foundation, performing locally as one of their Next Generation Artists, alongside elder Bluesmen. He has had multiple performances at many venues, including the NC Museum of History, The PineCone Music Series, Shakori Hills Music Festival, and the North Carolina Indian Heritage Celebration. Lakota John continues to learn, alongside master musicians, to broaden his musical abilities, while incorporating traditional sounds of American Roots Music. 

Lakota John released his first album, “Old Bluez That’s Newz to Me,” in 2009. In 2013, Lakota John & Kin released a self-titled album. In 2017 Lakota John released a solo album, called “The Winds of Time,” on the International Artists label. Currently he is working on a new solo album, with Mark Andersen, to be released in 2020. 

Lakota John nominated for an American Music Awards for Best Blues Recording, and recently, LJ won a Carolina Music Award in the Best Americana/Bluegrass Category. He won first place in the 2019 Road to Memphis PBPS Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Competition and made 2020 semifinals in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge. 

Lakota has opened for, or shared the stage with, renowned Native artists Pura Fe, Blues icon Taj Mahal, Native American Blues Rocker Keith Secola, American Songster Dom Flemons, to name a few. He tours nationally and internationally, including selected performances at the John F. Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., performances in San Bernardino CA, Albuquerque and Santa Fe NM, and a recent tour in Italy, Switzerland, and Canada. 

“Lakota John is already a skilled guitarist, perfectly mastering Piedmont blues fingerpicking and slide guitar. But what is even more impressive is his voice, so raspy and powerful it seems to be an old bluesman’s!” – SoulBag Mag France 

Downloadable EPK


Selected Performances

*Partial List*


Bragg Jam – Macon, GA

Hiawatha Music Festival –  Marquette, MI

Art Splash – Jamestown, NC

Carolina Blues Festival – Greensboro, NC

Institute of American Indian Art – Santa Fe, NM

Native America Calling Radio – Albuquerque – NM

University of Redlands – Redlands, CA

The Roosters Wife – Aberdeen, NC

Imperial Arts Center – Rocky Mt, NC

River Roots – Rowland, NC

NPR Interview – Durham, NC

UNCW Roots Project with Martha Redbone – Wilmington, NC


Storytelling Festival – Laurinburg, NC

Institute of American Indian Art – Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico State Fair – ABQ, NM

New River Blues Festival – Grassy Crk, NC

Grand Performances – Los Angeles, CA

FNX TV Interview – San Bernardino, CA

Norman’s Rare Guitars – Los Angeles, CA

NC Natural Sciences Museum – Whiteville, NC

The Bullpen – Durham, NC

The Brown Pelican – New Bern, NC

Paul’s Place – Fayetteville, NC

Fullsteam Brewery -Durham Mardi Gras

Benefit Concert – 1st Baptist Church – Lumberton, NC


John F. Kennedy Center – Washington, DC

Casa Grande National Ruins – Coolidge, AZ

Norman’s Rare Guitars – Los Angeles, CA

Performing Arts Exchange – Orlando, FL

Southern Pines 1st Friday – Southern Pines, NC

High Point Museum – High Point, NC

Jubilee Festival Historic Stagville – Durham, NC

ABQ Blues and Brews Festival – Albuquerque, NM

Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. – Albuquerque, NM

Santa Fe Public Radio – Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe Market Pavilion – Santa Fe, NM

Rowan Blues and Jazz Festival – Salisbury, NC

Shakori Hills Festival – Silk Hope, NC