John Mooney started playing guitar at the age of ten. At twelve, he was performing with friends at church gatherings, coffee houses, and barn dances, and by fourteen was performing at large outdoor concerts. Part of the original impetus for his interest in music may have filtered down from his grandfather, a musician himself.
The first and most enduring influence on the development of Mooney’s music resulted from his meeting the Legendary Delta blues singer, Ed “Son” House, in Rochester, New York. Impressed by the sixteen year old musician’s talent, Son (who was Robert Johnson’s mentor and teacher) and Mooney soon became friends.