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About John-Luke Shelley & High Speed Steel

John-Luke Shelley and High Speed Steel

The beginnings of High Speed Steel were in 2003 when a very young John-Luke and his father Brett were living in beautiful North-East Victoria. They were joined by family friend Tim Hancock (support act to The Monkeys during their Australian tour) to form a Folk/Blues band and using the initial letters of their surnames Hancock Shelley Shelley - HSS or High Speed Steel (a term from Brett's engineering background) the band was formed. The trio gigged locally until 2006, when John-Luke and Brett moved to Geelong.

Times change, sounds evolve, new creative input alters ... here we are now at the high-energy, unique, rocking blues style of High Speed Steel, with a line-up consisting now of four members:

John-Luke Shelley - Lead guitarist & lead vocalist
Mick Field - Bass Guitar
Brett Shelley - Lead/rhythm guitarist & vocals
Johnny Tesoreiro - Drums



Introducing the Band Members...


John-Luke Shelley - Lead Guitarist/ Lead Vocalist


John Luke Shelley
John-Luke Shelley didn't know he could play music until seven years ago. He was 16 years old and had started listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan. From then on he was convinced that the blues was his love and passion. This was when John-Luke picked up a guitar for the first time ever - his Dad's - and found he could strum the melody, instantly and instinctively. John-Luke was naturally hooked. Shortly after, John-Luke also discovered his singing voice, an additional way to express the music in his soul.

Inspirations are BB King, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Lang, Pete Cornelius, Dave Hole, Jimmy Hendrix ... the list goes on. But JL's idol, the talent he aspires to, is still Stevie Ray Vaughan.

John-Luke has located many Australian guitarists to learn from and play with - Tim Hancock (supported the Monkeys), Chris Wilson, Jason Tinker (ex Lee Kernighan guitarist), Shannon Bourne, Mike Elrington and Brett Wood (Thirdstone). One of his favourite guitars is the one signed by the legendary Ian Moss, guitarist for Cold Chisel.

John-Luke has played from Southern NSW through the Albury area, North East Victoria, in Melbourne and he currently plays regularly in and around Geelong and Melbourne. He plays his own brand of 'rocking blues' with his band High Speed Steel, in his duo with dad Brett Shelley, or as a guest artist with other bands. John-Luke Shelley & High Speed Steel are delighted to play at any live music venue from wineries, corporate functions, pubs, clubs, hotels and cafes - anywhere where there are audiences prepared to listen.


Their ever increasing number of festival highlights to date include most recently the 2013 'Blues on Broadbeach Festival' where John-Luke and the band appeared at the Oracle Boulevard stage over two nights, the Thredbo Blues Festival 2008, where he was asked to do an unscheduled performance at one of the venues and had crowds of appreciative blues fans listening and watching in amazement, Bluestone Festival 2008, the inaugural Homestead Blues Festival Point Cook, Maldon Folk Festival 2008, Echuca Winter Blues Festival 2008, 2009 and in 2010 as a duo with his dad Brett and as a full band again in July 2011, Geelong Pako Festa 2010, Anglesea Music Festival October 2010, RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride, Dunolly Blues Festival 2010, Audi Victoria Week Festival Geelong, International Guitar Festival Williamstown 2011 (Guitars Across The Bay), Mount Beauty Music Muster 2011, Trafalgar East Blues in Gippsland where John-Luke performed with Chris Wilson, upcoming BUPA Around the Bay Festival and Queenscliff Music Festival.

In 2006 John-Luke was the youngest guitarist to feature in the Fender Invitational, a ten-guitarist performance to celebrate Fender's 60th anniversary.

We are also delighted to annouce that John-Luke has just achieved joint second place for The Debut Album Award as well as third place for Producer of the Year for his self-titled CD 'John-Luke Shelley' in the recent MBAS 2011 Victorian Tasmanian Blues Music Awards.  This is a fantastic achievement considering the high quality of contenders for these Awards and he was up against some tough opposition - see press release for full list of winners.

John-Luke plays rock to blues and celebrates a great ballad. As music is his lifeblood he is 'driven' to exercise his blues passion. John-Luke - now seven years on and very accomplished - is heavily booked and is the guitarist that other musicians want to listen to and make music with!


Mick Field - Bass Guitar

Musical skill, a great all-round personality and the ability to be "tipped in at the deep end" with previously unknown blues musicians and come out on top, are some of the attributes of bass player Mick Field.

As a result he is the bass player of choice for various MBAS events. He has been a member of the MBAS Committee All Stars Christmas Party band for some years, at which event he has also been in the backing band for the Super Session Jam lead by Geoff Achison. National Blues Music Day is a premier MBAS annual event, and Mick was bass player in the Geoff Achison lead Special Jam in 2011.

MBAS Blues Musician workshops sometimes require backing bands for the workshop leader. Mick has been called on to perform with Jimi Hocking and Geoff Achison at these workshops.

A testimonial from Louis & Carla Tardini of 'Carloua' (Led Zepplin tribute band and blues) described Mick as "he has been Carloua's bass player for 15 years. He is an icon of reliability as a musician and an adept and skilled bass player. He has a deep rooted knowledge for the blues based music that Carloua play and is always dependable to call upon when needed to fill the bill. Mick is a solid bass man with a warm personality, easy to work with."

Mick's bass playing heroes & musical influences include Jack Bruce (Cream), John Entwhistle (Who), Bob Daisley (Kahvas Jute), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Andy Fraser (Free), Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) & Felix Pappalardi (Mountain).

We are delighted to have Mick on board with John-Luke Shelley & High Speed Steel and the wealth of experience he brings with him.


Johnny Tesoriero - Drums

Johnny Tesoriero Johnny T is a professional drummer who has been playing in live original and cover bands since the age of 15. He has been signed to Albert Productions, EMI and independent record labels. Johnny has played in different music genres including Blues, Rockabilly, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Jazz. His career highlights include TV appearances on Vizard, Rove, Channel V, MTV and The Basement; supporting Oasis, Foo Fighters and The Killers; performing with the former lead singer of The Easybeats, Stevie Wright and appearing in his book, ‘ Hard Road ’.


Brett Shelley - Guitar

Brett Shelley Brett is the "ultimate technician" of the group. Brett's instrumental technique sets the bar very high for a quality, dynamic sound from the other members of High Speed Steel. But, he is also very happy to let loose with forceful power, matching and driving stunning riffs with John-Luke. Not surprising is that he is John-Luke's very youthful father, and music mentor!

Whilst living in North East Victoria for many years Brett gigged the local music scene as a Blues based duo with Joe Kirley, and also as a Folk/Blues trio in the Albury district with founding members of High Speed Steel, Tim Hancock and John-Luke Shelley.

Brett has been playing guitar for more than 23 years. Basically self-taught, apart from few lessons with respected Geelong musician Paul Carrigg, Brett nominates Roy Buchanan, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Rory Gallagher as his prime influences.

Past performances featuring John-Luke or the band include:

In Melbourne -
Hobsons Bay Hotel Williamstown, The Nighthawk, Bendigo Hotel, Scarab Bar, Musicland, The Ascot Vale Hotel, The British Crown, The Cornish Arms, Way Out West Blues Club Williamstown RSL.

In Geelong and surrounds -
Grouse Bar and Café, Bannockburn Hotel, Barking Dog Hotel, Barwon Hotel Winchelsea, De La Ville Hotel (now The Black Hat), Little River Hotel, Martians Café, Rossiellos (now The Studio), The Esplanade Hotel Queenscliff, The Rose Torquay, Beachhouse Barwon Heads, Clyde Park Winery Bannockburn, Dog Rocks Hotel Batesford, Sleepy Hollows Blues Club Geelong, Grazze Cafe, Cloud 9 Bar & Lounge, 94.7 The Pulse Radio Station, Deakin Waterfront Cafe Geelong.

Regional -
Maldon Hotel in Maldon, Bridge Hotel Ballarat, Meredith Hotel Meredith, Star Bar Echuca, Oscar W's Echuca, Speakeasy Wine Bar Echuca, Mount Inn Moriac, Old Hepburn Hotel Hepburn Springs, The Beachhouse Barwon Heads, Union Hotel Heathcote, Ida Vue Estate Winery Heathcote, Gracebrook Winery King Valley, John Gehrig Winery, Bryces Tavern, Gold Dust Lounge - Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo, Vic Hotel in Shepparton, Barooga Sports Club.


  • Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival 2013 - Bendigo
  • Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society Blues Performer of the Year Competition 2013 (The 3 Tones) - Runner Up
  • John Gehrig Winery Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Music Festival 2013 - Oxley
  • Blues on Broadbeach 2013 - Gold Coast
  • Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society Blues Performer of the Year Competition 2012 - Runner Up
  • Queenscliff Music Festival 2011 - Queenscliff
  • Trafalgar East Blues 2011 - Gippsland
  • Mount Beauty Music Muster 2011 - Mount Beauty
  • International Guitar Festival (Guitars Across The Bay) 2011 - Williamstown
  • Audi Victoria Week Festival - Geelong
  • Geelong Pako Festa 2010 - Geelong
  • Anglesea Music Festival 2010 - Anglesea
  • Dunolly Blues Festival 2010- Dunnolly
  • Bluestone Festival 2008 - Geelong
  • Echuca Winter Blues Festival 2008/2009/2010(duo)/2011
  • Maldon Folk Festival 2008 - Maldon
  • The Inaugural Homestead Blues Festival 2008 - Pt Cook
  • Thredbo Summer Blues Festival 2008
  • Fender Invitational 2006 - Geelong



What Others Have To Say:

From a recent write-up following a performance for the Maldon Blues Club:

"From the outset, the band were into good form. Mary Had a Little Lamb, the Thrill is Gone, on which John-Luke ripped off solos effortlessly, leading into some melodic solo guitar. Brett also had his turn sharing guitar solos. Lenny, an instrumental, had more complex guitar work and demonstrated John-Luke Shelley's command of the guitar. Brett is a robust guitarist in his own right, but in High Speed Steel, it seems he's content to be upstaged by his son. ... naturally the band were called back for an encore. If you missed this afternoon's show, make sure you make an effort to see this band if they play near you in the future."
(Maldon Blues Club Newsletter April 2008)

Email from Di Richmond - Echuca EMFM Radio following 2010 Echuca Winter Blues Festival:

It was so terrific over the Saturday and Sunday to be exposed to all the artists but we all really felt JL was a stand-out. I caught some of his act at Oscar W's on Saturday arvo after we finished broadcasting and it was pretty electric. I was quizzing people down at the port about what acts etc they saw and all the ones that said they'd caught JL and Brett were raving about them, so the feedback's been really good. Plus, I've had Itchy Finger Blues playing in my head since Saturday - which is not a bad thing at all!!! Consensus is that he's got that "It" factor. Sorry if I sound like I'm bias, but it's not often you get to hear something that blows you away. He has got a great style and I think he's got a great voice. THe interview I did with him is up on our website/facebook thingy - just google Radio EMFM then click on our facebook link and voila. My offer still stands, whenever you're up this way, call me and we'll get him in the studio. I trust we will see the band at the next Blues Festival unless of course, he's the opening act for the Stones by then! All the very best and thanks again".

(Email Wednesday 28th July 2010)

Email from Terry 'Tecka' Iredale - Mildura HOT FM 106.7 on request for 'I Could Be Your Man' CD

Review of John-Luke's Self Titled CD written by MBAS Committee Member - Geoff Forbes John-Luke Shelley

"This is JLS's second CD and its a cracker!

If you are looking for another aspiring guitar hero (just 22) this is a young guy with a great guitar sound who is well on his way. There are twelve tracks on this CD, all written by JLS and they include all the blues guitar styles. Of course there is a big dose of SRV and Clapton influence but that's a great place to start. The songs are simple and straightforward and the guitar work is spot on. Here is a young bloke with a dedication to getting the sound, and he gets there…beautiful!

John-Luke Shelley is based in Geelong and has Chris Wilson helping out with harp and vocals on "Itchy Finger Blues". Mike Elrington - another top guitar player around town - trades licks and vocals on" Lay Down". All the compositions are in that blues vein and all are very listenable with the usual themes emerging.

Backing JLS up are bass veteran Michael Field and Jared Shay on drums. There's a splash of soul on "I Need Some of Your Love" with a very Clapton solo. The production is clean and direct and achieves a straightforward sound. The closing track "What Should I Call That" is a funky guitar tour de force. All up this is a very impressive second outing from up and comer John-Luke Shelley....check it out".

From MBAS Website 24 November 2010

Email from Mike - 7 December 2010

"Saw you guys a few times during the Great Vic Bike Ride - great stuff, enjoyed the laid back music in the Spokes Bar and the full band on the Wed night. Looking forward to seeing you all play again".

Thanks Mike!

Hi Jan.

Thanks for that,I hope you' did'nt think that I have'nt been airing Johns Self Titled album,Heaps of airplay over the past 4 months that I have had the album.

I'm sure that this eartlier one will also receive the same.

Thanks again.

"Tecka'. HOTFM in Vic.

**P.S . My mates said that they were impressed with John & Co at Echuca . (Email Monday 9th August 2010)


Email from Carole W. following Anglesea Music Festival 9th/10th October, written to local Geelong venue -

"Thank you for the up to date information of who you are showcasing in Geelong and it is in this regard that I'm emailing to tell you of a first class performer/group that I had the pleasure of seeing/experiencing at the Anglesea Music Festival over 9th/10th October.

The name of the performer is John-Luke Shelley & High Speed Steel & he played both days of the festival to a large, enthusiastic crowd who couldn't help but be blown away by the talent & musical craftsmanship displayed in one so young. And it just got better when he was invited to join in with Chubby Rae & the Elevators during their Sunday session, as he had an opportunity to showcase how a truly talented musician can step in & play in a way to not only compliment the artist & other performers but also to be a stand out when he played solo segments. Outstanding!

If you have already heard of him, my question is, when is he coming to your venue?"

Dated Monday 11th October 2010.


Email from Di Richmond - EMFM following Echuca Winter Blues Festival 29th - 31st July 2011

"Just want to give you guys a MAJOR thank you for your time on Friday at EMFM, not to mention giving me the opportunity to play JL's latest CD for the first time on air - that was pretty special and an extremely generous gesture.

Again, got some fantastic feedback about the performances, especially out at the Star Bar on Sunday - the mood was pretty good!

I am trusting that you will get some gigs up in Echuca in the coming year and naturally, would love to have JL and co back in the studio if that is the case.  In the meantime, I will be playing JL on high rotation on CFM Matinee!

Dated Wednesday 3rd August 2011.

Email from Graeme Rees of the Black Rock Underwater Dive Club following the band's appearance at their 60th Anniversary Private Function - October 2013

"Just a short note saying thank you to you and your band's presentation last Saturday evening. A totally professional display and music that got the members bopping. Everyone I spoke to remarked about your polished performance. The band members even appeared to be having fun?"

Write up by Adele McCormack in the Merrijig Newsletter following our first gig there on Saturday 16th November 2013

"Live Entertainment on Saturday 16th November 2013 was brilliant they began right on 8pm as advertised and played 3 brackets right through to around 11pm and what an amazing bunch of musicians the band is.

The Band is called John-Luke Shelley and High Speed Steel http://www.highspeedsteel.com.au.

Lead guitarist/vocalist John-Luke Shelley went to school in Mansfield and now resides in Geelong has a most amazing range to his voice and is a brilliant guitarist. His dad Brett Shelley, is the backup vocalist and rhythm guitarist, with his partner Jan Ash, they live in Howqua and have a property in Tolmie. The other band members, Mick Field on Bass and Johnny Tesoriero on drums, unfortunately for them, have no connection with the district and have to live in the suburbs.

Jan who handles the managers roll told me "We would love to come back for a repeat performance of a great night and everyone, not only in the band but also the partners agreed that it was a fantastic atmosphere and gig - thank you to everyone in Merrijig who came along to support us. :)

The dining area was packed with diners enjoying the live music for most of the night; while the bar was still crowded when the band played 'Johnny B Goode' to the packed dance floor but to the empty tables and chairs with their audience up dancing to the last chord. Publican Mel was thrilled and at the end of the night, commented on what a success the night had been.

With live entertainment having been one of the requests from the community when Rosemary asked for what Merrijig people would like from their local, it was wonderful to see how many happy locals there were. This desire for live music was backed up by many who stayed all night, acknowledging this is what they have missed - live music and the pub bouncing with happy people."



+1 #2 2010-08-01 01:18
Got to listen to you guys at the Echuca Blues Festival and thought that you were outstanding. I am currently in Nth Qld but look forward to getting back down south to catch you guys again. Keep the blues alive guys.
+1 #1 2010-04-20 11:51
Having heard the music of John-Luke Shelley and High Speed Steel on their CDs, I am just writing to say how impressed I am by the quality and entertainment-value reflected in your music. Keep up the great work guys!

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