Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘Harp’

DUSTER BENNETT

There is a long tradition of one-man-bands playing the Blues which reaches back to Daddy Stovepipe in the 20s, Jesse Fuller, Joe Hill Louis right up to Doctor Ross in the 90s. Over in Britain, a young man inspired by the British Blues Boom put together an act that expanded that tradition, but his high,…

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WILLIAM CLARKE

The sound of the harp has been central to the Blues since it’s origins in the Delta, and when harp players in Chicago amplified their instruments, the term ‘Mississippi Sax’ was born. William Clarke absorbed the Chicago sound and, following a skilled mentor, he took the harp to new places and his strong voice and…

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‘Harmonica’ FRANK FLOYD

Blues music sometimes reveals strange characters with extraordinary skills, but few were more talented than ‘Harmonica Frank’ Floyd. When Rice ‘Sonny Boy II’ Miller amazed world audiences in the 60s by playing a Blues tune on a harp stuck in his mouth like a cigar, he was pulling one third of a trick regularly performed…

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BILLY BRANCH

The ‘Mississippi Saxophone’ was the name given to the Blues harp when players in post-WWII Chicago, following the lead of Little Walter, started blowing their big, horn-like solos through a microphone. That broad juke-joint sound is alive today, and can be heard in the playing of younger men like Billy Branch, who learned first-hand from…

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RICK ESTRIN

The Blues has got to make you smile once in a while, even if it is just to keep from cryin’, but a night out with Little Charlie and the Nightcats is the kind of stimulant that cures most ills, and the medicine has been available for almost forty years. The main ingredient is Rick…

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COUSIN LEROY

Cousin Leroy was a singer, harp player and guitarist from rural Georgia whose R&B records in the late 50s put the emphasis squarely on the Blues half of the equation. He was part of the Post-WWII club scene in New York, and his regular associates included Champion Jack Dupree and Larry Dale, who graced all…

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JOE HILL LOUIS

There is a long tradition of one-man-bands playing Blues music on street-corners. Strumming a guitar, blowing a harp in a neck-rack and beating drums and crashing cymbals with some combination of feet, knees and elbows, a street entertainer could make a living from this talent for multi-tasking. Daddy Stovepipe was the first one-man-band to make…

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PAUL LAMB

When Paul Lamb blows his harp, you would never instantly recognise his style, because he can play The Blues every-which-way. From ‘whoopin’ country tunes to blistering runs, with sprays of well-chosen notes spinning off the theme, to down-home boogies and up-tempo rockers, Paul’s accuracy and command of tone make him a phenomenal player. He has…

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MOSES ‘Whispering’ SMITH

Whispering Smith was a Lawman who brought justice to the railroads in the Old West in a 1906 novel that bore his name. The book was made into a film in 1926; remade by Hollywood in 1948 with Alan Ladd; and in 1961 it returned as a network TV series starring Audie Murphy. Meanwhile, down…

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SAM MYERS

Sam Myers was born in Mississippi and learned his trade in Chicago, working for many years with Elmore James, but after a long spell on the ‘chitlin circuit’, he gained a whole new career as the front man for Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Sam was a big-voiced singer, a sparkling harp soloist and talented…

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