My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby Hurricane » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:41 pm

It was Louie Armstrong man I wanted to play his stuff and @ age 4 dad got me a 10 Marine Band - Blew their minds when I was heard doing Dixieland stuff with in a years time . I had several songs of Louie's and a whole lot more .

When family and friends came over for a gathering I was always asked to play a song or two on special occasions . Radio near my bed as a baby did it for me .

To be continued .

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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby jawbone60 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:02 pm

interesting.......i did not start the harp journey until i was in my late teens, in the early 70's, but what helped plant the seed in me was late night sunday radio on the a.m. dial in 1961 and 62. back then all the biggies- chicago, memphis, atlanta, houston, all had "race" programs on late at night and a.m. picked up much better late in the evening. i heard all the heroes we love today from satchmo to muddy to slim and b.b., all of them. they grabbed me. before that my gramps had set me on his lap and played harp and sang to me in a very rough time, losing my dad at age 4. in fact my first harp had been one given to my dad by my gramps the year i was born- 1955. i never even saw that harp until i was 16. it had sat in a box for all those years waiting on me.
at age 16 i knew what i wanted to do was to play harmonica, but i had no clue how to learn. there were very few in my hometown who even played simple harp let alone the blues that had grabbed me along the way from childhood to adolescence. it was for me a very long journey. i was a hard headed little punk. into my 20's i still had little idea what to do with a harp aside from a few bent notes. i turned down a chance to be part of a house band in dallas in the 80's for fear i'd be exposed as a knot head. too proud to ask for help in dallas, home of several great harp guys, my journey was even longer to where i began to "get it" in the 90's. and 10 years ago i finally became much more a student. that when things became much more possible for me.
i look back and laugh at what a foolish kid i had been, but i believe that there are no accidents in life. these days in my 50's my wife and i are having the time of our lives just doing a roots and blues duo! if i had started younger i may have burned out by now and then we would not have these great memories we're making now.
tell me Hurricane, where do you hail from and what's the next chapter?
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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby jeffl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:25 pm

..interesting story Hurricane. Good to have another oldtimer around here. My dad stuck a Hohner Chromatic in my mouth when I was about 8, in 1959. He taught me some straight harp stuff using the slide for some blue notes, and learning to tongue block. Looking back, I think it was a John Coltrane workshop that my buddy talked me into going to when I was in 8th grade (jus' 'cuz it was freakin' Coltrane!) that opened my eyes to what could be done with improvisation, etc.
But it was the British blues/rock guys (Beck,Clapton,etc.) who led me to Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and the American blues guys.

Very thankful for the influences of those guys & the roots players too, like Sonny Terry, Tony Glover, Rev. Gary Davis, Ledbelly, Dakota Dave Hull, Dave von Ronk, Woody Guthrie, etc. I've been fortunate enough to play harp through a number of genres, and I still play with a band once or twice/wk., every week. Not much roots anymore, sadly, but lotsa rock and blues, and I don't know what I'd do without it.
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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby Hurricane » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:15 am

jawbone60 wrote:interesting.......i did not start the harp journey until i was in my late teens, in the early 70's, but what helped plant the seed in me was late night sunday radio on the a.m. dial in 1961 and 62. back then all the biggies- chicago, memphis, atlanta, houston, all had "race" programs on late at night and a.m. picked up much better late in the evening. i heard all the heroes we love today from satchmo to muddy to slim and b.b., all of them. they grabbed me. before that my gramps had set me on his lap and played harp and sang to me in a very rough time, losing my dad at age 4. in fact my first harp had been one given to my dad by my gramps the year i was born- 1955. i never even saw that harp until i was 16. it had sat in a box for all those years waiting on me.
at age 16 i knew what i wanted to do was to play harmonica, but i had no clue how to learn. there were very few in my hometown who even played simple harp let alone the blues that had grabbed me along the way from childhood to adolescence. it was for me a very long journey. i was a hard headed little punk. into my 20's i still had little idea what to do with a harp aside from a few bent notes. i turned down a chance to be part of a house band in dallas in the 80's for fear i'd be exposed as a knot head. too proud to ask for help in dallas, home of several great harp guys, my journey was even longer to where i began to "get it" in the 90's. and 10 years ago i finally became much more a student. that when things became much more possible for me.
i look back and laugh at what a foolish kid i had been, but i believe that there are no accidents in life. these days in my 50's my wife and i are having the time of our lives just doing a roots and blues duo! if i had started younger i may have burned out by now and then we would not have these great memories we're making now.
tell me Hurricane, where do you hail from and what's the next chapter?



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Jaw Bone nice to meet you :

I'm in southern California , last year has been a recouperation time from a surgery but today I was thinking wow I have not felt this good in a while .

I put music on a vacation as far as playing publicly but I am ready to restart the harp and guitar now . I was for the last 10 years or so working a lot with Chan Romero doing session work and live gigs . Just before my surgery I had several loved ones pass on to the next plane and my wife believe it or not was diagnosed with cancer and had a operation and has since last year shown remission totally so far .

The music is my source of therapy for sure , has been since 1959 when I lost my first sister . Life for what it's worth seems more tolerable and approachable to live when you go through $hit like what just hit me this last year with 3 deaths in the family and the the health issues I mentioned .

But as I mentioned I feel great and am looking to not only performing live but to do some serious recording too .

In 1998 when I met Chan and began our collaborations I also had a little miracle happen with a 36 year wait for it to be answered in the last painful piece ( of literally 100s ) sharp milk bottle glass exited my left ring finger on my chording hand . I knew I was on a MISSION now man :)

Since that day now going on 13 years my guitar playing has almost reached my harp playing power , graced and fluidity . It's great I can't believe at 61 that it is that much fun and exciting too . Improvisation is a blast and comes as easy as it gets now on my guitar .

Easy Blood and keep on a blowin harp !

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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby Hurricane » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:27 am

jeffl wrote:..interesting story Hurricane. Good to have another oldtimer around here. My dad stuck a Hohner Chromatic in my mouth when I was about 8, in 1959. He taught me some straight harp stuff using the slide for some blue notes, and learning to tongue block. Looking back, I think it was a John Coltrane workshop that my buddy talked me into going to when I was in 8th grade (jus' 'cuz it was freakin' Coltrane!) that opened my eyes to what could be done with improvisation, etc.
But it was the British blues/rock guys (Beck,Clapton,etc.) who led me to Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and the American blues guys.

Very thankful for the influences of those guys & the roots players too, like Sonny Terry, Tony Glover, Rev. Gary Davis, Ledbelly, Dakota Dave Hull, Dave von Ronk, Woody Guthrie, etc. I've been fortunate enough to play harp through a number of genres, and I still play with a band once or twice/wk., every week. Not much roots anymore, sadly, but lotsa rock and blues, and I don't know what I'd do without it.


=======================================================================

Man Jeff your talkin my stuff with those great influences yeah man super cool , we do have a lot of parallels I see quite easily .

Chrome I learned on my own , my dad gave me my first Hohner Marine Bamd in " 54 " so yep I know where your coming from man .

Learned a trick or two on a diatonic and can play chromatic licks on them . I do a lot of jazz , trad and Dixieland - Broadway show tunes and ethnic $hit too .

Sonny Terry - Charlie McCoy - Little Walter - Sonny Williamson and the rest I cut my teeth on for 10 years each studying , sometimes I studied two or three of these giants at the same time , it was intoxicating man shear bliss like a junkie's rush studying them .

Really respect what the Brits did for American Blues as they really revitalized it and made a whole generation of baby boomer realize where Rock came from .

Like yourself I would be lost with out The Blues - Jazz - Rock-A- Anything .

Easy Blood :

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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby jawbone60 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:05 pm

wife and i are at the edge of a new project, just decided this week. it will be an exploration of some public domain blues, folk, gospel, with a bass and drum section behind us. new to her more or less. i've been in and out of band situations for about 20 years and have tread many a jam night stage as well.
this duo may not be the end-all and be-all for me, i honestly don't know, but having witnessed someone i love dear go from a back stage music interviewer to a front stage performer in just 5 years and change, and do well a large percentage of what i have asked of her- not to mention finding her blues voice and co-writing some really cool material with me- i consider that i can die a happy man even if that comes tomorrow. not that i'm ready to go! i want to see us with an even bigger band, bass, drums, keys, more guitars, even a guest on harp or 2- which is on the drawing board as well for a project of its own, another 10 original song cd as the next project after this public domain exploration.
there is much to do here. we are very grateful to have some fine local cats who think a lot of us, enough to comm9it to a day or 2 of recording when we can figure out funding for studio time- and finish writing and arranging some things!
Jolene played a big hollowbody jazz guitar for a few years, and it caused her problems last year, so she has switched over to a telecaster, which she's getting more proficient with as days pass. we had a session wednesday night here at home that pretty well blew my socks off.
did i mention i feel like one of the luckiest dogs i ever met?
there is such power in music, whether one listens or creates. i believe my grief led me to the one real american genre at an early age and it's been rooted in me all this time, and it is one of my true gifts. and at this point all i want to do is go farther and farther, more stages, more street gigs, more new songs, play with more people. share with the world however i can. we are planning to go digital with the latest cd this year so it can have a wider market. we are not looking for stardom, break even would be great, but just to be active and making progress is plenty.

i am some years from retirement yet but we want to travel the usa and do mini tours, play every place we can until we get famous or kicked out. not a bad goal.
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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby Hurricane » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:24 am

Best of luck man , and those public domain songs are pure gold , your on the right track .


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r
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Re: My 1st. 10 years on Harp From 1954 to 1964

Postby jawbone60 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:36 pm

Hurricane, between public domain, covers here and there, and writing out own material, it never gets boring! finding time and resources to continue music has been an adventure lately. the pedestrian aspects of living take a lot of time and effort sometimes but we have been getting feelers out to do some things in the coming season, benefits and a fest or two. and it's nearly street corner weather! that's one of our favorite things to do, busk downtown.

i have a variety of harps in my case, suzuki manji, bushman delta frost, hohner sp20, hering 1923 vintage for the most part. chromatic are varied as well, a 270, couple of suzuki chromatix and a hering 5148. this much arsenal covers a lot of ground, pretty much all i need.
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