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Harp Inspiration

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Aug 02, 2009 2:55 AM GMT

So I went to a cook out today, my Father in laws long time friend who I've gotton to know over the years; who I had no idea played and has been for years was there! Hehad brought a few with him, a Lee Oscar and I think a Hohner old stand by, an E and an F, he plays a mean I just happened to have my C harp. I played what I knew and he was impressed with what I knew in a short time, he was realy impressed with my chugging train. He gave me a few tips and techniques to try, then looked me square in the eye and said" what do you need me for, your all over that thing! You play better than you think!" So that was good to hear. Any way I told him I've been listening to Sonny Boy Williamson, and James Cotton. He recomend listening to John Mayall: Room to Move( I have a new favorite song now).

So my question to everyone is who is your inspiration? Who or what keeps you going?

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Comments (3)

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Aug 02, 2009 4:14 AM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

at this stage, i just have no reason to stop! i tried to just not do music at all for about 156 months in about '02 and it was just a disaster for me. if it's in you it has to come out.

i had some great inspirations over many years. my gramps turned me on to harp when i was about 3 or 4. it took many years after that before i began to catch fire for it though.

sonny terry, howlin wolf, and all the guys who played with muddy waters for starters. john mayall, yes. the list is very long.

i have a duo with my wife on guitar, we both write songs and sing. that's plenty of reason to keep going. we play out maybe 2-4 times a month. next weekend we're in clarksdale mississippi for sunflower blues and gospel fest, there's a post here about it someplace.

once you get to the point where you're on stages and giving it away to an audience- street busking, parties, club dates, whatever, you find yourself kind of driven to keep at it. it's nice to get paid for sure, but it's also very validating to hear from someone that they like what you're doing.

the mechanics of playing are not so difficult. playing with feeling and precision and instinct is where it can get hard. knowing when to NOT play too.

i have been to a lot of open mic nights in a lot of joints, and sometimes had to nearly fight my way on stage. but once there i have usually managed to make a friend or two. my first work with bands, i was recruited at jam nights.

i just try to remember, i have been given a gift. i need to pass it around when i have the opportunity.

Aug 02, 2009 4:22 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Grampa and Great Grampa, Butterfield, both Walters, Cotton, Musselwhite,Kim Wlson, Ricci,Howlin Wolf to name a few.

Aug 02, 2009 7:03 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

It started for me in anger. I was 12, taking trumpet lessons, and was required by the music school to take a theory class. The sullen, burnt out teacher of that class was trying to get us to sing notes on key and to recognize notes heard. I now know that my ear had a different angle, and I didn't get it the way that he approached it or taught it. He said, "You have no ear for music, you should give it up now." So, I did give up the school and the lessons, but I found a harmonica somewhere and played where no one else could hear. I played and played, and when I eventually played with other people, it was all by ear.

But anger fades, and I had years when I didn't play much. I came back driven by love and joy, just loving the music, trying new things. Learning guitar rejuvenated my harp playing, got me into amplification, and melting my walls enough to meet other harp players in places like this.

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