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AxidentJan 25, 2009 3:33 PM GMT
If you could pick just one album to recommend to a beginning harp player what would it be?
I am really new to Blues and the harp (3 weeks) but so far my choice would be,
James Cotton - 100% Cotton
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An offer you can't refuse - Walter Horton and Paul Butterfield
Two Sides to Every Story by James Harman. His solo on the song My Little Girl is a brilliant example of complex minimalism.
Little Boy Blue (sometimes entitled "Live at the Knickbocker) By Big Walter and featuring Sugar Ray Norcia and his band. Two great harp players and some great guitar as well. It's probably not a classic album in a lot of peoples minds but I just love it.
An offer you can't refuse
That's the name of the album!
Oisin i have that album it's great. You just can't beat Big Walter!
"Hoodoo Man Blues" (or "Blues Hit Big Town") by Jr. Wells.
Solid playing where some tunes seem simple enough to play along with
at first, and a number of them are, but as the harp reveals it's
complexity so does Jr's playing.
Hey Kingley...isn't it just a great album? I really like Sugar Ray's playing too especially on "I cry for you" and "Country Girl".
Jnr Wells does an excellent version of Country Girl also.
I have played Little Boy Blue to a lot of non-blues fan friends and they have all loved it.
I recommend an album you can't get. Blues Fools. I think they're like from Bulgaria or something. But the harp is simple and bossy!! you might find it on the internet. I got it from MP3.com way back when.
Blues Harmonica Classics: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBlues-Masters-Vol-Harmonica-Classics%2Fdp%2FB0000032X5&ei=Z-N8SczpI-Petgfjv8SgDg&usg=AFQjCNFE_GG1qQ4SaXMiuX2E0J79wQTuAA&sig2=NV_Fhxy3vdJiAjPQ7UTwvQ
Great album, Volume Two looks good, too.
I recommend "The Essential Blues Harmonica" cd. It's a double album.
It's a compilation album ya can't go wrong with. I'm sure you can find info (track list/artist) on the net.
There are so many, SonnyBoys 1&2,Junior Wells,I could name all the usual suspects.One of my favs is Ludella-Jimmie Rodgers w/Kim Wilson.
As a beginner I would suggest listening to all you can get access to.I have only been playing about 6 years and I am allways finding something new to listen at!
Sonny Boy Williamson, the Real Folk Blues...
"Blacktop Blues Harmonica Spotlight" is an excellent, approachable compilation. I believe that all the tunes can be played on a G,A,C,and D harp. "Fine Cuts" by Big Walter is similarly approachable, and features BW's masterful phrasing, tone, and style.
Paul Butterfield The Electra years. Fur sure!
The Best of Muddy Waters--Little Walter on every cut!
In 1966 I would have said HOODOOMAN BLUES by Jr. Wells.
I learned an incredible amount from listening to that record...
Hey Madcat, you are playing in my home town of Sturgis, MI. on Feb. 7.
Are you bringing your own sound man? I am contracted to do sound for this auditorium but usually for just our local shows. Who is Jimmy Dillon? How much of the show are you going to play?
Wow--the people you meet here! Madcat! You inspired me to play harp a couple of years ago--I got your "Ins and Outs" DVD--then found Adam Gussow--anyway, thanks!
100% cotton rocks for me!
Buddy Guy and Junior Wells- "Alone and Acoustic"
Most tracks can be played on an A harp
Alone and Acoustic is a great album!
Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets--Live at the Grand Emporium.
I'd pick Honkin on Bobo....
Aerosmith's remake of some classic blues with a twist only they can put on covers that make them their own.plus on original cut "the grind" is really cool.
Steven Tyler is awesome on the harmonica!
william clarke serious intentions
Pat Ramsey--It's About Time
junkyardmen--Keep on Workin' (with the incredible Billy Gibson on harp)
Kim Wilson--Tigerman (my favorite KW album)
Canned Heat--Uncanned (2-disc retrospective)
my sleeper pick kid ramos- greasy kids stuff.a whos who of harp
Superb album the Kid Ramos one. Great choice Thomas!
Paul deLay--Nice & Strong
Dennis Gruenling - Up all Night
Boss Blues Harmonica - Walter is on every cut
Mark Wenner with the Bel Airs--Mama Tried
Blues Harp Boogie
It's a compilation that has all the greats on it plus some guys that you normally wouldn't hear much about.
William Clarke Deluxe Edition pretty darn good. Tough question.
Rod Piazza Live at BB King's
William Clarke.... Tip Of The Top
Sonny Boy Williamson (II)...His Best
Ludella - Jimmy Rogers (w/Kim Wilson)
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Little Walter "His Best" or "The Essential"
Butus, its about time by Pat is one of the most moving cds I've heard, to see him live was amazing. Check out live at the grand, he put it out in 97 I think, but its great as well. If you can't find it ill email you a copy. RIP Pat, look up pepper drive if you want to hear what his son klyde is up to.
Barry Manilow's greatest hits.
Rick Estrin's "On the Harp Side" - fairly new. A university class in multiple styles of harp. In my opinion Rick plays Sonny Boy better than Sonny Boy did.
Anything SRV,Family style seems very harp friendly.....
If the purpose is to have the person learn from the album, I would recommend The Best of Sonny Boy Williamson. It's hard to go wrong with Rice Miller. Like Junior Wells, his playing style is deceptively simple until you try to emulate it exactly.
One wouldn't go wrong with Hoodoo Man Blues by Junior Wells. There is a reason why this is Delmark Records' best seller 45 years after it was released. It's awesome!
'Alone and Acoustic' - Junior Wells and Buddy Guy
I'd suggest getting into into Big Walter before you get too far into Little Walter.
The Best of Hooker 'N' Heat
As JLH says "I dig this kid's harmonica, I don't know how he follow me but do."
Shows what a good electric tone, some simple riffs, andreal listening can do.
Jimmy Hall Rendevous with the Blues. Jimmy lee Pocket Full of Blues
Anything by Jason Ricci. Paul Butterfield Live double album. Love Hooker N Heat.
"Get on Board" by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee.Folkways FA 2028 10 inch vinyl. 1951. Might actually be worth something.
Harp Attack was the album I liked most when I first got interested in blues harmionica. It has some of the all time greats. Carey Bell, Billy Branch, James Cotton and Junior Wells.
I think a beginner would benefit most from a compilation album, you would be exposed to more players styles and techniques. Rhino records Blues Masters series vol 4 or 16 (Harmonica classics and More Harmonica Clasics) would be a damn good place to start. That said my first cassette was Sonny Boy Williamsons' Real Folk Blues. I tried for months to play it all on a G harp.;)