Adam Gussow Harmonica Player Of The Month

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, Learn About the Harmonica

learn harmonica

Message from JP Allen -

“As far as harmonica goes, Adam Gussow is a global phenomenon. He first caught my attention in his mind blowing duo, Satan and Adam. Then he offered the harmonica world a massive contribution through his instructional harmonica videos on YouTube.

Thank you Adam! Thank you for being my friend, my teacher… and thank you for bringing a whole lot of fun into my world and to the lives of so many harmonica players!” Your buddy, JP

If you don’t already know him, well Adam is one of the finest blues harmonica players of this era. He is also a teacher who is generously sharing his art and knowledge with all of us. I’m writing this post to honor him for inspiring and teaching us for so many years!

Some background about Adam:
Adam was born and raised in suburban New York. He completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University in 1979. After graduating, he met harmonica player Nat Riddles and started taking lessons from him. Nat Riddles honed his playing by teaching him the ins and outs of blues harmonica and transformed him into a true blues man.

In the mid-’80s, Adam met blues singer and guitarist Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee on the streets of New York City, and the two started playing on the street of New York. Their duo quickly became famous, and took a prominent place in the New York blues scene. For the next twelve years, they toured and performed all over the world and released three albums as “Satan and Adam” – Harlem Blues (1992), Mother Mojo (1993) and Living on the River (1996)

In 2007, Adam started the “Dirty-South Blues Harp” channel on YouTube with the decision to “give it all away”. His channel quickly became very popular amongst harmonica players and created a following of thousands of subscribers worldwide.

The videos that Adam puts on his channel are pure gems for a disciple of the blues harmonica. If you want to learn the secrets of blues harmonica, you have to check out what he is doing. Through his YouTube channel and his website (ModernBluesHarmonica.com), Adam is providing top-notch harmonica instructions in the form of downloadable videos and tab sheets for everyone.

Adam’s first solo album, “Kick and Stomp.” Sitting behind a foot drum with a harmonica in hand, Adam goes solo and does a one man band act doing everything – singing, blowing amplified harp, and stomping some thumpy rhythms on this CD. Here’s a video of Adam playing “Crossroad Blues” that’s on the album:

Adam also released an album under the duo, The Blues Doctors. It’s called “Roosters Happy Hour”. Check Here to check it out.

Adam has also released an unabridged audiobook version of his blues memoir, Mister Satan’s Apprentice. Check Here to check it out.

He’s just amazing. His energy and passion seem to overflow! I really respect and admire Adam Gussow for the work that he’s doing. He’s a constant source of inspiration for me, and for countless harmonica players all over the world. I hope he continues his work for many more years to come. Thank you Adam!

(Article by Contributing Writers: Ashish Derhgawen & JP Allen)

P.S. Please let me know if you enjoyed this blog and what you thought of Adam in the comments section below.

Comments (86)

  • Nguyen Trung

    |

    Marvelous. I like his blues.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yes..Me too! jp

      Reply

  • Bob Latino

    |

    Great videos. Had to break out my harp and try to play along.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Keep on Jammin’ Bob! – jp

      Reply

  • ashley

    |

    Hi JP.
    I have been an avid follower of Adams YouTube tutorials from the beginning and have purchased a few of his harmonica cd lessons and downloaded heaps of bluesy tunes to learn.
    I have become a harmonica player only because of Adams dedication to help us harmonica lovers.
    Cannot thank Adam enough.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hi Ashley,
      I’m with you. I took my first harmonica lesson from Adam in New York City over 20 years ago. I have shared my understanding of his teachings with thousands of students. So cool…
      jp

      Reply

  • M Van Dyk

    |

    …the toe-tappin’ blues….

    at a crossroads…beautiful

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      pretty cool,
      jp

      Reply

  • bowfrog

    |

    Words just aint goin to do it. But it sure feels good!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Wordless
      jp

      Reply

  • Mike Smith

    |

    Fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Your welcome Mike
      jp

      Reply

  • Clark, Chester

    |

    Wow….Inspirational….Got me back on track, pick, learn and play…Level to shoot for….Someday. Aloha and Mahalo, CK

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Fantastic! Aloha Chester jp

      Reply

  • Bruce Bellinger

    |

    TREMENDOUS!!! Hadn’t heard of Mr. Gussow previously and thanks to you now I have. Playing pure from the heart.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Right on Bruce! jp

      Reply

  • WooD!

    |

    Hey there JP …just why I am here … you are the man that knows where I need ot go … got out my D harp and jammin’ along even learned a new lick or two… thanx to you, my friend .. my music takes me to Crossroads …

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Keep on Jammin’ WooD! jp

      Reply

  • chris riehm

    |

    thats what im talkin bout right there ive been waiting for someone to come out shreding
    adam takes the cake love it

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      YEAH Chris! Adam takes it… and lucky for us he shares it too…

      Reply

  • Jerry Peterson

    |

    I’m a little ashamed to admit I hadn’t heard of Adam, but now I’ll never forget him. He’s a fabulous harp player, and he can sing pretty good too. Thanks for sending this to me; I’ll look forward to more.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      More coming Jerry.

      Reply

  • G. Perry

    |

    Love the Slow Mississippi Blues video.
    Thanks for the email. GP

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      You’re welcomed G!

      Reply

  • Josh Hedstrom

    |

    Excellent! Gotta love the power!

    Peace, Love, and Power for the people as my uncle used to say!

    Peace Out!

    –Josh

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Power to the people,
      jp

      Reply

  • wayne upper

    |

    Playing that FEEDS the soul.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hey Wayne… I think I know what you mean… music played with that much feeling is soul nutrition…

      Reply

  • Brad

    |

    Daaaaaaaaaaaang, man has it dialed. thanks for the links JP, as always.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      You’re welcomed Brad. Dialed!!!

      Reply

  • Snead

    |

    Wow! How inspiring! To watch and listen to these guys, and of course you too, JP, captures the essence of “freedom”. The playing touches the head, the feet and the gut. Should be taught starting in first grade, …. would not be near as expensive as iPads – wouldn’t that be something! The USA, or aka the United States of Harmonica. Thanks

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yeah… essence of freedom

      Reply

  • John

    |

    AAAAH, thank you JP I have been watching Adams clips on
    U Tube, as I am from the UK I was always wondering who
    Satan & Adam were.
    Now I know…. Great film clip.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      I’m glad you enjoyed it John. Adam really has an amazing story… the real deal…

      Reply

  • Wojciech

    |

    It’s actually first time I hear him and it’s such a refreshing and chillin’ expieriance. I couldn’t not smile seeing his dance moves tough!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      yea Refreshing and chillin’
      jp

      Reply

  • JIMDAVE OF W.TN.

    |

    Been watching Adam and Jason on you tube since I started trying to play serious harp couple of years ago. You guys are the greatest. You all are my Heros.
    Thanks,
    Jimdave

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Wow…thanks Jim :-) jp

      Reply

  • wayne upper

    |

    Hey JP, You and your friends are role models……you like to give and aren’t inspired by just money.Thanks Wayne

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yes.. Feels good!! jp

      Reply

  • chris riehm

    |

    is it strange that ive only been playing a year and 2 months but i can mimic adam or anyone really, remember i said mimic not be lol. Anyway one of these days ill have to bump in 2 one of you. Guess ill just keep practicing and following ur posts i always learn something new each time. thanx J.P and all harp players.

    Reply

  • Maria Woolrich

    |

    Great stuff. The harmonica has it all only to be discovered. And it looks like this guy has found it. I am inspired to go the blues. I play my Harp everyday. Thanks JP. I’ve recieved your DVD & CD. My harp playing has improved heaps. I love it.
    Many thanks.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Rock on’ Maria :-) jp

      Reply

  • tonyo

    |

    I’ve never heard of him before, but he certainly knows how to play the blues!!!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Indeed Tonyo
      jp

      Reply

  • eric

    |

    I’m really looking forward to Harmonica Madness in July. I’m a huge Satan and Adam fan from years ago and i recently rediscovered Adam and all his teaching as I’m trying to get restarted on the harmonica. I’m also working on the gypsy harmonica now and can’t wait to see you both in NYC.
    Eric

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yes Eric! See you soon! :-) jp

      Reply

  • Dan Holcomb

    |

    music from the soul;inspires and motivates!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yea Dan, very true
      jp

      Reply

  • Dez

    |

    Inspirational, I have only been learning since last xmas, have three tunes in my old brain so far, the latest being Amazing Grace. After watching this video I’am going to do some serious work on my blues lesson’s, thank you thank you J.P
    Regards Dez

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      You’re very welcome Dez! jp

      Reply

  • Adam Gussow

    |

    JP:

    Thank you SO much for your very generous words. It takes passion to recognize passion in another, and I recognize YOU as one of the most passionate and original harmonica teachers out there. So I’m flattered and honored that you saw fit to grace me with your kind words. I’m really looking forward to the sparks that will fly when you and I team up for the first time in Brooklyn on July 30. See you then!

    –Adam

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      You’re welcomed Adam. I’m feeling it too. Sparks will fly!!!

      When I watched the trailer to your documentary (the first video in this blog), and saw the deep challenges that Satan was going through, I imagined how heart wrenching that must have been for you. In the documentary I love that quick shot of you running alone… your back to the camera… running into the distance… I imagined that your passion for running gave you the physical, mental and emotional strength to “keep yourself together” when times got hard with Satan. Curious…. jp

      P.S. When will that documentary be released? How can we get access to it?

      Reply

  • Mary

    |

    Hi JP,
    You are the one that inspired me to start playing the harmonica.
    You make it so fun and always laughs and smiles. I happened to come across Satan and Adam on utube and was hooked. Now all of you are doing this class at Jalopy Theatre in NY and I’m in. Thanks for the article and all the others – very helpful. I am feeling soooo blessed to be able to learn from you guys. THANK YOU!!!!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      You’re so welcomed Mary!!! It’s profound how we get to support one another by being who we are… by being authentic to the passion that moves through us.

      Reply

  • Josh Hedstrom

    |

    Wonderful! Gotta love the POWER flowing from the mic!

    Peace Out!

    –Josh

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Pretty powerful,
      jp

      Reply

  • Jo Barlow (JB)

    |

    JP,
    That man’s got talent! And he seems to make you just want to join right in. Good Work.. Thanks!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Glad you enjoyed Jo,
      jp

      Reply

  • Eduardo

    |

    Profesor Jp Allen, agradesco a la vida el haber podido conocerlo atraves de sus lecciones. Soy Medico Cirujano, y he trabajado por mas de 30 años en este campo, algo le faltaba a mi vida para estar completa, como siempre me a gustado el blues, compre una armonica (C) y comence aprender a sonarla, pero mejor aun cuando compre JP Allen method, how to play harmonica, pues no solamente estoy aprendiendo a tocarla y a entenderla mas, sino forme un grupo de blues en Queretaro Mexico, Dr. Blues Band, con mucho exito, ademas escribo blues, ya tenemos un disco con canciones propias, y n o te imaginas como me ayudo el Blues para mejorar mi vida, en el Hospital les toco a los niños enfermos y pasamos ratos muy agradables, asi es como me a hecho feliz el blues, el blues no tiene franteras, no importe el idioma que hables, siempre nos comunicaremos con el blues, y el blues nos unira mas.
    Y todo esto profesor Allen se lo debo a UD.
    Mil Gracias, algun dia en la vida nos encontraremos.
    Eduardo

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Eduardo,
      Estoy muy contento de que me has encontrado, y encontró la inspiración y la alegría de la música, especialmente el blues. Me encanta escuchar que tocar música para los niños enfermos, lo que es un regalo maravilloso que traerá.
      Su amigo,
      jp

      Reply

  • Connie

    |

    OK – It’s 95 degrees here in Florida, but this video gives me chills! Can’t watch it and sit still. Gotta go find more – and while I’m at it, get back to my harmonica practices! Thanks, JP.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yes, smokin’!
      jp

      Reply

  • Walt

    |

    I’m still learning. Great inspiration to keep practicing !

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Glad you were inspired,
      jp

      Reply

  • Peter

    |

    ‘Cross Road Blues’ – love it!

    I also enjoyed his clip on timing and playing slow blues. Timing is something I haven’t been disciplined enough to focus on but I know I need to, especially if I want to play with others.
    I think i’ll also be putting a harmonica mike on my Christmas list. Cheers.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Right on Peter, timing is key,
      jp

      Reply

  • blair wyville

    |

    Excellant,I”ve been watch Adam on U-tube for some time. Great stuff

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yes, it is!
      jp

      Reply

  • WooD!

    |

    JP …are you planning another get together with Adam ??? I would love to be there for that … the states, I think, would be much easier on my budget than your wonderful island. WooD!

    Reply

  • K.Slim Simmons

    |

    I did a Short with some borrowed music and my own words….hope you like this…I have been playing for yrs. but after I watch some of your vids and the all the guests like Adam…it got me playin again and now I front for a blues band…Thanx for the inspiration and the knowledge.
    K.Slim

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Glad you enjoyed it. jp

      Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Nice Slim! jp

      Reply

  • steve

    |

    on the 2nd video at 1.30 he says he will start on the 5 chord. what does that mean in realation to what he is doing.?

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hey Steve, my guess is that would he would be starting on the 5th chord of the scale of B flat, which would be F. Keep in mind though that he is still playing a B flat harmonica as he mentioned.

      Reply

  • whiteman

    |

    JP
    Thanks for sharing not only the great music but the history behind these 2 fantastic musicians, Adam and Satan.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Yes, an amazing story.
      jp

      Reply

  • David Miller

    |

    Adam is great! I really like the song from crossroad. which key of harp is he playing on

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hey David, if I remember right I think he loves playing in B flat. jp

      Reply

  • maxine jones

    |

    WOW< He is Great..Thanks for sharing..

    Reply

  • maxine jones

    |

    I want to add tht I am a MISSISSIAN , too..We have a lot of Blues-famous from Mississippi,, Thanks again for sharing

    Reply

  • jan

    |

    Hi JP,

    Tried to post before but doesn’t always work. Anyway I started 3 months ago having bought a harp for my nephew (as a joke) and got a second one half price. I googled a bit and found a YouTube of Adam playing Buford chapel break down. Its what decided me to buy your lessons and now I am trying to play along in b flat! Must admit the blue third is really hard. Thanks for your mentoring and I continue with your DVDs.

    Best
    Jan – belgium

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Right on Jan, I’m glad you’re enjoying the lessons. Hope you have a C harmonica to play along with me so we’re in tune. jp

      Reply

Leave a comment

(Spamcheck Enabled)