Terry McMillan Playing the Harmonica: In His Memory Find Video Below

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JP Allen

by JP Allen

Hey Harmonica Lover,

Since I heard about the death of Terry McMillan at age 53, I’ve felt a deep sadness. I actually cried because I felt so touched by this man. This blog is a dedication to one of my favorite harmonica players and an opportunity to take a moment to celebrate his life.

I’ve always loved gospel harmonica. But the players I loved were old, black and dead (e.g. Reverend Gary Davis). That is, until Terry came around.

When you listen to the below YouTube video, I encourage you to send a blessing to this amazing harmonica player and remember that music transcends…and includes…all spiritualities. So whatever your beliefs are about life, treat yourself to a good ol’ time and let the spirit of Terry McMillan take you for a magical harmonica ride!

Thanks for sharing the ride with me!

(Terry is playing a Hohner Marine Band in the key of C. If you’d like to play along, any 10-hole harmonica in the key of C will work)

For me Terry was not only a mind-blowing harmonica player, percussionist, drummer and SINGER…he was cool.

I met Terry in Greenwich Village, New York, sometime in the early 90s (after a gig he played with guitar virtuoso Larry Carlton).

I was a young, budding harmonica player and he was more than happy to hang out and show me every trick he knew. What an honor!

When I asked him which harmonica players he listened to for inspiration he surprised me when he said, “I listen to guitar players for harmonica inspiration.”

Wow! That blew my mind.

But then it all made sense. I remember the first time I heard, “A Cold Day In Hell” off Larry Carlton’s CD, Renegade Gentleman. I actually thought Terry’s harmonica was a guitar for a moment. For me, the first 30 seconds of that song is one of the greatest moments in harmonica history.

In honor of Terry, each month I’m going to dedicate a blog to a harmonica player who has touched the world.

I’m really curious if you enjoyed the above video and would love to hear from you. If you want you can leave your comments below. (If you wrote in on a previous blog,  I thank you! I read all your comments and they really make my day. Finding time to respond is another trick. I’m sure you understand).

Warmly,

JP Allen

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Comments (168)

  • Andy Robinson

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    Thanks for sharing the McMillan video, it was a great inspiration. I am just a beginning harmonica player…wow! I like to just mess around in my spare time… yeah. It is a nice release.

    Reply

    • glen

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      unbelievable. the harmonica became part of him.

      Reply

    • Ken Wootten

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      Thank you for putting this up, Terry McMillan has an incredible story. His Harmonica playing is unbelievable to say the least, very, very cool. Thank you again, Happy and safe New Year to all.

      Reply

  • Don

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    I found myself totally engaged with Terry. His harmonica is his voice, a symphony, a messenger and a truly uplifting experience. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see and hear Terry.

    Reply

  • Jim Tandy

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    Thanks J.P. for this article. keep them coming. I love the harmonica very much and love to hear the great ones play.
    Only wish I were one of them.

    Reply

  • Wilbert Jennings

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    I am sorry to hear that Terry died I was a fan and very much enjoyed his passion in his entertaining and the way he played a Harmonica, like nothing else I heard. JP is also a darn good player and when I get some money together I am going to get his lessons, I have already learned a lot with his free lessons and the laid back way he teaches.

    Reply

    • bob wiley

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      one thing to remember is terry played with the high notes to the left

      Reply

      • Richard Cowell

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        What do you mean, high notes on the left? Does that mean he’s holding his harp in his Right hand. Where the 1 2 3 4 holes are on the mic? That’s how I hold it. Is that considered “switch foot” or something? Is that wrong?

        Reply

    • Charlie

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      Thanks for letting us enjoy his wonderful playing ability.
      “This Train” made me want to jump up and start dancing. I noticeed about half way through that he had the nigh notes to the left. What was his reasoning for this?

      Thanks Much

      Charlie

      Reply

  • Diego

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    Only one word: Aleluya!!!!

    Reply

  • Darryl Ruff

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    Terry’s performance here is part of a Bill & Gloria Gaither Homecoming Friends’ recording session.

    During another session, Terry outdid himself with his rendition of “Amazing Grace”. Absolutely awesome… and them some!

    Reply

  • Alma Engel

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    Thank you so much for this awesome video. I shared it with my great-grandson, Thad, who is learning to play the harmonica along with me. He loved it, and also feels sad that Terry is no longer with us. We also plan to sign up for the advanced lessons after we learn the basics. You, too, are an awesome harmonica player–so generous and passionate in sharing your talent. You are truly a blessing.

    Reply

  • jAMIE jAMESON

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    We English are noted for our reticence, but that was mind-blowing. It makes one want to try even harder to emulate such players – or even give it up! Can anyone be as good as that? I hope he’s booked to play in front of the Almighty!
    Jamie.

    Reply

    • Eduardo Curiel

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      JP.Allen you just make my day.
      Eduardo(MEX)

      Reply

  • Dave Tabor

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    I’ve been playing for a few years, but am nowhere near that good. I really enjoyed listening to it. It’s very inspirational. Keep ‘em coming!

    Reply

  • Gary Popelka

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    Thanks, JP. Terry’s harp blowin’ is always inspirational and amazing. Check out his Amazing Grace video on YouTube. Awesome! I’ve been at it for several months now and feel like I’m only able to crawl a little compared to you accomplished harpers. I want to get to the level of an “adequate” blues/rock/gospel player so bad, but don’t know if the inner talent is there. BUT, I’ll keep trying. Keep the good stuff comin’.
    Gary

    Reply

    • john huff

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      I would like to know the brand of harps Terry played and what key he played in .
      Thank you
      JPH

      Reply

      • JP Allen

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        Thanks John!

        Great question!

        As per your request, if you look right below the video I added the answer to that question so everyone will benefit.

        (Terry is playing a Hohner Marine Band in the key of C. If you’d like to play along, any 10-hole harmonica in the key of C will work)

        Reply

        • wes

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          i really liked that video alot jp terry sounded awesome

          Reply

  • Ken Lockhart

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    JP,

    I’ve never met him, but I should have. Awesome, awesome, awesome, is all I can say.

    Ken Lockhart

    Reply

  • Jean-Luc

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    What to say after such a performance. It is breathtaking! Thank you for sharing this wonderful harmonica experience.
    I just love it and it makes me so humble and at the same time breaks the limits.
    Thanks again
    Jean-Luc

    Reply

  • Bob Nelson

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    This is some great harmonica playing, singing and a great soul wining tool. J.P.,he must have learned from you. I can not imagine how I ever missed knowing him. I listen to the Gathers all the time. He truly will be missed.

    Reply

  • CW

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    WOW!!!
    other than that, I am speechless. Thanks JP

    Reply

  • Jim Day

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    Wow, 53 how sad!! JP you have out done yourself again! You always know when and how to motavate your students! Keep it up!

    Thanks, Jim

    Reply

  • John Portelli

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    Inspirational. Clearly there’s more to harmonica than blowing notes; I hope I can find that space someday.

    Thank you
    John Portelli

    Reply

  • S.Karuppiah

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    It is amazing. I have been playing few Indian Songs as a hobby from child hood. I never knew till now harmonica can be so wonderful when played by a genius. Very inspiring. Thanks for offering me an oppurtunity to watch this u tube

    Reply

  • Greg Markel

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    How cool was that!?!!!! I’d never heard Terry.
    This harmonica world is so much fun… and thank you to you!! Last June I vowed to myself that I’d learn to play the harmonica enough to make that ‘bend-sound’. I have happily studied your complete series and I so highly recommend it!! This is so much fun!

    Reply

  • Billy Blue Eyes

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    Thanks for sharing this performance with me. Not only is the playing awesome but the message is inspirational.

    Come on JP show us how you would play the same song. I think we would all appreciate hearing how you would approach the song.

    Best Regards,

    Billy

    Reply

  • Rob Closson

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    Thank you so much JP for sharing Terry with me. I have played all my life but i had never heard of him. I was mesmerized by the video and by the time he was done the tears were running down my cheeks. God Bless you Terry.
    JP you are also an amazing harp player and i really enjoy your blogs and emails.
    thanks again

    Rob Closson

    Reply

    • Jim

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      I was in a very dark place in my life when I first heard Terry back in the 80s on TBN. He lit up my life back then and I started playing too about 12 years later always remembering Terry as I struggled to develop. Tears flowed all over my face too, Rob. I wondered whatever happened to him. Now I see how blessed I was to have experienced Terry then and now. Thank You, Lord. Thank you, Terry. Thank you, JP

      Reply

  • David Jay

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    JP, Always enjoy your harp clips. This was special. Tkx, D Jay

    Reply

  • Facundo

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    Awesome!

    I’m a drummer, too, and I’v been playing the harmonica for a few weeks.I didn´t know this man, but damn he’s good!
    I’ll start watching more videos of him!

    May you rest in peace, Terry

    Thanks J.P. for sharing!

    Reply

  • Ricky Lien

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    I ammmm speechless!!!! Wow! Words can’t describe how he just blew that harp! What a giant, what a maestro! I got goosebumps all over!
    JP – thanks for sharing, and keep on keeping your great work in helping total beginners have a vision for themselves. Now, let’s dust off my ‘C’ harp and start to blow again. Revitalised!
    With passion,
    Ricky

    Reply

  • Teatree

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    WOW!! and a big WOW…. this man’s amazing. inspiring… i’ve just started learning harmonica and it inspires me to learn more… to be able to play harp as soulful as him….. thanks for sharing JP. . thanks for touching our hearts by your blogs and lessons….
    best regards,
    T3

    Reply

  • Hal Eaton

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    Wow !!!!!!!!!

    I had not heard Terry play before, and I must say that I
    am totally gob-smacked.
    What a performance.

    Reply

  • Egert Rohtla

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    My all-time favourite harmonica player…

    Great man. It’s sad there are so few of hes videos in youtube. Such power – especially in “amazing grace” !

    Reply

  • Gayle Sokolsky

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    JP, thanks so much for the inspiration!! Terry was great, and you, are also great for sharing so much with so many. You touch a lot of lives.

    Reply

  • Jim

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    I love this humble little instrument. I love the experience of flowing harp and guitar at the same time. There is nothing like it.
    These days I Am pushin’ 70 and just hopin’ to play like Terry, if I ever grow up.

    Reply

  • JP Allen

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    Tears of joy reading all your messages. It never ceases to amaze me how empowered we are to make a difference in others lives…and how music is such an amazing way to lift people’s spirits

    Reply

  • DAVE C.

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    amazing video,loved it, keep them coming

    Reply

  • Joan

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    Thank you for posting these videos. It is so inspirational to see master players doing what they love best. I hope you find others to share!

    Reply

  • Maggie Timms

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    I just love to see your emails come zooming in, cause I never know what kind of a ride I’m about to take. I’m so inspired by Terry’s video. What talent! and what an entertainer. Thanks for bringing so much of yourself and your love for music into my home. I delete so much incoming, but your emails always get a read. Thanks for being out there, and for being such an inspiration and help. You’ve done wonders for my playing and made it all seem so “doable” and friendly.

    Reply

  • Irene Brown

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    Just loved it…..so much talent for one person….

    Reply

  • Peter Wilkes

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    When I first started messing around with the harp at parties and a friend would be on guitar another friend would say’ ‘the harmonica’s not a lead instrument, you just play the fill-ins’.

    I don’t mind just playing the fill-ins but from the last couple of videos you’ve posted, there’s a lot more than just ‘filling-in’ going on.

    Thanks for the continual inspiration.

    Reply

  • Tom Gray

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    Thanks j.p.

    I flicked this on to my 6 year old grandson and he’s fascinated with the harmonica.

    We have your CD’s and are both really keen on learning to play.

    Looking forward to your next pearl of wisdom.

    Grandad Tom and grandson Cody

    New Zealand

    Reply

  • Judith Stensland

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    I have been playing a few years, but chugging eludes me. this was just amazing. Thanks for sending it!!!!

    Jude

    Reply

  • charles verhoeven

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    thanks j.p. I enjoy all the great things you send me for my enjoyement of the harmonica. Keep sending I really appreciate it!!!

    Reply

  • Roger Napier

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    WOW!!! JP, that was incredable. Even with the hand he was delt as a child, he honered God & used his talents for the Lord. I’ll never be that good but I’ll try. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  • Filipe Mesquita

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    Quoting legendary Hank Snow, its not the «Wreck of the Old 97» but the arrival of the true blowing machine of modern times!!!
    Thanks a lot for the video.

    Reply

  • Abe Williams

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    He’s great, I am (and always will be) still learning.
    But, maybe I’m nuts, but is he playing it “backwards”? low notes on the right, high ones on the left?

    Abe

    Reply

  • Shawn Cartee

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    Thank you:) J.P.
    Shawn

    Reply

  • David Brunner(br-oo-ner)

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    it was sad when he said he father kicked his wife down TWO stories of stairs, it made me think,”What a SICK man.” and his harmonica plaing one word………….AMAIZING

    Reply

  • Pearse

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    Simply outstanding, thank you

    Reply

  • Ed Gold

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    Thank you for permitting me to hear a harmonica genius at work. It was inspirational. Please keep these videos coming.

    Reply

  • peter

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    WOW!. That video sent shivers down my spine. If only i could play harmonica nearly half as good as Terry McMillan. I will just have to keep practising…

    Reply

  • Successlaron

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    Wow…… well i wish i could play like him…. i can get passes this stage …. stuck wid the begenin of bendin …. And how do you make sensible Riff’s ??

    Reply

  • John Hobbs

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    JP, Thanks so very much for the FREE lessons. When I can, I will be ordering the DVD set. I have kinda messed with the harmonica for years, never doing more than “Camptown Races”. I bought 5 Lee Oskar harps to play with my son who plays guitar,then found your site. The rudiments you teach are priceless. I have played percussion for over 40 years. When I began at age 10, I learned the “13 essential rudiments”. Whenever I get the chance to play, mostly at church, I pull those basic steps out. The Deep Relaxed Embouchure you teach is a little weird at first, but it works.
    I got called to fill in the other night at rehearsal. I had my harps in the truck. Long story short, I played my harp in church that Sunday soloing on “Rock of Ages”. We now have a new instrument available to the worship team. Thanks JP

    Reply

  • Rebecca

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    This was AMAZING!!! WOW, and always, Glory be to GOD for ALL He is doing in SO many lives! I love the Gaither Homecoming Videos but missed this particular one. Thanks for sharing it on U-Tube!

    Reply

  • Bob

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    My favorite harpman! Of course I’ll have to say I haven’t heard as much of you as I have of Terry.
    I noticed since watching your free videos, that Terry kept that same upward angle on his harmonica. It sure helps me too! Thanks!!!!!!!

    Reply

  • Sarah

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    Thanks JP for all your videos and free advice and lessons; you are a very special and talented person. People like you are what makes life worth living; you give of yourself expecting nothing in return except to add music freely to those of us who cannot afford your whole set. I wish you had a set just for senior citizens who only wish to learn to play southern gospel and bluegrass gospel. Anyway thanks for all you do.
    Sarah

    Reply

  • Dan

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    JP-

    Thank you for posting this video. I actually found your videos and your site while searching YouTube for Terry’s playing. He was my inspiration as a kid when I saw him perform at our church. Fast forward 20 years and now I’m finally picking up the harmonica and learning to play. Terry was truly gifted and I God used him and his music to reach a lot if people. I’m one of them. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

    • Phil Davis

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      Thanks for posting that JP sad to think that terry,s daddy tried to kill such a blessed talent but the Holy One would not allow that praise G-d, rest in peace Terry.

      Reply

  • Mel

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    Easy to see why he inspired you!

    Reply

  • Ryan

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    Hi JP, thanks for giving honour to such a talent. The song he played is what inspired me to pick up the harp. It really blew me away. With your DVD’s I must say I am now able to hear how he played the song, and that impresses me even more.

    Ryan

    Reply

  • Ryan

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    Hey, Me again, I also noticed, that he is holding his harp upside down, any reason why?

    Reply

  • Igor

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    Terry was really great performer!!
    I’ve never heard him before.
    Rest in peace,Terry.

    Thank you, JP.

    Reply

  • Laurent

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    Hi JP,

    I just received your harmonica lessons bundle and although I just finished DVD#1 I would like to thank you for your great teaching. You are a great educator!

    All the best from France,

    Laurent

    Reply

  • Jemmy

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    Hi Jp,

    That song just made my day. I’m more inspired and determined than ever to learn harmonica. I want to make people smile as well.

    Reply

  • Bill Yost

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    What an amazing performance. It’s one of those you can feel deep inside your chest and stomach as you’re watching. Just looking at the broad range of the audience is a tribute to the appriciation of Terry’s music. For a minute there, I thought the train was going to back into that lady in the front row!

    Thanks for sharing this video, JP.

    Bill

    Reply

  • Tim

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    Thanks for the vid JP you must feel very honored to know and talk to Terry McMillan plus get some lessons from him. WOW .
    his harmonica playing was great but his message was much greater.God bless

    Tim

    Reply

  • Octavia

    |

    Hi JP,

    I just came upon your blog and video about Terry McMillan. What a shame I had no idea he passed. Terry was a complete great musician! I loved the video.

    Several years ago someone turned me on to his song A Cold Day In Hell in an effort to see if I could play harp with similar emotion as Terry for a recording (which I recorded). Some time after I recorded a mostly originals CD called Down In The Hollow. I had to include A Cold Day In Hell. Naturally I have been performing Terry’s song at my shows since. It is always a show stopper. I was really happy to pay for the rights to record A Cold Day In Hell. I think it was about 2005 when I sent Terry an email thanking him for that great song but unfortunately I did not receive a reply. I have to research when he passed.

    Terry was seriously one of the best diatonic players I’ve come across. It was encouraging to hear he got inspiration from guitar players too.
    When I began my life with harmonica in 1966 I soon realized with my ear being what it is, if I wanted to find a style of my own I may need to listen to other instrumentalists too. It’s awesome to learn from the great harp players but as Terry, I found my path another way. We are all different. When asked, I encourage others to listen to harp players and be open to all genres and instrumentalists. Great musicians and music are inspiring. You never know where that next lesson will derive from.

    It’s funny that I heard some similar riffs that I use in Terry’s in his video. Since first hearing Terry I hold the highest respect for his rounded talent as a musician writer vocalist and showman. Mastering all of these hats is no easy task. It takes a lifetime of hard work. Thanks for sharing his video. I will search for more of his videos at youtube.

    Aside from the entire (over 7 minute) A Cold Day In Hell track on my CD, a different sample section of A Cold Day In Hell can be heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/octavia3.
    Another snippet with a different demo sample plays when arriving at: http://www.livebluesworld.com/profile/Octavia.

    We have some cover tracks with my band The Octavia Blues Band at OctaviaBluesBand.com. Our covers CD is nearly ready for print. Our band CD with my originals is due out in 2011.

    I used to play US Navy Band harps with the same red plastic comb as shown in Terry’s video. I panicked when I could no longer find one but was relieved that they brought out the same design under the name Golden Melody.

    That was ages ago and since for years I have been using Suzuki Pro Master Valved harps for their tone texture versatility and durability. Suzuki came out with the Manji. They have a very bright sound and outstanding action and possess the Suzuki durability I appreciate. I use the Manji in some higher range harps such as the E and F. Suzuki’s entire line of harmonicas are great.

    The best to you, Octavia

    Reply

  • chris

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    That was great, Wow I’m speechless

    Reply

  • Tim

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    JP… i hope this is ok. I found this and thought maybe someone else would like to read about Terry’s accomplishments he was truely a great musician you must feel very honored to have met and got to know him

    Harmonica Wizard Terry McMillan Dead at 53
    Toured, Recorded With Top Country, Pop Stars
    February 4, 2007; Written by Edward Morris
    Ace harmonica player and percussionist Terry Lee McMillan died Friday (Feb. 2) at his home in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., following a long illness. He was 53. A spokesman for the funeral home handling the services said the family has declined to specify the exact cause of death.

    McMillan was born Oct. 12, 1953, in Lexington, N.C., and began his professional music career in the early 1970s. Early on, he toured as a member of Eddy Raven’s band. In 1975, he went on the road with Chet Atkins. After stints backing Jeannie C. Riley and Jerry Reed, McMillan turned his attention to playing recording sessions. Although a gifted drummer and percussionist, he gained his reputation in the studio for his distinctive harmonica style. He won the Academy of Country Music’s musician of the year award in its specialty instrument category for four consecutive years beginning in 1993.

    In the early 1980s, McMillan signed with RCA Records as a solo act, but his tenure at the label was short-lived. His only charted single, “Love Is a Full Time Thing,” peaked at No. 85 in 1982.

    McMillan’s earliest recording sessions were with Mickey Newbury, Steve Young, Elvis Presley, Marshall Chapman, Ray Charles and J J. Cale. He subsequently performed on TV specials with Neil Young, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis and Chet Atkins among others. Intermittently, he returned to the road with such artists as Larry Carlton, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Michael McDonald. McMillan’s harmonica work is prominently featured on Brooks’ 1993 hit, “Ain’t Going Down (Til the Sun Comes Up).”

    After his family’s house was destroyed in a 1992 house fire, McMillan became a devout Christian and focused extensively on inspirational music. In 1993, he released his first album, I’ve Got a Feeling, on Step One Records. He also released an album for Giant Records, Somebody’s Comin’, in 1997. In the years that followed, he became a frequent guest on Christian television programs.

    “In 1993,” according to Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers, “[McMillan] was chosen … to be a member of [a band] that performed at President Clinton’s Arkansas inaugural ball. The rest of the band was Michael McDonald, Bruce Hornsby, Kenny Loggins, Carole King and Judy Collins. [McMillan] played a standout version of ‘Amazing Grace’ on the harmonica.”

    He is survived by his wife, three children, a stepchild, two grandchildren, his father and a brother.

    Funeral services will be held Wednesday (Feb. 7) at Atchley Funeral Home in Sevierville, Tenn. Burial will be in Smoky Mountain Memory Gardens.
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    • Octavia

      |

      Great information Tim. Much appreciated. Hats off and glasses raised to Terry. I regret that we never crossed paths. More so I would have Loved jamming with him. I’m certain we would have had a total blast!

      Reply

  • Zsolt Gyorgy

    |

    Hi,

    Thanks for the video JP . I started to learn harp with your video lessons.
    I am very happy to know Terry McMillan. It’s wonderful.
    His harmonica playing was great but his message was much greater.
    God bless
    All the best from Romania,

    Zsolt

    Reply

  • Jo Barlow

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    AMEN! That is Super! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  • Barry Walker

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    Thank You so much for sharing this video, I will research for more of his music. That was awsome. Thanks again, I will be looking forward to the additonal info and music by Terry. Thanks again, Barry

    Reply

  • Jabo

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    great song played by a great harmonica player. I feel lifted every time I listen to it and hear him play amazing grace. harmonica sounds great playing gospel music. thanks would like to hear more

    Reply

  • hugo

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    that was some harpist and a one off greart

    Reply

  • Yoshi

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    Wow, he is an amazing harpist. You can feel all of his energy and emotion through that harmonica! Very inspirational.

    Reply

  • john"JACK'gerstel

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    JP…TERRY McMILLIAN sure fantastic.The man played from his heart.. Why is life so cruel as to take such a talent away. There will never be a valid reason… I’m the 83 yr. old guy still struggling with the the harps his hands and saxaphone chops, but I’m going to win this harp playing thing. I have a new inspiration. TERRY McMILLIAN. Thanks JP for sharing this vidio.. P.S. I have your lessons on Harmonicas, now how about teaching me to work this Confusing Lap top computer… Thanks again for Terry McMillian. R.I.P. —- Jack Gerstel– Lexington, KY.

    Reply

  • Trevor

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    WOAH! Those high notes at 3:53 are really incredible. Getting them that well at that speed and sounding great while doing it!

    Reply

  • Zubir Md Tap

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    Warmest greetings from Malaysian,

    The most amazing harmonica player that I ever watch. You too Allen. Thanks for sharing the video with me bro. Appriciate it.

    Zubir

    Reply

  • Sonny Lee

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    Thanks for sharing such wonderful harmonica music by Terry who burst out of sheer joy within!

    Reply

  • Frank(i)

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    Hi, dear Harp Apostle, I’ also speechless but thanks, Thanks THANKS for you to the Lord. Mr. Terry rest in peace. Sad that he
    is less known in Hungary… May Peace and Good Will always be Yours.
    Frank

    Reply

  • FJ1200

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    Oh boy – I seriously enjoyed that! What a fantasic player!

    Reply

  • Terry

    |

    JP as usual, Terry gives a fantastic inspirational performance. It’s always nice to see these videos as it really encourages all of us to do better and practice more with the hopes of one day being able to achieve sounds like these.
    Thanks

    Reply

  • Jonathan

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    I seen Terry’s video’s before awhile back. That dude sure could jam! I’ll probably never go to that level. I’m doing good just to learn the easy stuff. lol No biggie, I’m having a hoot learn some stuff to play around the campfire, and for my Great Pyrenees dogs. Rocky’s my best audience and simply adores the sounds I make.

    Funny, I got going pretty good and started bending and my 175 pound dogs head came hopping up along with his big floppy ears, and he had this expression on his face that was clearly… You missed a note dad!!! Once he realized it was part of what I was doing, the big old dog grin popped up. My audience is unusual for sure but were having allot of fun and laughs around here!

    Been laid off all winter but once I get working again I’ll probably get your program.

    Reply

  • Octavia

    |

    Hi Jonathan,

    As far as I can see being inspired to play music for the love of it is a wonderful gift. I appreciate that gift every day and certainly after all these years I never tire of playing music. I’m sure Terry was driven by those feelings as that comes through loud and clear in every note he played and sang. He remains a great inspiration to me. Few players reach the heights he rose to but from what I see the more one plays the more one learns and it’s about the joy music brings. Sounds like you’ve got that going.
    I’ve played and written many songs by the campfire. It’s magic. Nothing’s more natural than music and nature.
    Spring is soon on the way … Yea! Keep that harp warm and workin! Your dogs sound precious. I just stopped by for a moment I’m getting ready to perform at a festival with my band this evening.
    The best to you,
    Octavia
    OctaviaBluesBand.com

    Reply

  • Jo Barlow

    |

    JP,
    SUPER SUPER SUPER!!! What Talent. Everyday, I pick up my Harmonica, thanks for your free lessons, then the package I bought from you (Lessons).. and the package of 7 different Harmonicas.. I love them all. I hummed Amazing Grace to dad, as he slipped away, joining The Lord above.. (afraid to mess up the words).. I now PLAY that on my Harmonica. Plus others, that I pick up, as I play by ear, read music… and can pick the one I need, for a certain song. THANKS!!!!
    Jo

    Reply

  • Martyn

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    Hi JP Great video, what a guy, its easy to see where you got your inspiration.
    I’m just starting out with my harmonica and i’m really impressed with your free tutorials, its so nice to be able to relax in a big comfy armchair when no one’s around and make sounds thats all and then to add add a bit of rhythm. it may not sound like music but boy is it fun. Id always wanted to learn to play an instrument but always lost interest, but now with the harmonica i can pick it up, put it down where ever i may be its so convienient. At the moment i am playing along with What i think is a great video on youtube called Bring him home (from LES MISERABLES) sub headed Bring them home in honour of our troops fighting for our two great nations, please check it out.
    A big thank you. Martyn ENGLAND

    Reply

  • Mike

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    J.P.
    I was actually looking up tab, playing my guitar and listening to Renegade Gentlemen. I’m with you regarding Terry’s playing and I could listen to his playing & singing over and over on Col Day In Hell! Phenomenal!!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Yeah MIKE!!! PHENOMENAL!!!

      Reply

  • Joe

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    Terry and his wife bought their first house across the street from my family on Shacklett-Lane Ct. in Antioch, TN back around 1977-78 when I was about 13-14 years old. He was 11 years older than me and I remember how nice he was to all us kids. I had 3 younger brothers and we used to go across the street to his house and jump on his trampoline with him. He was one of the coolest guys you could EVER meet. ABSOLUTELY one of, if not the BEST, harmonica players EVER! He was a very talented musician, having won the prestigious Academy of Country Music Musician of the Year Award (specialty instrument category) 4 consecutive times (1993-1996). He was a beautiful person inside and out. He will forever be missed…

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Wow Joe. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I like the image of you and Terry jumping on the trampoline together. Good place to practice rhythm. jp

      Reply

  • John

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    outstanding

    Reply

  • Frank

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    JP,

    Thank you for sharing. I am new to the harmonica and love every minute of it.

    I also really appreciate the talant you bring to the harmonica.

    Reply

  • Brooke

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    thats was awesome, doesn’t matter who you are, music speaks to your soul & that made mine want to jump up and dance. Thanks JP just what I needed today.

    Reply

  • Sirsanto

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    All those wide lapels and permed hairdos kinda freaked me out. Once I just listened and quit watching, it was great!

    Reply

  • hugo

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    every time i hear terry playing i get goose bumps all over, i think he is fantastic, and he plays with the HEART and SOUL its just magic

    Reply

  • Larry Reaves

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    Amazing, Thanks for sharing

    Reply

  • Glen Goddard

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    Amazing grace shows up in his playing. Thanks for sharing some really great players with us…

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks Glen,
      jp

      Reply

  • michael

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    Awesome!!!!

    Reply

  • Ante

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    after seeing this one I feel like I could conquer the world by playing harmonica

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Very cool Ante. jp

      Reply

  • jim crain sr.

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    I opened my emails this morning and thought what is this going to be this time from J P. After I watched the video 2 times with tears running down my face I almost couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Some people say that real men don’t cry, but we do when such emotion hits us. I used to sing this song at my church in Florida playing my guitar. I get such a thrill each time an email comes from you as I know I am going to see and learn something new again. Thank you so much for your time and effort you give freely to everyone. I’m still trying to get it right and someday I will. If only I had more breath to use. I have my 7 set of harps now and love to try things in all the different keys. Thank you my friend, jim crain sr. Hamilton, New Zeqaland

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thank you for your heartfelt email Jim. Warmed my heart. jp

      Reply

  • Steve hall

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    I have the very album by Larry carlton who in fact did the music to “Hill street Blues” TV series. And i have met larry himself in London near where i live. for you older folks like me in my mid 50s, check out “When the levie breaks” by Led Zeppelin. The harmonica intro was done by “Memphis mini” rest her soal. WOW! she was a grand old age when she did it.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Steve, thanks for your input…the harp in Led Zeppelin’s tune is played by Robert Plant but as you mentioned inspired by Memphis Minnie. “When the Levee Breaks” is a blues song written and first recorded by husband and wife Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929. The song is in reaction to the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

      Reply

  • Steve hall

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    Well i must admit i went by the credits on the cover as she is mentioned on there so guessed it was her then used Wikipedia to find out about her Dollar bracelets an all. Had a blast of “Renegade gentleman” tonight and oh my god was Terry good and indeed an album that turned larry away from the calmer stuff he usually plays these days in “Fourplay” Go buy the album folks its a blast.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks for your input Steve. Your harmonica buddy, jp

      Reply

  • David Browning

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    Terry was the best! I learned from listening to him on the original Hinson records in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The harmonica used in the video is not a marine band, but a hohner golden melody my preferred hohner of choice.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks for your input David. jp

      Reply

  • WALT

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    WOW, BETWEEN YOU AND TERRY I WILL HAVE TO PRACTICE MORE. WHAT A STORY. THANKS FOR SHARING.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      I’m happy to hear it inspired you Walt. jp

      Reply

  • mike

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    JP: By any chance do you have the tabs for this version of amazing grace and where to find the same amazing grace backing track ?

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Mike…I think you mean “This Train is bound for glory” He mentions playing amazing grace for his parents, but doesn’t play it on the clip. jp

      Reply

  • mike

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    Im sorry for the mix up JP, I watched the Amazing Grace clip and then came to this page. I have been trying to break down the tabs for that version of amazing grace and I am having trouble. also I cant find that same backing track, I have searched for hours, I havent been playing very long and wanting to order your lessons your free lesson of amazing grace was great!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Let me know which version you mean Mike. jp

      Reply

  • Shubhang Saurav

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    Hi JP!!

    I have been following your tutorials for quite a long time on my Hohner 150th Anniversary in the key of C (Diatonic). I must say that you are an incredible tutor and getting to know about the inspiration of a legend like you is an amazing experience. Very much thanks for it. By the way JP, I had asked you a question but never got a reply. Due to some reasons, I was unable to get Special 20 harp so instead of it, I got 150th Anniversary. Is it as good as Special 20? I have just started to learn so have not much idea about harps. Just want to know whether I made a good choice or not.

    Thanks again,
    Shubhang :-)

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hey Shubhang, thank you for your enthusiasm. I can’t say I’m very familiar with this harmonica, but I would say if your happy with it, and you are finding that you can bend well with it, than it sounds good. Hohner Special 20 is my fav. jp

      Reply

  • mike

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    JP, If you search “Terry Mcmillan amazing grace” Then click and watch the video, This version is differant that your free lesson and would like to learn it also, Thanks JP, your great!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks Mike, I’ll check it out. jp

      Reply

  • Shubhang Saurav

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    thanks a lot JP

    i havent tried much bending yet as I am just beginning to learn. but i must say when compared to a silver star (i have got it too), 150th anniversary sounds really clear and melodious.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Cool Shubhang, sounds like you made the right choice. jp

      Reply

  • Shubhang Saurav

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    Hi JP!!

    I have just started to play a Hohner 150th Anniversary harmonica. However, I come across a problem very rapidly. Whenever I play my harp, I have to clean the outer comb part and upper and lower body parts with a little water as dried saliva is formed on all these places. I just use very little water and then rub it softly with a cloth. Is it okay to clean it in such a manner? I don’t want to get the reeds of my harp rusted. If there is some alternative way, please suggest.

    Reply

  • Adrian

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    Hi JP,

    What a thoroughly enjoyable performance. I am a beginning player and have just come to the end of your lessons. I just love what you can do on this little instrument and how far you can go with it. People like yourself, Adam Gussow, Buddy Greene and now Terry McMillan are such an inspiration. It just makes me want to sit here and play the thing all day long! If I can just learn 10% of the skill of these people, I’d be a happy man!

    Reply

  • jim crain sr.

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    Just got home from a neat cruise in my 1990 ZR1 Corvette and turned on my computor and saw these new comments about Terry. So I played the video 3 more times, each time chugging with him as much as I could and having fun with the train sounds and it keeps on thrilling me with such great sounds. We can hardly wait to get to Hawaii in July to begin to have more fun learning from such a great teacher. Is your retreat full yet? What a chance in a lifetime to be with you in person and enjoy it so much. I wish I could bring everybody with me. Counting the sleeps until we leave here 30 June from New Zealand. Thanks pal, jim and rosie crain sr.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Looking forward to hanging out and jamming with you Jim! jp

      Reply

  • Maxine de Villefranche

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    Hi JP: I am just a beginner, still struggling with blowing just one note, but that was a great video. I drag my Golden Melody in the Key of C in my purse at all times, no telling when I will want to play it. And yeah! I played it along with with this guy. I also have a full set of 12 harmonicas Special 20 (you said it was your favorite), and a set of 7 Golden Melody harmonicas. Why so many? Hell, I am serious about learning this instrument. It so easy to carry it around, a lot easier than a piano. I am a classically trained pianist, but I can’t carry a piano in my pocket. If only I could play just one note. My lips cannot easily squish themselves to blow into just one little tiny hole. I have tried and tried in front of a mirror, “full lips but squishing the insides to just one little hole”. I don’t know how you do it, I don’t know how all the fantastic harmonica players do it, but I am going to keep trying until I get it. This video allowed me to play several notes without having to worry about just one note. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hey Maxine…wow your way ahead of the game musically if you play classical piano. You just need to get the technique down and you’ll be flying….I highly recommend getting my new video series Happy Harpin’ if you want to learn how to blow those single notes. http://www.harmonica.com/lessons/ jp

      Reply

  • L E Mossburg

    |

    Wow, what an inspiration.!!!
    Just look at the people’s faces. He touched the hearts of everyone there. Always giving Jesus praise.

    Thanks JP for sharing that video.
    I just bought a guitar this month so, next month I will order your harmonica course. Already bought the Hohner 20 harmonica. I will soon be ready to go at it.
    Thanks again.
    Larry

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      His enthusiasm is very contagious…I’m glad you were inspired Larry. jp

      Reply

  • Gerald Clark

    |

    Hi J.P.
    Thanks for this outstanding inspirational video.
    NowI think I should go and practice some more.
    Please keep these excellent videos coming.
    Gerald Clark

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      You got it Gerald. jp

      Reply

  • David Miller

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    WOW!….now that was good and inspiring..Terry was a really good player. and he made that harp become a part of himself in those moments..Loved it JP…..thanks

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      That’s true David, they were definitely fused in the moment. jp

      Reply

  • William Roberts

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    What else is there to say Terry was amazing

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      I have to agree William. jp

      Reply

  • Paul H.

    |

    I loved it, believe it or not when I was a teenager I played the
    drums myself and I can honestly say even without hearing his drumming that I wouldn’t hold a stick to him. I love your video’s that you send out. For what it is worth my grandson plays bass
    my neighbor plays the drums who knows if I live long enough
    maybe we’ll be able to jam sometime. Thanks for everything
    J.P. keep the video’s coming…

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Right on Paul, jamming’ with your grandson would be a blast. jp

      Reply

  • Rusty

    |

    Thank you for letting me see Terry in action, he was over the top with the harmonica, most can only dream of playing like him, it was great.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      That’s right Rusty, he was truly a legendary. jp

      Reply

  • Jefferson "Rats" Radaj

    |

    Excellent & Inspirational!!

    And yet another that I have to add to my list of “Must Learn” songs!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Glad you were inspired. jp

      Reply

  • Stanislav

    |

    Nobody lives forever but the music will remain after us so let us enjoy whatever comes our way:)!

    Reply

  • joe grassia

    |

    J.P. i have been playing since I was 9 i have always played the key of C how everi have invested in 5 lee Oskars the key of A,B,C,D,F, and i found it much better to play my music in the correct Key ,God Bless in all you do ,you are an inspiration to all .

    Joe Grassia

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Hey Joe, I’m glad to hear you have a bunch of keys now, it’s always easier to play by ear when you have the right key. jp

      Reply

  • Ronald

    |

    I’ve never doubted I have soul. You don’t have to be Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow, and or green like are little friends on Mars. What you do have to do is dig deep, and all of you will find your soul. J P discribes his search for his soul comes thru heartbreak. It certainly is one way of digging deeper into your soul. You all will find it in your own way I’m certain. Terry is good, but I lean more towards the likes of Walter Jacobs, Mickey Rapheal, Jerry Portnoy, and last but certainly not the least Walter Horton. You all make it a great day. Best Regards Ron

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      …All tremendous players on the harmonica. thanks Ron. jp

      Reply

  • F. Felecia Howard

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    I enjoyed listening to Terry play the harmonica. He will be missed. May God bless his family.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      He was really something special. jp

      Reply

  • Richard Boone

    |

    As an avid Steely Dan fan, i very much enjoyed this post – Larry Carlton is awesome also!!!!

    Reply

  • Joe Voutour

    |

    Hey JP, Love your “stuff” and this was another extra special time with the Gathiers and Terry – he made that thing a part of himself. I’m just getting started with Hal Walker lessons you recommended. Hope to do your lessons next if I can scrape up the bucks. Thanks for all you do to teach – love it!
    Joe

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Great! Let me know how Hals lessons work for you, I’m really excited about it! jp

      Reply

  • Chad Hill

    |

    Terry and I were very close friends. We worked together many many times in the recording studios in Nashville and played out at a few churches together. More than just workplace aquantances we were close enough to share good times and bad times outside of music. I’m glad to see someone remembering Terry. If you would like to hear some of those stories contact me and I’ll share. I have hours and hours of him in the studio. I need to go back and just listen. :)

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Wow Chad….I would love to hear some of those recordings, that would be an honor. What a blessing that you knew him so intimately. I will email you soon. jp

      Reply

      • F. Felecia Howard

        |

        Hay, count me in. I would love to hear the studio recordings of Terry. Please post recordings asap.

        Reply

  • Chad Hill

    |

    Will do asap. Moving studio locations now might be a few weeks. Not many days that go by that he isn’t greatly missed.

    Reply

  • Marc R.

    |

    Thanks jp for bringing some sunshine into my day!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Terry was definitely a shining light. jp

      Reply

  • Geoff Caspell

    |

    Dear Sir

    It states that this video has been banned from broadcast in this country ( UK ) due to copyright grounds, just thought you would want to know.

    Regards

    Geoff

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Sorry about that Geoff. jp

      Reply

  • moshe

    |

    it might take a professional musician years or to a kid by instinct to know that the language in the spiritual realm is music.
    thank you JP for your teachings.
    Moshe

    Reply

  • Jodi (Harper Dojer)

    |

    OMGosh!!! He’s the reason I picked up my harmonica again!!! I found his video by mistake when I was in the mood to listen to “This Train (is Bound For Glory)” and saw his video come up. I didn’t know who he was or anything and he was doing ok then he pulled out his harmonica and BLEW ME AWAY!!!! (Pun intended).

    What a great tribute, JP – perfect choice for a perfect harmonica player!!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

      |

      Thanks Jodi, Terry was a phenomenal player.

      Reply

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