Blog: Harmonica Articles


This is Why Little Walter is the King of Blues

By Michael Rubin ~ Here’s a loose quote by John “Juke” Logan, harp player for the television shows Roseanne and My Name is Earl as well as a fine songwriter, singer and bandleader in his own right, RIP. “There are two kinds of harmonica players, those who have joined the Little Walter sweepstakes and the rest of us.” What [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Les Stroud aka Survivorman: Harmonica Player of The Month

By Jaine Rodack ~ Ask Les Stroud about his early years and he’ll tell you that his was a “white bread” childhood, which is to say, uneventful: the same old same old. Nothing that would tell you that he would ever go anywhere, be anything, or do anything that would make him stand out in a crowd. He grew [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Larry Adler, “Mouth Organ” Virtuoso

By JP Allen ~ Larry Adler was one of the world’s most skilled players, a god amongst harmonica players (though he’d have preferred you use the term “mouth organ”). Besides performing transcriptions of classical violin works, composers such as Darius Milhaud and Ralph Vaughn Williams composed works written specifically for Larry. He collaborated with musicians such as Sting and [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Mount Rushmore of Blues Harmonica

By Michael Rubin ~ Although there are many non-blues harmonica players who did important and influential things, there were in my opinion, 7 blues harmonica players who basically defined the way blues harmonica is played to this day. Since these 7 blues players arrived on the scene, there have been others who have truly come up with a unique [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Harmonicas to Haiti Orphans

By Jaine Rodack ~ “One person with an idea, and look what can happen!” said Karen Bralove. She could have been talking about herself, but she wasn’t. She was talking about a twelve-year-old boy named Nate. Nate and Karen are two links in a long and winding chain that began with the reading of two totally different books, kicked [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Sugar Blue, Harmonica Tone Master

By JP Allen ~ Sugar Blue (born James Whiting in New York on December 16, 1949) is a harmonica genius, probably best known for playing on the Rolling Stones single, “Miss You.” A blues rock session player who fronts his own band as a singer/harp player and who tours internationally. One of the pioneers of tone. He inspired me [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Norton Buffalo – Lovin’ in the Valley of the Moon (Full Album)

By Michael Rubin ~ Norton Buffalo’s album Lovin’ in the Valley of the Moon is fantastic, showcasing harp outside of blues. Although Norton’s work seems impossible, notice the majority of the album is cross harp. Spend time with the blues scale and the major pentatonic scale and watch your ear begin to pick out what he is doing. Why [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Charlie Musselwhite – Harmonica Player Of The Month (Plus Q&A!)

By Jaine Rodack ~ If anyone has ever deserved the title of ‘living legend’, it’s Charlie Musselwhite. Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and raised in Memphis, Charlie picked up the harmonica early in life, playing where he could, whenever he could. Encouraged by bluesmen Will Shade and Furry Lewis to pursue his dream, Charlie headed for Chicago, where the blues [&hellip... Continue Reading »

Junior Wells’ Chicago Blues Band – Hoo Doo Man Blues

By Michael Rubin ~ Here’s your chance to learn, listen or jam along with the songs from Hoo Doo Man Blues by Junior Wells. I’ve included which key harmonicas you’ll need below the videos. (Note: apologies if these videos don’t play in your country, that’s out of our control. If you’re in the US you should be able to [&hellip... Continue Reading »