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Best harmonica player?

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patrickq View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 14 2019 at 14:38
Stevie Wonder is the best harmonica player I’m aware of whose primary instrument wasn’t the harmonica. Who are some other awesome harpists?

Edited by patrickq - July 14 2019 at 17:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 14:41
John Popper from Blues Traveler is incredible, I've seen him do things with a harp Hendrix did with a guitar.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hrychu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 14:41
Jan Skrzek.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dwill123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 15:10
Toots Thielemans (the best)
Lee Oskar (War)
.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote someone_else Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 15:42
Toots is uncontested... It makes more sense to switch to shawm, bombard, serpent or didgeridoo.

Edited by someone_else - July 14 2019 at 15:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 16:23
we found footprints in the snow
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 16:23
No idea about best, but the name to come to my mind is Franco De Gemini, who performed on, I've read, over 800 film scores (not sure about the claim, I think he said so in an interview). He was quite a fixture in the spaghetti western soundtrack scene in the 1960s through 70s and worked with composers such as Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Francesco De Masi, Franco Micalizzi, Nico Fidenco, Riz Ortolani and Alessandro Alessandroni.

A famous piece that he performed on:

"You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - "The Face of Evil" 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patrickq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 16:59
Originally posted by dwill123 dwill123 wrote:

Toots Thielemans (the best)
<snip>
Originally posted by someone_else someone_else wrote:

Toots is uncontested... It makes more sense to switch to shawm, bombard, serpent or didgeridoo.

He wrote this number:


Edited by patrickq - July 14 2019 at 17:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2019 at 17:02
^ I bought that Tijunana Brass vinyl LP from a thrift store a couple months back due to its fame for having one of the worst album covers (cost me two bucks).
"You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - "The Face of Evil" 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote I prophesy disaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2019 at 13:05
Not the name of a harmonica player, but I am curious about the harmonica playing in this video:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I was thinking about thinking but it really didn't get me very far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2019 at 16:35
In no particular order...

Little Walter
Sonny Boy Williamson II
Magic Dick
Lee Oskar
Stevie Wonder
James Cotton
Sonny Terry
Charlie Musselwhite
Paul Butterfield
Junior Wells
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2019 at 18:13
probably David nailed the 'best' in Popper.. but have long been a Doucette fan.

In fact I was just talking to a guy about him.. here is a really cool story he told about him and Duane and a typical night out.

 We were just off the road and Duane and I were living together in Atlanta and someone asked us if we wanted to go a Small Faces concert. I didn’t want to, but Duane was interested so we go. About 12 bars in, we look at each other and just say, “No” and split. Walking back to the car, we run into this bass player we know, a black cat who goes, “You going over to see Bland?” Duane goes, “Seriously?” And he goes, “Yeah, he’s over at the Birdcage.” That was a black club that was tied into a hotel. It was a genuine 1960s black club.

So we go, “sh*t, let’s go.” Duane had a little Volvo 2-seater, which we pile into and we walk into the middle of the first set. Bland had an all-black band with a white guitarist, who I knew from Chicago. He recognized me, then he recognized Duane.

We were sitting up front, the only white people in the place. It was an uptown kind of place, with everyone dressed to the nines – which we were not, needless to say. Bland walks right up to the edge and goes, “Any vocalists in the house tonight?” And Duane goes, “Man, I don’t sing so well, but I play the sh*t out of the guitar.” (MICK EDIT.... HAHAHAHAH) And the guitar player walks up and goes, “And he really does. This is the guy on Aretha’s sh*t!”

At the end of the break, Bland comes up to Duane and goes, “Man, you got your guitar with you?” Because he didn’t know who he was, but he knew his work with Aretha. And Duane goes, “No, but can I get it real quick.”

Duane goes, “Ace, you wait here. I’m gonna go get my axe and your harp bag and I’ll be right back.” And he flies out over to our place and comes flying back in with our stuff. Long story short, it was the best musical night I’ve ever had in my life. Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.

Duane’s playing the horn parts, the vocal parts, the solos and it is letter perfect. The guitar player just held his guitar and let Duane play and Bland was just singing his ass off and marveling at Duane.Bland was just swinging because he had something to live up to. And I was blowing hard, inspired by this whole scene and Duane’s incredible playing and Bland’s singing, which was unreal.

Afterwards, Bland was so excited and he kept saying to me, “I’m gonna tell Cotton about you” and when he calmed down, he said, “I’m an uptown singer. I have never played with a harmonica player until tonight.”


[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2019 at 17:20
Bob Dylan? I'm kind of surprised I'm the first person to mention him. I agree with Magic Dick from the J. Geils band(whammer jammer!). Over all I'm not really into the kind of music that would feature a harmonica much but I do like it when I hear it. Heck I even own one but I'm not sure where it is at the moment. :P Anyway, my vote would probably go to Stevie though. His first single was mainly just him on his harmonica.

Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - July 21 2019 at 17:21
Yes is for Rush fans who grew up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2019 at 18:58
^ As a harmonica player myself, I would not add Dylan to the list. Sloppy as hell, and like Neil Young, very easy to play with a harp-holder while playing guitar. I forgot to add John Mayall and a nod to Jonathan Edwards (for the guitar and harp crowd like me)....






Edited by The Dark Elf - July 21 2019 at 18:58
...a vigorous circular motion hitherto unknown to the people of this area, but destined
to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2019 at 19:57
That guy in the subway station :)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2019 at 20:20
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

That guy in the subway station :)

Hey, don't let that guy in the subway station fool you. If he can afford harps at $44 per every key in the diatonic scale, plus whatever sharp and flat harps he owns, he's probably doing okay. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2019 at 20:35
^ i was just living up to my name and being silly but i have seen absolutely brilliant musicians playing in public on the street or in the subway etc.

My most memorable experience was when i visited Kiev, Ukraine and some dude was playing accordian light years beyond anything i knew possible. He was somehow simultaneously juggling three polyrhythms and sounded like a whole band. I have never heard anyone else do such a thing.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2019 at 01:37
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

^ i was just living up to my name and being silly but i have seen absolutely brilliant musicians playing in public on the street or in the subway etc.

No doubt.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2019 at 03:30
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

No idea about best, but the name to come to my mind is Franco De Gemini, who performed on, I've read, over 800 film scores (not sure about the claim, I think he said so in an interview).
 
Yup, despite being Belgian,, I was never much into Toots (I actually prefer him as a guitarist - he started on that), partly because the way he plays,; often, it doesn't sound like a harmonica.
 
 
 
Sooooo, indeed FDG is really the best I can think of (or at least the one I prefer), becauise you can always tell he's playing a harmonica

 

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

^ i was just living up to my name and being silly but i have seen absolutely brilliant musicians playing in public on the street or in the subway etc.

No doubt.

 
no kidding... Throughout the years, I've heard amazing musicians out in the street or subway stations (I've also heard some of the worst ever in the same places), to the point where one wonders why they haven't recorded anything... But it seems that all these guys are interested is just travelling and earning their wages in the streets to move forward in their life voyage.
 
Some 25 years ago, just outside A'dam's train station, I once heard a guy alone with his guitar and amp, putting to shame Alvin Lee and Carlos Santana... Never saw the guy again (obviously he moved on), but I remember him vividly
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2019 at 05:05
I’m very fond of Bill Barrett’s harmonica work with avant-Americana trio The Mentones.
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