28 June 2013

H is for Harmonica Scorchers! [#389]

I started The Blues Room over 7 years ago to bring you episodes like this one! I need to play more Harmonica Scorchers! Anyways, heres a setlist of mainly modern harmonica masters to get you all excited about either picking up a harmonica or continuing to play one. Thanks to David Barrett for pointing out some of these players, I hadn't heard of a Jim Liban before - more from him coming in future shows! I'll let the experts strut their stuff. Enjoy!

Episode 389, 27 June 2013

1. Mark Hummel - Harp Shuffle
2. Buddy Guy and Junior Wells - Give Me My Coat and Shoes
3. Brandon Santini - Been So Blue
4. Rick Estrin - Don't Boss Me
5. Bob Corritore - 1815 West Roosevelt
6. Satan and Adam - I'm a Girl Watcher
7. Gary Smith - Minor Mambo
8. Jim Liban - All Corned Up
9. Jerry McCain - Honky Tonk
10. Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers - The Bounce
11. Paul deLay - Jimmy Jones
12. Curtis Salgado - El Gado Rumba Azul

Download link for this episode: 389

20 June 2013

H is for More Harmonica Masterclass with David Barrett [#387]

Episode 387, 19 June 2013
Heres part two of my interview with David Barrett (harmonicamasterclass.com, schooloftheblues.com, blueshramonica.com). I've had great feedback regarding part one, and some much appreciated feedback while part two was going to air so thank you to everyone whos shown support for what I'm doing here. For me its a labour of love - I love what I'm doing and I'm doing what I love. Anyways, enough small talk, heres the questions and songs played for this episode. And big ups to Mark who answered last week's question correctly, he wins the new CD by Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, 'One Wrong Turn.' 

Question: You have rubbed shoulders with and had opportunity to play harmonica with some of the greatest modern harmonica players like Charlie Musselwhite, Lee Oskar, Rod Piazza and Kim Wilson and with great blues musicians like Jr. Watson, Rusty Zinn, Nick Moss and John Garcia, just to name a few. What have been some highlights for you meeting and performing with many of these great artists? What valuable lessons have you learnt from your experiences with these artists? 

As a teacher and instructor of blues harmonica, what seems to be the most common mistake or aspect about your students learning that keeps reoccurring? 

In your opinion, what bugs you most about harmonica players in live band situations, whats the biggest weakness or mistake harmonica players seem to make when playing with bands? 

In short, what makes you unhappy about harmonica players? 
1. Mitch Kashmar & Pontiax with William Clarke- Horn of Plenty
2. William Clarke - Goin Steady

Q: Musical ruts are where things don’t seem to flow or where the passion seems faint and most musicians find themselves in one every now and again, what advice can you give to those in musical ruts? 
What has worked best for you when trying to get out of a musical rut? 
3. Little Walter - Rocker

Q:  How has your harmonica playing changed over the years? 
4. Flávio Guimaraes with Peter Madcat - Muddys's Ukelele

Q: What would be your greatest strength when playing harmonica, and what would be the thing you’d most like to improve? 
5. David Barrett - LeftOvers

Q: I remember hearing Jerry Portnoy saying, in reference to those seeking the best amps and mics for harmonica playing, ‘rubbish in, rubbish out.’ Would you agree? 
How important is practicing and mastering your instrument? 
And how important is having the best equipment i.e. amp & mic? 
6. Muddy Waters/Jerry Portnoy - Jerry Portnoy's Boogie

9. Which living person do you most admire? 
Flávio Guimaraes with Joe Filisko - Joe's Reggae

Q: What do you enjoy doing the most when you are not performing, teaching or working on your music? 
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . . ? 
Thank you David, in closing, if you could have one super power what would it be and why?
10. David Barrett and John Garcia - Don't Fight It
11. George Harmonica Smith - Blowing The blues
12. William Clarke and the Night Owls - Hittin' Heavy
13. Mitch Kashmar and the Pontiax - Petroleum Blues

Download link for this episode: 387

13 June 2013

H is for Harmonica Masterclass with David Barrett [#386]

Episode 386, 12 June 2013
I interview David Barrett, one of my favorite harmonica teacher/performers in this ABCs of the Blues episode. A Grammy nominated blues harmonica player (for his work on John Lee Hooker Jr.’s album All Odds Against Me), this California Bay Area resident is also President of Harmonica Masterclass Company (harmonicamasterclass.com), Founder / Director of School Of The Blues (schooloftheblues.com), author of many instructional publications and CDs and band member and performer. He also has the website blueshramonica.com

I've listed the questions I put to David along with the music you'll hear mixed into the interview. Please check back to thebluesroom.blogspot.com for part two of this interview. Enjoy!

Question: Hi David, can you please introduce yourself and tell us just who ‘David Barrett’ is and where you’re from and tell about the first piece of music which really affected you?
1. David Barrett - Lick Train
2. Joe Seneca feat. Frank Frost & John Juke Logan on harmonicas - Willie Brown Blues (Crossroads soundtrack)

Q: Can you please tell us how your musical career began and how blues harmonica became a part of your life? You might like to share how certain individuals influenced you musically. I understand legend Gary Smith took you under his wing early on!! When I tell people I play blues harp they either mention Sonny Terry or Little Walter, some will even say, ‘oh cool, I love Bob Dylan!’ Tell us what style blues do you play on harmonica?
3. Mark Hummel introduces Gary Smith / Gary Smith - She's So Fine
4. Marion Jacobs aka Little Walter - Juke

Q: Can you briefly describe some of the other styles in context to yours so listeners can get an idea of the distinct differences, e.g. Country vs Chicago.
5. Memphis Jug Band - Cocaine Habit Blues
6. John Lee Williamson aka Sonny Boy Williamson 1 - Good Morning Little School Girl

‘On This Day In Blues History’ by PW Fenton.

7. Little Walter - You Better Watch Yourself
8. James Cotton - Cotton Crop Blues
9. Paul Butterfield Blues Band - All These Blues
10. William Clarke - Pinocchio Blues
11. Carlos Del Junco - Doodle It

Q: David you’re involved in many projects and have been from an early age. I’m not even sure where to begin or which to ask you about first, but would you mind telling us a bit about each of them? Please feel free to talk about any other projects or roles you have going on and in any order. To begin this section, listeners will hear David playing a song called, ‘Big Boys Jam’. Its from David’s instructional book and CD called ‘Building Harmonica Technique’ which is out on Mel Bay.
12. David Barrett - Big Boys Jam
13. David Barrett - Serious Fun
14. David Barrett - Chicago Style

Download link for this episode: 386

6 June 2013

G is for (Blues) Guitarists from New Zealand [#385]

Photo Credit: Thomas Oliver Band 

Episode 385, 5 June 2013
Featured in this episode are blues guitarists from New Zealand. One hour is hardly enough time to showcase all the many great guitarists we have in NZ - we even went over our blues-hour by 20 minutes to bring you this selection! 

If you know of any other great NZ blues guitarists that I can feature in the next episode of 'Blues Guitarist of New Zealand' then please let me know! Enjoy!

1. Brilleaux - This Ain't Rock n Roll
2. Peri Kohu's Blues Busters - Queen Street Shuffle
3. Paul Garner Band - Hoochie Coochie Man
4. River Rockers - The Thrill Is Gone
5. Swamp Thing - Hot Potato
6. The Thomas Oliver Band - Baby I'll Play
7. Mike Brosnan - Slide Action
8. Chris Thompson - Let The Four Winds Blow
9. Mike Garner - When I Was A Boy
10. Blues Buffet - Blues Is My Business
11. Darcy Perry Band - Phoenix
12. The Flaming Mudcats - Double Ds
13. Darren Watson - A Desperate Man
14. Billy TK Jnr and The Groove shakers - Blues Benediction

Download link for this episode: 385

5 June 2013

New addition: On This Day In Blues History

Nate has found a really cool website and project by PW Fenton out of  the USA. Its called Bluesland and it features 'On This Day In Blues History'. Basically, PW Fenton prepares daily audio snippets which feature something significant from the world of blues, he adds music, interesting facts and its always fresh and interesting to listen to. P-Dub, as he's also known, has kindly agreed to give Nate the corresponding audio for each night The Blues Room goes to air. Now you'll hear during each Blues Room episode a really cool 'On This Day In Blues History' snippet. Thanks P-Dub!!