23 April 2015

#482 :: George Harmonica Smith

The Blues Room, 22 April 2015
Episode #482

We pay tribute to one of the greatest Blues Chromatic Harmonica players, George 'Harmoncia' Smith, who was born on 22 April 1924.

Smith started playing harp at the young age of 4. He was influenced by Larry Adler and later Little Walter. Smith would sometimes bill himself as Little Walter Jr. or Big Walter. He played in a number of bands including one with a young guitarist named Otis Rush and later went on the road with the Muddy Waters Band, after replacing Henry Strong.

Smith's first album on World Pacific 'A Tribute to Little Walter' was released in 1968. In 1969 Bob Thiele produced an excellent solo album of Smith on Bluesway, and later made use of Smith as a sideman for his Blues Times label, including sets with T-Bone Walker, and Harmonica Slim. Smith met Rod Piazza, a young White harp player and they formed the Southside Blues Band, later known as Bacon Fat.

In 1969, Smith signed with U.K. producer Mike Vernon and did the No Time for Jive album. Smith was less active in the 1970s appearing with Eddie Taylor and Big Mama Thornton. Around 1977, Smith became friends with William Clarke and they began working together. Their working relationship and friendship continued until Smith died on October 2, 1983. Thank you Mr Smith. Enjoy!

1. George Harmonica Smith - Blowing thr Blues
2. George Harmonica Smith - Blues In The Dark
3. William Clarke & The Night Owls with George Smith - Hard Times
4. William Clarke & The Night Owls with George Smith - It Ain't Nothin' To You
5. William Clarke & The Night Owls with George Smith - You Got To Be Crazy
6. T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner, Otis Spann & George Harmonica Smith - Jot's Blues
7. George Harmonica Smith - Astatic Stomp
8. George Harmonica Smith - Love Life
9. William Clarke - Tribute To George Smith
10. William Clarke - Chromatic Jump
11. George Harmonica Smith - Just A Feeling
12. George Harmonica Smith - Mellow Down Easy

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