Blues Harmonica players


After listening to Papa Lightfoots record of Mean ol’Train which Ifirst heard in the late Sixties it made me realise how many great Blues Harmonica players there have been and still are. the obvious ones like Sonny Boy Williamson 1&2 and Little Walter have been heard and covered by countless players .the following generations also left their mark,Junior Wells whose version of Why do people act like that? is a brilliant cover of that song recorded by dozens of top names.James Cotton,another player who played with Muddy Waters,his last Album,Cotton Mouth Man is astonishing considering his age.I luckily saw him in concert in Spain in 1989 and he never let up all evening.George Harmonica       Smith another musician who played beautifully with Bacon Fat and later his own band,he did some wonderful albums for Mike Vernons Blue Horizon label.                                                                                   My personal favourite was the tragically short lived Al Wilson of Canned Heat his tone and control were exceptional with the band and on his own,the tracks he did with John Lee Hooker on the album Hooker n Heat are still staggering especially’ Drifter’ ,unfortunately I believe these were his last recordings.Around this time other players like Paul Butterfiield who like Al Wilson helped rediscover lots of old Blues players who had lost out to the Music Industry in general and in lots of cases were doing menial jobs to survive.Their interest in the Blues along with their counter parts in England sparked a great interest worldwide with the     help of the Stones,Led Zeppelin,Free,John Mayall ,Alexis Korner,Chris Barber etc.In England of course we have had and still have very good players,To me Paul Jones made me sit up and listen,also the incredibly talented Brian Jones and Mick Jagger too. Two more Americans I must mention are the wonderfully named Magic Dick who was with the J.Geils Band and lots of appearances with other people,also Rod Piazza with the Mighty Flyers and solo with his own band and of course the outstanding Kim Wilson originally with the Faboulous Thunderbirds,although he has played for loads of others his album with Muddy Waters son Mud Morganfield ayear or so ago is well worth a listen.                                                                                                                                             We also have a good amount of current players in this country now ,Paul Lamb has been around for a long time,Wes Weston who was superb on Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltreys album in the last year or so.One guy I saw last year at the local Uckfield Roots and Blues Festival was Will Wilde brother of Danni Wilde ,He and his band were very good indeed from start to finish and finally Giles Hadley with his band toured with Mud Morganfield a few years back.

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