3/26/13: I've just uploade a brand-new lesson called "Tongue Blocking I." I can't believe that it's taken me six years to get around to this one, but it's finally here. It an introduction to one of the key techniques for blues harmonica players--the one that gives you the "big sound," including octaves, splits (such as the 25 draw), counter-rhythms, and a range of textural effects.
10/15/10: I've just uploaded a new lesson on "Crossroads Blues." I've transcribed the head from my version of the song--the version found on Kick and Stomp, which can also be purchased at iTunes and Amazon mp3.
10/5/10: The CD release party for Kick and Stomp will take place at Red House in Oxford, Mississippi on Friday, October 29th from 10 PM to 1 AM. Ole Miss plays Auburn at home the next day, so the crowd will be crazy. I'll have lots of CDs on hand, and I'm hoping I can get my guitar man Shine to come over from the Delta......
8/29/10: The new Adam Gussow solo album, Kick and Stomp, has been officially released as a digital download. It comes in two forms: as mp3s and as CD-quality WAV files. Each format gives you 14 tracks, professionally recorded and mastered, plus extensive liner notes in PDF form, all wrapped up into a zip file. (The mp3 zip file is about 65 mb; the WAV zip file is about 600 mb.) To hear samples of the album (mp3s) and/or to purchase the album, hit the following link:
8/26/10: Here's a video from my July 3rd show with Robert Ross at The Turning Point in Piermont, NY:
8/7/10: Many thanks to Sonny Boy Terry for putting on a wonderful harmonica event in Houston!....It was great meeting a lot of Texas players, sharing some knowledge with them in my clinic, checking out the 45-minute version of the "Pocket Full of Soul" movie (which was amazing), and sharing the stage with some top regional players.....Here's some video of my first song of the night, "Kick and Stomp," an original instrumental from my forthcoming album:
7/24/10: I'm working on a new solo album, featuring my one-man-band configuration....It's slated for release in late August....One week from today, on Saturday, July 31, I'm giving a harmonica clinic in Houston and performing in the Texas Harmonica Festival with Sonny Boy Terry, Dave Nevling, Rob Roy Parnell, and the H-Town Jukes. Here's the poster:
6/26/10: I've just uploaded two new lessons to the store:
“Goin’ Down South”: R. L. Burnside’s haunting song from the north Mississippi hill country, adapted for blues harmonica. Nothing fancy, no chord changes, but you’ll need the three “blues bends”—holes 2, 3, and 4—in order to make it sound right. ADVANCED BEGINNERS / INTERMEDIATES, but ADVANCED INTERMEDIATES may be interested, too.
"Upper Octave Boogie": INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE, although ADVANCED BEGINNERS will be able to get most of it. An original composition that breaks open the upper octave and make it available for further exploration. Please check out the free preview available on either Tradebit page below!
6/3/10: I'm going to be playing a show in Copenhagen, Denmark. Saturday August 21, at the Mojo Blues Bar, I'll be co-hosting a clinic/masterclass with Lars Ringgaard, followed by a one-man band performance and a gig with Lars's band. First time in Scandinavia!
5/26/10: I'll be playing Pat's Blue Ribbon BBQ in Manhattan, KS on September 23rd....a one-man band set, then sit in with Wayne Goins and the Red-State Blues Band.......
4/27/10: My wife and I will be at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this coming Friday and Saturday, and we'll also probably be hanging out at Johnny Sansone's blues harp spectacular at Chicky Wah Wahs on Thursday night.......see you there?
4/9/10: For those of you attending the Chicago Blues Festival, I'll be playing a 12 noon show as a one-man band at Buddy Guy's Legends on Friday, June 11.
3/3/10: I've just added a new collection (of old lessons) to the store:
Overblow Special Overblowing is an advanced technique that is just beginning to make its presence felt in the world of blues harmonica. Jazzman Howard Levy showed us the way back in the 1980's, but few blues players followed his lead. Carlos del Junco was one; I was another. Both of us were actively deploying overblows in blues contexts by 1990. Chris Michalek followed soon after. These days, Jason Ricci is the foremost exponent of the overblowing approach in an amplified context, and younger players such as R.J. Harman and Jay Gaunt make it clear that the technique is here to stay as one key element of a contemporary blues harmonica approach. If you're looking to investigate the world of overblowing from a blues player's perspective, then this zip file is the high-octane fuel you need. This collection gives you a focused lesson--video and tab(s)--on five songs. One of them ("Sunday Drive") is straight ahead amped-up blues; three are jazzy blues variants ("Blue Monk," "Watermelon Man," "Tenor Madness"), and one is a jazz standard ("St. Thomas"). NOTE: This collection is for ADVANCED INTERMEDIATES, and especially for those who are already capable of making an overblow or two. Although it will supply you with a few tips for HOW to overblow, the primary purpose of these lessons is to show you how to INCORPORATE overblows into blues harmonica playing.
3/1/010: I've just been booked at the Highway 61 Blues Festival in Leland, Mississippi on June 5th. This is a terrific, big-hearted, small-town festival and they've got some heavyweights this year, including Big Jack Johnson, T-Model Ford, and Johnny Winter. I'll be on the small stage.
2/22/10: Today is the three-year anniversary of my first video upload to YouTube (Gussow.000). Thanks to everybody who has let me know that you've been assisted in your journey by something I've put out there.......I've just been booked at the Grassroots Blues Festival in Duck Hill, Mississippi. This is a really great event: truly a LOCAL community event, with a lineup that mixes soul blues and down home blues.
2/6/10: An event that I've been planning for quite a while, Hill Country Harmonica: A North Mississippi Blues Harp Homecoming, is now open for business! Please hit this link and take a look at the new website: http://www.hillcountryharmonica.com
1/30/10: I've just uploaded a second new lesson this week:
"Shuffling It Up": a first-position shuffle blues played mostly in the middle octave with tongue-blocked chords and a couple of upper-octave blow bends thrown in. This is an original composition that finds inspiration in the playing of Deford Bailey, Freeman Stowers, and other recording artists of the 1920s and 1930s. Not the same old first-position blues! INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE.
1/29/10: New show just added: Little Rock, AR: On Friday 2/12, after my harp clinic (6 - 8 PM at The Parrot Cafe), I'm opening for The Damn Bullets and The Ben Miller Band at The White Water Cafe. The Gussow one-man-band is on the road, folks.
1/28/10: I've just uploaded a new lesson:
"Grooving Shuffle": Every blues harmonica player needs a range of ways of "carrying" the 12-bar changes on the instrument. This song is specifically designed to produce a big sound in a solo context. It teaches you how to mingle single notes and chords in a call-and-response arrangement that takes you through the first 8 bars, then how to throw in some fancy footwork on the V/IV/I changes.
1/13/10: Satan and Adam will be playing the Peninsula Inn and Spa in Gulfport, Fla. on March 16th......The gig will be videocast LIVE on Fatboy Radio (http://wfatradio.com/)......I'm working hard on pulling together a fantastic new event entitled Hill Country Harmonica: A Mississippi Gathering. The tentative date is May 22-23....The event will be a cross between a Jon Gindick jam camp and a summer festival....It will include workshops on various aspects of the harmonica, jam sessions, and evening concerts with Satan and Adam, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry, Brandon Bailey, and a headliner whose name will be instantly familiar to you....It will take place entirely OUTDOORS at Foxfire Ranch, a beautiful facility in the North Mississippi hills....There will be on-site camping and a nearby campground, plus motels only 10 miles up the highway in Holly Springs....reasonably priced, affordable....Wives, GF, and friends welcome.....Stay tuned for more news!
12/4/09: I've just uploaded a new lesson on a perennial favorite:
"Pack Fair and Square": a two-chorus transcription/adaptation of Magic Dick's fast & furious solo, from the J. Geils Band Live Full House album. This is a rock-blues groove, and lightning-fast. I've slowed it down to make it manageable. For INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE players.
11/12/09: Satan and Adam have just gotten a gig in Knoxville, TN at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Friday, March 12, 2010.
11/10/09: I've added a date to my "personal appearances" page. On Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, I'm playing a set with bluesman Robert Ross as part of a monthly "soul of the blues" festival at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village (downtown NYC). This is my ONLY New York City appearance in 2009. We're the second of three acts and we're working for our share of the door, so if you attend, please let the door-guy know that you came to see Robert Ross. http://www.corneliastreetcafe.com/home.asp
10/8/09: I'll be playing solo on the street (as a one-man band) on Saturday afternoon, October 10, at the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival in Helena. (Roughly 2-7 PM). Please say Hi if you're there!
10/1/09: Recently I had the chance to blow harp on a recording session by a teenaged Memphis guitar phenom named Will Tucker, who has a steady gig at B. B. King's on Beale Street. The cut was "Walkin' Through the Park," a favorite of mine since I heard Butterfield's version on the Muddy Waters Woodstock Album and then went back and learned the Little Walter harp part. I pay homage to both harp players. Here's a direct link to the Amazon mp3 download:
9/21/09: On December 29th I'll be giving a harp clinic at Rembrandt's Restaurant in Philadelphia (www.rembrandts.com). $20 at the door. Included in the event is a reading/signing/performance to celebrate the republication of Mister Satan's Apprentice. Here's the clinic webpage: http://www.harmonica411.com/CLINICS.html
9/16/09: I've just uploaded a large zip.file sampler entitled "Chicago Blues Classics."
Chicago Blues Classics
For INTERMEDIATES and ADVANCED INTERMEDIATES who want a selection of the best that the Chicago blues tradition has to offer, I've bundled five video tutorials into an easy-to-download zip file, with the tab sheets thrown in for free. Included in this package are Sonny Boy Williamson/Junior Wells ("Checking Up on my Baby"), Junior Wells ("Messing With the Kid"), Big Walter Horton ("Easy"), Paul Butterfield ("Born in Chicago"), and Little Walter/Kim Wilson ("Got My Mojo Working"), all for only $25, a savings of $10 off the item-by-item price.
9/9/09: I'm heading out to the Delta tomorrow--to Hopson Plantation, just outside Clarksdale, where I'll be joining Jon Gindick's blues harmonica jam camp in progress. We'll all be jamming at Ground Zero tomorrow night and it's open to the public. So, as far as I know, is the camp-closing jam from 1-5 PM on Saturday afternoon. Come on down, grab a beer or two, and hang out.
8/30/09: I've just uploaded a new lesson entitled "Raw Beginners Start Here!" It is strictly for novice players; it sketches out the Day 1 basics--how the harmonica is set up (blow and draw holes & reeds); how to hold the harp; how to play a single note; how to play a basic major scale; how to troubleshoot several problems that all novice players confront.
8/7/09: I'll be at the Sunflower River Gospel and Blues Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi this weekend--sitting in with folks at the Bluesberry Cafe on Friday afternoon, playing the streets (hopefully) on both Friday and Saturday. Please say Hi, if you see me!......Next Tuesday I'm off on the road for the Satan and Adam summer tour. Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, Portsmouth NH, Piermont NY, and Atlanta............
6/17/09: We've rescheduled some of the postponed dates from our June tour, with more dates TBA:
8/13: Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live (7:30 PM, with special guest Charlie Sayles)
8/14: Portmouth, NH - The Press Room (9 PM)
8/15: Piermont, NY - The Turning Point (8 PM)
5/23/09: I've just added a new lesson to the Store.
"Got My Mojo Working": The holy grail for many harp players. A song that you absolutely, positively need to know. This is a two-part lesson organized around a two-page tab sheet. First page is my adaptation of the "head" or intro that always kicks the song off; second page is a transcription of the first 12 bars of Kim Wilson's solo on Jimmy Rodgers's LUDELLA album--a kick-ass harp throwdown, decoded and reassembled. The head is within reach for INTERMEDIATE as well as ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE players; the solo is extremely challenging at full speed.
5/12/09: Thanks to GermanHarpist, the Blues Harp Forum now has a fantastic set of archived threads on all the subjects harmonica players love to talk (and argue) about. The "forum archive" page is the next-to-last page on this website, right after the forum page. Here's a direct link to the archive: www.itriser.com/harmonica/archive.htm#Harps
4/16/09: I'm happy to report that I've renewed my vows with Hohner and am once again an official endorser, with my own page on the Hohner website: www.hohnerusa.com/index.php
3/21/09: I've just uploaded new lessons on "St. Louis Blues" (for INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE players) and "Mojo 1.0" (for BEGINNERS and ADVANCED BEGINNERS).
3/4/09: We've added another gig to the Satan and Adam summer tour: Lucille's Bar & Grill at B. B. King's in New York City. This is a terrific midtown location--an informal restaurant gig rather than a showcase.
2/26/09:A friend has just informed me that blues and R&B sax players are talking me up on a website called "Sax on the Web" as a guy whose licks are worth stealing. We all know that harp players like Little Walter borrowed from sax players, so it's nice to know the sax guys are chasing US now:
1/29/09: Satan and Adam shows just added in Philadelphia (World Cafe Live, 6/17) and New York City (Terra Blues, 6/21).....
1/27/09: Satan and Adam will be touring in June 2009! I've just booked gigs at The Turning Point in Piermont, NY (6/19) and The Press Room in Portsmouth, NH (6/20). Please see the "personal appearances" page for other gigs I'm working on. And please don't hesitate to contact me if you live along the long and winding trail we'll be traveling and think you've got a gig for us; I'm always happy to talk, and until those TBA's are inked in, your gig is as good as what I'm working on....
1/17/09: Jason Ricci is going to be playing Rooster's, the new blues club in Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday, February 21. (Rooster's is right on The Square and very easy to find.) I will certainly be there. I hope my Memphis and Mississippi friends will come on down, too, and support the most exciting young harp player on the scene today.
1/14/09: The Modern Blues Harmonica open house during the International Blues Challenge in Memphis (IBC) will take place on Thursday, February 5 from 4-6 PM at my room in the Best Western Benchmark Hotel (164 Union Street), just across the street from the Peabody Hotel. Please ask at the desk for Adam Gussow's room. BYOB, and of course pack a few harps for impromptu jamming, infomation exchange, etc. I'll have some beer and potato chips on hand. This is a low-key get-together. Lots of other stuff is happening during the IBCs, including:
§Brandon Bailey performing at Pig on Beale as part of a blues youth showcase (Fri 2/6, 1-4 PM; Brandon is playing at 2:30; look for me there)
§Billy Gibson performing with two different acts as part of another showcase at Rum Boogie (Fri 2/6; google "Betsie Brown" and "blues" to find her entertainment agency, who is sponsoring this..I'll post it here)
§IBC semifinals, at which Jimi Lee will be competing (Thursday and Friday, 2/5-6, beginning at 5 or 6 PM; check the IBC schedule as game day approaches to find venue...I'll post it here)
§Jam sessions at Mr. Handy's Blues Hall on Beale Street, Thurs and Fri. 2/5-6, 1-5 PM
§Jason Ricci co-hosting the band finals of the International Blues Challenge (Sat 2/7, 2-7 PM)
I'll be at many of these events....hope to see you there!
1/10/09: I've just uploaded a lesson entitled "Eight-Bar Blues Progressions." Most of us who blow harp know at least one 8-bar blues, "Key to the Highway," but few realize that there are actually THREE different 8-bar progressions. I've done the hard work of sorting them all out for you, using 14 musical examples drawn from Sonny Terry, Little Walter, Kim Wilson, Otis Spann, Ray Charles, and others. (NOTE: this video tutorial has been packaged in zip-file form with the one-page chord chart that I refer to frequently in the video):
....I've just agreed to give an introductory blues harmonica clinic on TUESDAY, MARCH 2 (7-9 PM) at my hometown music store, Rebel Music on West Jackson Ave. in Oxford, Mississippi...Don't forget about the Jon Gindick jam camp in Clarksdale, MS in late March, where I'll be coaching with Jon, Jimi Lee, Billy Gibson, and Cheryl Arena (www.gindick.com for more info)...I just took delivery of a Harpgear 2 amp and it sounds GREAT!
11/30/08: The new Adam Gussow and Charlie Hilbert album, Live in Klingenthal, has just been released. 10 concert tracks recorded during the 2008 Mundharmonika-live Festival, plus a 14+ minute bonus track in which Gussow goes head to head with NYC harp legend Nat Riddles at a 1990 jam session in Richmond, VA. All the tracks have been professionally mastered and saved in high-quality (150+ kb/s) mp3s, ready for instant download. Check out the preview below, or click the album link just above the photo to read a fuller description, including track names, lengths, and harp keys:
11/27/08: A Canadian friend writes: "Thought I'd drop you an email to let you know, Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO) has a show on CBC radio called "Vinyl Tap". He recently did a show just on the Harmonica, recordings of famous players and tracks, two hour show. Right off the top, the first name mentioned was the famous Adam Gussow! He urged his listeners to check out your YouTube site." Here's the link; it's Part I of the episode aired on November 22: