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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Vincent Bucher
Vincent Bucher
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1629 posts
Jan 23, 2020
8:36 AM
Very skilled player, not frequently mentioned here. Of course, like many skilled player in the busy style, ha can drift slightly into the "Look Mama, no hands!" territory (and those fast licks certainly demand a bit of what the Germans call "sitzfleisch" if you want to make them your own!) but he has an intensity that I like. (It takes a while for the solo to start but give it a check.)

Last Edited by Martin on Jan 23, 2020 8:38 AM
The Iceman
4007 posts
Jan 23, 2020
9:41 AM
I'll bet he is influenced by Sugar Blue.

Not usually a fan of this style, but the first 2/3 of his solo is pretty cool. I actually hear the musical logic of his lines instead of just speed chops for the sake of same.

Nothing like using the whole 3 octaves available to show mastery.
The Iceman
268 posts
Jan 24, 2020
8:41 AM
I am a fan.

He is a great 5th position player.
ted burke
811 posts
Jan 24, 2020
12:36 PM
I am a fan of this kind of playing when it's done this superbly. Love the tone, the glissandos, the ragingly powerfully, fast and precise individual notes. Influenced by Sugar, perhaps, but he looks to be old enough to have developed most of his style before Mr.Blue came into his awareness. In any case, I look forward to hearing more of this superb musician.
1631 posts
Jan 26, 2020
6:03 AM
To me he is considerably more interesting than Sugar Blues, who gets quite repetitive way too soon. Sure, even VB has his stock riffs (evident from YT videos where he´s with his band; perhaps less so when he´s backing) but he´s not busy all the time, which is a small grace.
534 posts
Jan 26, 2020
5:38 PM
"To me he is considerably more interesting than Sugar Blues, who gets quite repetitive way too soon".

I agree
A good singer can go from his or her head voice, to chest voice without a break. I love harp players, who do that.
In other words, on a harp lead, u don't hear a break from the high end to the low end and vice verse. A smooth transition.
A lot of times a lead guitar player just played a ripping lead and now its the harp players turn, hopefully u have a few fast ascending ,descending licks to compliment him. Many times I watch the energy just drop, cuz the harp player can only play holes 1-6.

I think this guy "is much Less" repetitive than sugar blue. When sugar blue does lead, u can see him choppin at the beat to throw a fast run in, whether appropriate or not.

I would have liked to see him finish the song with slower tasteful runs.

Personally I would love to be able toplay like him, but hold it back a lot for more effect

I dug his first lead
Im humbled which is good

Last Edited by snowman on Jan 26, 2020 5:39 PM
1632 posts
Jan 27, 2020
5:35 AM
@snowman: Good points about Sugar Blue (and calling him "Blues" was a typo). I recall a record he did with Willie Dixon many years ago where, if I remember correctly, he was quite a bit more restrained -- perhaps instructed from the producer?

Being able to play relatively fast when it´s required, as well as use all three octaves on a standard harp, is something that more or less ought to be taken for granted -- but isn´t: harmonica players are a lazy bunch.
ted burke
813 posts
Jan 27, 2020
11:21 AM
I have the pleasure in seeing Blue three times, and on each occasion he demonstrated all the things one wants from an accomplished player, which is pacing, taste, and tact. He raised the game toward the end of the shows, standard fair in concerts or club dates, and did what could be termed excessive, but I remained enthralled by the gentleman's capabilities. Predictable? Perhaps, but in the sense that most of us here seem familiar with his style. That style is his alone, and it's useful to remember that Vincent Bucher makes us think of Sugar Blue, not the other way around. Blue is among the untouchables in my book-- he is a go-to reference, he set a standard of playing. I believe Bucher is doing his own thing--he is markedly distinct from Blue for me to think comparisons are unfair. We used to argue who stole what from whom back in the 70s, McLaughlin stole from Coryell, Winter stole from T Bone Walker. It becomes baseball talk among the fans in the bleachers after a while. The real players stand on their own after a time and will come to be judged on their terms.
104 posts
Jan 27, 2020
11:25 AM
I saw Vincent Bucher live in Leeds in the UK about four or five years ago when he was touring with the Heritage Blues Orchestra thought he was brilliant. It was a good evening because the Heritage Blues Orchestra were spot on as well. Bought their, And Still I Rise album, Worth a listen.
I bought Vincent's, Hometown, Album which I haven't listened to for a while. I'll have to remedy that.
535 posts
Jan 27, 2020
12:21 PM
just bought cd download

Thanks for posting this
6448 posts
Jan 27, 2020
3:34 PM
I knew I’d seen the name somewhere before. Thanks Knight66.
1633 posts
Jan 28, 2020
6:40 AM
@ted burke: It´s neither praise nor detraction to compare Bucher to Sugar Blue. To me he seems like a more tempered version of SB -- but of course SB can make some sort of historical claim to be the inventor of that style, albeit there are differences between them, as you say.
Based on listening to "Hometown" yesterday while I prepared dinner (that means: "relatively concentrated") I´d say he scores points on SB in terms of tone, sound and restraint -- and he´s a better singer. (I own some SB records but have never seen him live, outside of Youtube clips.)
I´m not a baseball fan, but differences of opinion are no danger in these matters, and perhaps, just perhaps, the fact that SB was sort of an an inventor of this particular kind of busy style, makes us prone to disregard the fact that he´s never really bleeding when he plays the blues. And e.g. Paul Butterfield, who almost never strayed above hole 6D on the harmonica, with his sort of "wild" vibrato comes through as a much more important instrumentalist.
But only opinions, and I´m not out to pick a fight!

Last Edited by Martin on Jan 28, 2020 6:41 AM
ted burke
814 posts
Jan 28, 2020
11:15 AM
No one is a greater fan of Butterfield fan than I am, but he has nothing to do with what we've been talking about. Sugar Blue in fact set a new standard, a higher bar when he came into his own as a player in the public eye; he changed the way blues harmonica is played, and he's emulated by scads of harmonica players world wide since the 1988 debut of his debut disc from Paris to Chicago. Both harmonica players are untouchable. There likes come along very seldom.

Last Edited by ted burke on Jan 28, 2020 8:00 PM
106 posts
Jan 29, 2020
3:15 AM
I've listened to these before separately but not together, I could listen to this all day long

Vincents bit comes in at about 1.45
If you watch this on you tube and read the writing underneath Sugar Blue is mentioned

Last Edited by knight66 on Jan 29, 2020 3:48 AM
714 posts
Feb 03, 2020
3:16 PM
Just back from a jam in Paris (lenouvô cosmos, worth checking out in you're in the area), and there was Vincent Bucher in the house band. Some dazzling playing, and free of cliche.
71 posts
Feb 03, 2020
5:27 PM
I really love that style of "World Blues", its really cool. African music mixed with western music is a great combo.

For the harp playing; there is no way to argue the technical talent Bucher has, he could play circles around most. But, I feel his playing didn't fit the song a bit. Its a slow, calm groove. His initial comp playing fit great, and the solo started nicely.
Then he sped up and added fireworks and lost me.

Too over the top with no coherent musical thought. It was a mixed bag of techniques without consistency, every type of vibrato and hand wah, warbles and octaves, over-playing.

I do want to listen to this ensemble more though. Potential to be great!

Last Edited by agarner on Feb 03, 2020 5:28 PM

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