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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > is this modern blues harmonica?
is this modern blues harmonica?
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99 posts
Jul 17, 2020
2:23 PM
From a project I recorded on earlier this year, before the virus....

It's on a compilation tribute to Bob Dylan's Self Portrait Sessions album. The group I play in is called Flounder, we recorded Track #9 - Boogie Woogie (Redux):


Here's a cut and paste link: https://robertheirendt.bandcamp.com/track/woogie-boogie-redux

It was supposed to be an oddball rendition of the tune, so guitar, drums, bass clarinet, and me on harp and bass trumpet. Harp content starts at about 1 minute. I have the last word on bass trumpet.

The whole album is great, proceeds go to charity, so check out the rest of the tracks and consider paying for a download if you like it!
6656 posts
Jul 18, 2020
11:45 AM
I can't speak for others, but I think that's fantastic. I get what you're doing, and I think it beautifully exemplifies modernity in blues musical terms. It's like Jimmie Vaughan gets woke by Stravinsky. The track seduces the listener into thinking it's gonna boogie with us in familiar ways, and then, almost without us quite realizing it, things start heading south, one wheel falls off, then another.

Some people, of course, get upset when they're subjected to the sounds of perfectly good instruments being eviscerated by evil men with knives, but again: I get why it had to be done.

I'm going to share it more widely.

Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music

Last Edited by kudzurunner on Jul 18, 2020 11:48 AM
249 posts
Jul 18, 2020
3:02 PM
One word to describe that track? Entropy
2850 posts
Jul 18, 2020
4:56 PM
2308 posts
Jul 18, 2020
5:26 PM
Ooh! Ooh. I've got one:

362 posts
Jul 18, 2020
8:57 PM
Jpmcbride - Great word choice. You gotta be a George Carlin fan.

Drofficial - that may be the greatest clarinet solo ever.

Last Edited by Sundancer on Jul 19, 2020 9:30 AM
450 posts
Jul 18, 2020
11:36 PM
Hi droffilcal

"Beauty is underrated in modern art." I wrote this in 2007 in a harp-l discussion about J.J. Milteau, a great French harp player. I still believe this.

So... Boogie Woogie (Redux)--
Is it beautiful? No. Is it pretty? No. Is it modern? Not sure. But, it's ugly in an engaging way. I like it. Kudos to you for stretching the sound of the harp.

As long as we're on an entropy kick (opposite is enthalpy, chemistry 101) how's this for entropy? And it's kinda bluesy too. I loved this band back in the early seventies, and half a century later, still do:

Shout-out to timeistight; both of us hunkered down in B.C. during these trying times.

wolf kristiansen
2255 posts
Jul 19, 2020
8:54 AM
@Gnarly Had to redeem my Philly Boys with Todd Rundgren and the Nazz. Todd went to High School right next to my school.
2851 posts
Jul 19, 2020
9:16 AM
2309 posts
Jul 19, 2020
4:45 PM
Hey Wolf,

Hunkered down is right, but I think we probably live in the best place in North America in which to ride this thing out.
100 posts
Jul 21, 2020
9:35 AM
Thanks for the kind comments and funny video responses. I did not know the band Nazz, super cool, thanks for that!

Believe it or not, the diatonic harmonica (chrom too, especially the Hohner Cx-12) is really well suited for avant garde/extended techniques. It has been very interesting to take an instrument with such a strong identity into territory that is wholly unfamiliar, and the real beauty of it is that no matter how far out you get, a couple of well placed blues harp-isms brings the audience right back to something they instantly understand. I have played some gigs where the inside/outside juxtaposition has worked really well (and others that sounded terrible); you can get away with almost anything if you're playing with the right people.

Wolf: if music is intended to show the full range of human expression, then the great Chicago Symphony principal trumpeter Bud Herseth was right when he said, "there are appropriate times for beauty and crudeness – use both."

The band from the link I posted has more recordings "in the can" for a record that is being mixed & mastered -- I'll post more harmonica outrages when they become available.

Last Edited by droffilcal on Jul 21, 2020 9:46 AM

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