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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > What's the best blues harp instrumentals?
What's the best blues harp instrumentals?
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jacobmatthew
4 posts
Dec 22, 2010
4:35 AM
Ok so I love stuff like Messin With the Kid and Keep it to Yourself, but what comes to your mind when you think raw unfiltered blues harp instrumental songs? We all know Juke, Whammer Jammer, and Creeper Creeps Again (to name a few), but what are some of your favorites? What are some other classics that NEED to be mentioned?
groyster1
601 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:16 AM
off the wall and sad hours by little walter
7LimitJI
250 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:17 AM
Anything by William Clarke.
Here's one I found quickly on youtube


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7LimitJI
251 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:19 AM
I can't take a lot of Sonny Terry, but this is ace !


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5F6H
444 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:20 AM
Steady - Jerry McCain

Lesters Comet - Lester Maddog Davenport

Harpin' On It (really just a harp cover of Ted Roddy's "Honky Tonk") - Arthur Williams on Frank Frost's 60's Jewel Sessions.

Misty/Snakeskin Strut/Brazillian Sunset... - Jerry Portnoy

Sharp Harp - Rudy Toombs/Champion Jack Dupree, versions by George Smith, Steve Guyger & Rod Piazza.

Little Bitty Pretty One/Rockin' Robin - Rod Piazza

Little Walter's Boogie/Easy - Big Walter Horton

Backtrack/Rocker/Rollercoaster - Little Walter

Stompin' At The Fishmarket - Martin Lang/The Rockin' Johnny Band.

As you specifically said "blues harp", I avoided chromatic instrumentals.
7LimitJI
252 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:23 AM
Took the words out of my mouth 5F6H

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GamblersHand
239 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:25 AM
All good choices - I also like Gary Smith's "Minor Mambo" from Blues Harp Meltdown
7LimitJI
253 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:27 AM

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5F6H
445 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:35 AM
...more...

Junior's Wail - Jr Wells

Slamhammer - James Cotton w/ Johnny Young "Chicago Blues".
Diggsblues
652 posts
Dec 22, 2010
5:52 AM


I was looking for a Howard blues tune
and who do I bump into.
I guess Chris will always be with
us in one form or another. LOL

the whole less is more is a bullshit argument in my book. You seriously need to get out of the harmonica box and listen to how all other instruments play blues, you'll hear it's not that far off from what howard does.

Howard is one of the very few "real" musicians that play harmonica. Show me an average to above? average harmonica player and I will show you a musician that can't hold his own vs high school musicians.
chrismichalek 1 year ago

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How you doin'
Emile "Diggs" D'Amico a Legend In His Own Mind
How you doin'
5F6H
446 posts
Dec 22, 2010
7:28 AM
Sorry Diggs, given all the other posts about promoting peace & harmony, I gotta say, I'm not liking the "attitude".

The OP asked about "raw unfiltered blues harp instrumental songs"...your clip is, interesting & typically Levy, but it's not really what he was asking (to my perception anyway)...you don't even reference the title of this classic harmonica blues instrumental?
5F6H
447 posts
Dec 22, 2010
7:41 AM
...Screamin' - Paul Butterfield
Diggsblues
653 posts
Dec 22, 2010
7:46 AM
I can see why you feel this way. Your playing style is
traditional. This is more poking fun than attitude.
I guess I'll be banned soon. Well at least I'll be in
good company.LOL

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How you doin'
Emile "Diggs" D'Amico a Legend In His Own Mind
How you doin'
5F6H
448 posts
Dec 22, 2010
7:47 AM
Snake Oil & Blue Mambo - Steve Guyger
5F6H
449 posts
Dec 22, 2010
7:50 AM
Sorry Diggs, if the humour/fun went over my head. I'm sure that there's easier & quicker ways to get banned than "winding up the troglodytes". LOL
AirMojo
68 posts
Dec 22, 2010
8:06 AM
I like a bunch of those already listed.

One of my favorites that I found about a year ago or so was Doug Jay's song "Knucklehead" from his album "Until We Meet Again".

Its probably out of print, and hard to find. I bought it used on Amazon. Its a cool song !
captin beef harp
83 posts
Dec 22, 2010
8:12 AM
not sure you could call it a blues but i always liked train time by Jack Bruce in cream.
christo redentor Charlie Musselwhite nut popper Paul Butterfield
toddlgreene
2302 posts
Dec 22, 2010
8:21 AM
I can't see vids now or post them, so I don't know if it has been posted(or even if a video exists), but one of my faves is The Fabulous Thunderbird's version of Prez Prado's Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White-not blues, per se, but it always goes over well in a blues crowd wheni've played it or seen others do it.

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Todd L. Greene, Codger-in-training

Last Edited by on Dec 22, 2010 10:36 AM
strawwoodclaw
167 posts
Dec 22, 2010
8:28 AM
I think Adam Gussows Thunky Fing is a great harp solo



funky blues harp solo
DanP
172 posts
Dec 22, 2010
9:22 AM
Evans Shuffle. The tune is credited to Muddy Waters but it's really a showcase for Little Walter.
Joe_L
925 posts
Dec 22, 2010
9:42 AM
Listen closely to Evan's Shuffle, it is very similar to the Honeydripper. Here are a few obscure ones that I dig that won't likely get mentioned.

Sputnik Music - Harmonica George
Speed - Wild Child Butler
Walkin' With Snooky - Snooky Pryor
Late Night - Little Willie Anderson
Light Fuse Get Away - Scott Bradbury
Top Of The Harp - Louis Myers

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Last Edited by on Dec 22, 2010 9:45 AM
MrVerylongusername
1437 posts
Dec 22, 2010
9:50 AM
"Work Song" Butterfield.

Not necessarily "great", but I like it.
GamblersHand
240 posts
Dec 22, 2010
10:30 AM
Blue Stu - Charlie Musselwhite - or maybe on a Robben Ford album, but Charlie on harp

Last Edited by on Dec 22, 2010 2:18 PM
timeistight
4 posts
Dec 22, 2010
10:35 AM
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White – The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Not exactly blues, but pretty bluesy nonetheless.
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Icemaster
11 posts
Dec 22, 2010
10:39 AM
Spokey Dokey and Digging My Potato by Weeping Harp Senoh
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MP
1166 posts
Dec 22, 2010
1:19 PM
it's not a classic but it's pretty totally completely awesome, THE POODLE BITES [Gary Primich]----------
MP
hibachi cook for the yakuza
doctor of semiotics
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jacobmatthew
5 posts
Dec 22, 2010
2:07 PM
Wow incredible stuff guys, I love it. Going to take some time to work through all the suggestions, but keep them coming.

7LimitJI, like the Sonny Terry, I have another piece similar to it, Sonnys Squall off of the Midnight Special album.
Miles Dewar
553 posts
Dec 22, 2010
2:14 PM
Jacob,

If you like Junior Wells, try "We're Ready". One of my favorites.
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sorin
218 posts
Dec 22, 2010
2:34 PM
William Clarke - Blowin the family jewels
Rod Piazza - Ju ju's joint
Jason Ricci - The blowzone layer
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Kyzer Sosa
925 posts
Dec 22, 2010
3:15 PM
this groove, since one of the members posted it here, exemplifies the traditional blues groove for me...I fell in love with it then, and strive to accomplish the same even now as we speak:


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Joe_L
927 posts
Dec 22, 2010
3:39 PM
Carey Bell - Bell Hop, Big Walter Strut, Easy or Carey Bell Rocks

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Mojokane
191 posts
Dec 22, 2010
10:08 PM
what a colorful selection of songs.
Some I haven't heard of. Cool. I'm a big fan of Steady, Work Song, Blu Stew, and many others. Keep the blues alive!
MP
1167 posts
Dec 22, 2010
10:27 PM
--hey MojoKane,

heard from the mythical Ed S. today. said he'd come by with some repairs. have you spoken to him lately?--------
MP
hibachi cook for the yakuza
doctor of semiotics
superhero emeritus
Ant138
716 posts
Dec 22, 2010
11:38 PM
Walters Boogie and Jason Ricci's Blow Zone Layer:o)
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alliag
4 posts
Dec 23, 2010
7:05 AM
"Walters Instrumental"- (Important Postwar Recordings) - Disc B
clyde
80 posts
Dec 23, 2010
8:05 AM
diggs,
i have to agree with you on average and high average harmonica players having a hard time keeping up with high school band students. i would be happy if i could play harp as well as i blew my alto in 10th grade.

i might have missed something but i don't see a bad attitude with your statements at all. i will say i don't like the cussing ...but i don't have to read it...do i
zipperhead16
8 posts
Dec 23, 2010
8:36 AM
Either I missed it(possible with old eyes)or nobody mentioned The Creeper.
5F6H
451 posts
Dec 23, 2010
8:43 AM
Clyde - "i would be happy if i could play harp as well as i blew my alto in 10th grade."...this kind of begs the question, "Why don't you then?" can you blow alto like you did in 10th grade? Are you suddenly better able to determine pitch & phrasing just because you are playing another instrument? If you're average at alto & not as good on the harp, then you're not "average" on the harp.

If you are of average ability on the harmonica, then that's average ability...no better or worse than average ability on any other instrument. However, this thread isn't really concerned with average/high average/mediochre...on the way to good. It is about classic instrumentals, seminal work.

If you can play "Worksong/Misty/Rockin' Robin on a harmonica, then you can play it...that's basically that.

Why not try and join in the spirit of the thread? Perhaps make a suggestion, rather than sit & slag off harp players...on a harp players forum?

I suspect your idea of average and mine are different, "average" to me is a level of competency midway between not being able to play (anybody who hasn't yet learned to play/progressed beyond holding a harp to their face & therefore "plays" purely by virtue of not dying of asphyxiation) and "excellence" (which relatively few ever achieve...on any instrument).

Many harp players I know are multi instrumentalists & better on harp than anything else.

Last Edited by on Dec 23, 2010 9:28 AM
bigd
272 posts
Dec 23, 2010
9:03 AM
Damn that Howard Levy thing posted is raw and amazingly funky! Thanks Diggs. I'd definitely add "Monkey Lips" by Lee Sankey: another "wow" addition.
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5F6H
452 posts
Dec 23, 2010
9:26 AM
BigD - I once saw Lee do a Sonny Terry/Paul Lamb inspired fox chase at a jam, "stunning" is the only word I can use to describe it, to hit every note with such great tone & perfect pitch at the speed he was playing, it was simply jaw dropping!

Other instrumentals by UK harp players worth a mention are West Weston (he has a couple on his Myspace - "Hard Drive" & "Dead Beat") & Pete G & the Magnitones "Cadillac" from his last album (again, it usually features on his Myspace).
OzarkRich
303 posts
Dec 23, 2010
9:27 AM
F Fat - Kim Wilson
Jump Start - Glenn Kaiser
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clyde
81 posts
Dec 23, 2010
9:57 AM
5f6h
well..no i don't play sax as well as i did and i don't play harp at what i call even an average level. going by your feelings i guess i am average.

i am not sitting and slagging on harp players at all...i just responded to diggs post.

as far as spirit of the thread goes do you think you jumping on me is in the spirit of the thread or anything else.

i am not a very good musican anymore for a number of reasons but how good i am now has nothing to do with it.

from now on i will try to bow to your wisdom and not coment on any post until unless it fits into your idea of how a post should be commented on.
Greyowlphotoart
260 posts
Dec 23, 2010
10:19 AM
Just love this offering, by Little Sonny. It's different.





Joe_L
928 posts
Dec 23, 2010
12:57 PM
Little Sonny has some really funky instrumentals. He is worth checking out. Mark Hummel does a nice version of The Creeper Returns.
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Joe_L
929 posts
Dec 23, 2010
1:05 PM
@Clyde - maybe if you offered up an instrumental in addition to your color commentary, maybe people wouldn't jump on you. Is it possible that you don't listen to Blues and have little to offer to the thread?

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clyde
86 posts
Dec 23, 2010
2:45 PM
joe l,

anything is possible....but...i do listen to and enjoy the blues although after losing all my records in a flood i only listen on you tube and sirius radio so i am limited a bit. i also have some cuts from mbh.

anything is possible.....you are probably right that i have little to offer this thread so i'll not delute the content any more.

i will offer this .... anything by the late willie j foster.

also red headed woman comes to mind.

i think people were not jumping me just person...until you jumped.

by the way i normally enjoy you posts very much
5F6H
453 posts
Dec 23, 2010
4:01 PM
Clyde,I wasn't jumping on you, I just didn't get the logic. Many threads on this forum seem to quickly get off track & descend in to off-topic sniping, I find it tiresome & I avoid posting on threads & topics that don't interest me, as my old grandmother used to say, "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything"...I'm quite happy to let others say great things about whoever they like, if I don't agree, hell, I'm happy to let them have their fun, I just expect the same courtesy, that's all. I just found it hard to see what was positive, or relevant to the subject specifically raised, in your post, so I said so...and I'd do the same again given the same scenario. We all have the choice to contribute in a positive fashion, or to be disparaging.

Diggs was perhaps playing devil's advocate, tongue in cheek? But I'll reiterate the point, by definition, a harp player of average ability is a musician of average ability...genre & instrument aren't specifically relevant.

Nice to see Willie Foster represented, I saw him support Piazza once, Willie just blew through the PA, it was a heavenly sound...& much as I love Rod's playing, I'd have been more than happy to listen to Willie all night on that occasion.
Joe_L
930 posts
Dec 23, 2010
4:03 PM
Both Willie Foster's had a great sound.

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clyde
87 posts
Dec 23, 2010
4:09 PM
5f6h & joe l

you are both quite right. 5f6h i sent you an email several minutes ago and noticed you will not get it for a while...i hope it will clear things up

clyde
groyster1
604 posts
Dec 23, 2010
4:11 PM
agree with 5F6H clyde did not appear to me he was jumping on you just trying to get his point across that being said a big tennessee MERRY CHRISTMAS! to all in the blues forum


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