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3749 posts
Dec 31, 2012
7:51 AM
Welcome to the Blues Talk forum! Please briefly introduce yourself to your fellow forum members in whatever way you're moved to do so.
6342 posts
Dec 31, 2012
11:56 PM

Wait, I don't do that. Listening to your first new video right now.

Hello blues people. I'm Nate. I'm a harmonica player who always enjoys when the harmonica forum veers into larger blues discussions.
Thread Organizer (A list of all sorts of useful threads)
7 posts
Jan 01, 2013
2:30 AM
Hi all,
My name is Olly and I'm a beginner harp player from the UK. I am a fan of the Blues but have to admit my knowledge of its history and culture is limited. I have just started listening to the new video and I'm hooked. I am looking forward to the journey ahead as I am sure it will be challenging, thought provoking and an education.

Jan 01, 2013
3:11 AM
Hello and Happy New Year from Changsha, China.
I teach English at Changsha University. I get to share American culture with my students. I bring my harmonica everyday to class. I am just a beginning harmonica player.
I have enjoyed this first lesson and look forward to the next one. Thank you for your sharing and knowledge.
4 posts
Jan 01, 2013
4:34 AM
Hi and happy new year. I am an electric bass player of more than 20 years, and an amateur harp player of 4 years. My favorites include, Albert King, Muddy, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Walter, William Clarke, Albert Collins, and many others.
Jan 01, 2013
6:58 AM
Just watched the first lecture and want to thank you, Adam, for sharing your impressive scholarship with us. Indeed coupled with your musical talent and intellectual honesty this promises to be treasure to be mined for years to come.
Jan 01, 2013
7:55 AM
Hello my name is Bruce. I am an American living in Germany. I play harp. This is not just a lesson about the Blues but how a whole culture in America has been created, where it is and how it has been changed in modern American society. I am eagerly awaiting the next lecture. Thank you Adam for once again giving it all away.
33 posts
Jan 01, 2013
8:24 AM
Hello! My name is Scott; I'm a graduate student in the field of classics. My main academic interests are in Roman cultural history. I started listening to blues in high school and I've always been eager to learn more about the contexts that surround the music. My college unfortunately did not offer a course on the blues tradition, so my eduction has thus far been self-directed. I'm very excited about the upcoming lecture series.
Jan 01, 2013
9:20 AM
HI. MY name is Frank aka Frankie.G I am from Lethbridge Alberta, Canada and have been a fan of Adam for several years and have learned most of my harp playing from him. I am so excited to be here and involved in the lessons. Looking forward to this forum and all the knowledge that will stream through here. :0)
358 posts
Jan 01, 2013
9:56 AM
HI I'm Jinx. I'm a member of Blues Harp Forum.
Sun, sun, sun
Burn, burn, burn
Soon, soon, soon
Moon, moon, moon
52 posts
Jan 01, 2013
12:16 PM
Hello...Warren Bee from Hubbardston, Massachusetts. I am excited about being a sponge to absorb this wonderful offering.

Warren Bee
Marketing & Harmonica Raconteur

Last Edited by on Jan 01, 2013 12:17 PM
3759 posts
Jan 01, 2013
2:24 PM
Greg: My use of the word "white" would fall into the category of what academic types call strategic essentialism: a large, perhaps overbroad generalization made for the purposes of usefully revealing some truth that couldn't otherwise be gotten at. You're quite right that white people, as a group, trace their ancestry to a range of places. It's also true that the definition of who counts as white has shifted radically over time. My Lithuanian-Jewish grandfather, for example, might not have counted as white when he arrived in American in 1920. Noel Ignatieff has a book called HOW THE IRISH BECAME WHITE. Regardless, theorists of race and also folks who engage in so-called "whiteness studies" note that the term "white" long had legal status: the laws of the US gave all white men the right to vote in the early 1830s, for example, and I believe the word "white" showed up in the legislation. George Lipsitz has a book called THE POSSESSIVE INVESTMENT IN WHITENESS. Whiteness had a cash value in America for a long time--in pay differentials between white men and black men for identical work, for example, assuming that the black man was even permitted to do identical work. That period is fading, but the traces of it are everywhere. I certainly don't buy every last thing that whiteness theorists argue; I certainly do NOT believe that folks with pale skin like mine always consciously feel empowered because of their skin color. I think many white folks feel disempowered in their daily lives, in fact, and of course their class location and individual psychology has a huge role to play in that attitude.

I use the term "whites" because I believe that the statements that I make when I use it in those specific ways hold some palpable truth.

P.S.: You and I have now hijacked this thread. If you'd like to continue the conversation with others, I'd urge you to start a separate thread. You may even copy and paste my comments here, if you'd like.

Last Edited by on Jan 01, 2013 2:28 PM
38 posts
Jan 01, 2013
3:16 PM
Train train is my sign-in. I can't believe I listen to the whole first lecture. I am honored to have had this opportunity with Adam's efforts, but I think we are looking at this idea with way too much intellectual thought and opportunities that overshoots what blues are and where they are from. Too many thoughts to put into words here.
1 post
Jan 01, 2013
3:40 PM
Hi all!
My first email of the year was from Adam about his new course!
I'm looking forward to getting back into blues harp. I bought one of Adam's videos a while back and was doing okay until I got busy.
I play blues on guitar and do tracks on computer so being able to add my own harp part would be great, even if only quite simple. I've learned that the silences are more important than the sounds :).
Happy new year!
37 posts
Jan 01, 2013
5:12 PM
I am a harmonica player living in Wyoming; grew up in Brooklyn.

This topic is rekindling an old interest. Back in the mid-1970s, I took a sociology course in race relations and really enjoyed researching and writing a term paper on the blues -- far and away my favorite paper. Perhaps the best lesson in race relations I received was having the experience of being falsely accused by someone of a different race and with power over me of having purchased the term paper. At the time I was angry/frustrated/disappointed, and it was only later that I could appreciate the "lesson."

Also, it is interesting to spend some time now listening to Adam. I was a graduate student at Princeton (roughly 1977-81) which I believe overlapped some with Adam's time there. I am very sorry I was totally unaware, but I wasn't focused on harmonica or blues very much at that time.

That's probably more than enough by way of intro!
Jan 01, 2013
5:29 PM
After watching the first video I have so much going through my head all I can say right now is that this is a privilege,thank you.
Bruce de Trabuco
Jan 01, 2013
7:59 PM
Will there be a final?
1 post
Jan 01, 2013
9:54 PM
Hi all, and thanks Adam. I'm sixty one years old, a long time blues 'lover'(I don't like the word fan), a suffering harp beginner, and one who likes to explore ideas (especially those that may be a bit edgy). Adam's youtube contributions clearly indicate a wealth of knowledge that could translate into a valuable series of 'lectures'. I look forward to the series with anticipation and hope it stirs some minds and fosters thinking outside our usual boxes. The first one was a fine appetizer.
12 posts
Jan 01, 2013
9:53 PM
Hi, Louis Lam from half way across the world in Singapore. I'm a harp player. This is great! I've always wanted to learn more about the roots of this great music that I love. Thrilled to have received the email on the first day of the new year from Adam Gussow and of course Blues Talk 1 was the first important video i've watched since 2013 started. Look forward to more lectures sitting on the dashboard. Thank you Adam for putting these up. Cheers to all! and Happy New Year!
200 posts
Jan 02, 2013
12:45 AM

Living in Hawaii all I get for info is from media sources. It's hard to distinguish reality from the BS. It's great to get info from Adam who lives this sh!t. I have worked through all of Adams You Tube videos (when they first appeared) to learn how to play harp. Then purchased ALL of his instructional videos as pay back for all the free content given at the start. If Adam made it possible for me to play well enough to get into a band, Thank You Adam. Now It's time to thank Adam again for the Blues Literature lessons. Some day I would like to meet you in person. Some day. So much to absorb so little time.I watched the first one today.

Brian R. Hill, American
The Gloth
696 posts
Jan 02, 2013
8:20 AM
Hello, my name is Nicolas, 41 years old harp player from Brussels, Belgium. Very interested in a deeper looking into the origins of the blues.
76 posts
Jan 02, 2013
11:19 AM
Hello. I'm Tom. I'm a 52-year-old scientist (nerdy white guy), and I've been trying to learn Blues Harmonica since 2009. I found Dr. Gussow's videos and forum in 2010, and those have been a large part of my development. While every day I get more technically competent with the harp, my playing seems to be completely empty when it comes to emotion/feeling. I am a total blues pretender. I know there are several things I can do to develop my musical expressiveness. That is one of my major harp goals for 2013 and beyond. In that regard, a member of the Harp Forum pointed me toward Barry Green and Tim Gallwey’s book “The Inner Game of Music”. The authors state that understanding the history/background of the music is an important component of being able to perform a credible interpretation of the music.

That’s just one reason why I'm excited about this new series. I watched Part 1, and I'm fully hooked.
700 posts
Jan 02, 2013
1:07 PM
To introduce myself I am a longtime amateur historian of blues -and I mean the music more than the culture. I am also an academic (science) and have played harmonica for about 35 years. The Opening Plenary was interesting -a grey word I choose instead of something uglier.
I do have some initial thoughts that I am not comfortable with. Perhaps this neighborhood can help?
First, would it be reasonable for other cultures to express similar calls for "compensation for their traditions" (my words, yes, but the message I hear)? Some counter examples would be helpful but none quickly come to mind.
Bruce Iglauer's statement about marketing was seriously provocative and while I can understand Branch's reaction Iglauer's certainly qualified to put it out there. His criteria was about the business of marketing and not culture. As vehement as Branch was I would think that he could cite some specific examples of who should be fronting the big shows enough to sell the tickets. Anybody among that panel?
And another uncomfortable thought (the ones that might piss somebody off):
Does society have a particular responsibility to support the "origin" of blues?

Adding: A VERY interesting conversation. The comments following Iglauer's statement are very instructive. A GREAT read.

Last Edited by on Jan 02, 2013 6:04 PM
687 posts
Jan 02, 2013
3:33 PM
My name is Weldon and I am a student of history, Lincoln, as well as the blues. I am intrigued by this offer of a free history lesson. I also am a member on the Forum for Modern Blues Harmonica, thus on Adam's email list, etc. I was lucky enough to get to Hill Country Harmonica on the first year and had a blast. I can personally vouch for Adam and my teacher Grant Dermody being the primary mentors for my harmonica playing. I play in a blues (mostly) duo called Meat Haus Blues. You could like our Facebook page if you would (we don't spam). If this history experience is anything like the harmonica experience then you all want to stay tuned as it is going to be a fun ride. Happy New Year!
snakes in Snohomish
241 posts
Jan 02, 2013
5:59 PM
Howdy folks, checking in from the other forum here :)

Name is Ed I just turned 43(New Years day) I have been playing harp for a few years, into blues for much longer.

Lets see what develops here.

Dr. Rev. Mr. Cheeks Miller
My Electronic Music World
Me With Harp
Jan 02, 2013
8:10 PM
Hi I'm Dan from Black River Falls, Wi. hense the name blackwaterdan. My Grandfather on my mothers side was a concertina playing Lithuanian immigrant. Lived in and played on the streets of Chicago,Maxwell street area. My paternal Grandfather was a fiddle playing Irishman. My Dad played the harmonica. I grew up on the banks of the Black River here in Wisconsin. I played the accordion and guitar and when I was a kid. I gave them up and just settled on playing the harmonica the last 15 or so years. I have been watching Adams youtube clips since the ( I'm going to give it all away) video and have enjoyed everyone of them. I'm looking forward to Adams new " Blues Talk " series and forum. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend two of Adams HCH events in Waterford, MS. 2010 and 2012. What great connection. Had a wonderful time. I consider myself an advanced intermediate player with some, on stage time. I'm always looking forward to learning new things. Thanks Adam you got my attention !
Jan 02, 2013
8:19 PM
I'm an engineer by training and profession, but a music lover since forever, and a musician for most of my life, and always a music historian. My first exposure to blues was the British Invasion, as I was born in the mid 1950's. Played classical piano, picked up some blues and rock. Got hooked on blues harmonica in the 70's thanks to Shakin Smith of Buffalo NY. Played in various bands (blues and other American music) since the 80's, but playing seriously with Teeny Tucker for the past 5+ years (harp and keys), traveling across the US, Canada, and even gigs in Europe. I'm always studying the history of American music. Thanks, Adam, for you increasingly valuable contributions to the music world, both from performing and from writing, and even innovating the paradigm of music education. One thought, the mistreatment of blacks in America (slavery, sharecropping, and so on) provides very graphic representation of the emotional turmoil that can be the blues, but I think that, as Teeny Tucker says, "we all get the blues sometimes". Many folks, in all walks of life, of all nationalities, rich or poor, health or sick, experience the stresses, frustrations, fears, joys, and all the emotions that make us human. I look forward to Adam's future presentations and the discussions that result.
62 posts
Jan 02, 2013
8:28 PM
Per Lundkvist from Solna, Sweden signing in.
1 post
Jan 02, 2013
11:29 PM
Hi: I’m a 61 year old male born and raised in NJ. I went to college in VA earning a BA in Sociology, then lived in MA for about 25 years where I eventually earned a master’s degree in Landscape Design. For the past 10 years my wife and I have lived in San Diego. I’ve been a music lover all of my life, especially folk, rock & roll, & jazz. I learned to play clarinet (badly!) as a kid, and always sang. In my 20’s I learned to play traditional Irish, English & Scottish music with my brother (me tin whistle-brother fiddle-both sang a cappella). I then branched out into singing blue grass/gospel/old timey stuff in informal groups. I’ve listened to blues music on and off for years, but was never hooked until I decided to take up blues harmonica six months ago and found Adam’s YouTube Videos and his excellent video tutorials on his web site. I sometimes think that it’s taken me 61 years to finally start to appreciate the blues and what it takes to try playing it. To that end, I'm really looking forward to Adam’s new “Blues Talk” series and forum. As so many of you have aptly expressed, the first presentation in this series has been fascinating and provocative, and I look forward to the upcoming forum discussions. Thanks Adam!

Last Edited by on Jan 03, 2013 12:04 AM
The Hawk
2 posts
Jan 03, 2013
6:09 AM
Hi All. I am a 70 YO semi-retired professor of practical theology (community organizing) in Chicago. My first career was as a clinical psychologist working with oppressed people (mostly African-Americans and Native Americans and later with torture survivors. I am a life-long Blues lover and a beginning /intermediate harp player. I very much appreciate the discussion of the Blues in context. I continue to be amazed how music sustains cultural values around the world, even when cultures are directly targeted for extinction. The Hawk AKA George
17 posts
Jan 03, 2013
11:47 AM
Hi all,

I'm a harp player and came over from the blues harp forum. I am currently pursuing a high level graduate degree in racial history and much of my interest (personal as opposed to academic) even before taking up the harp was music, especially the history of music. I'm am excited about this forum as I feel I have quite a bit to contribute but also much to learn from all of you.
Jan 03, 2013
12:44 PM
AHA!!! I am excited to find this forum! This is gonna be great!
8 posts
Jan 03, 2013
12:37 PM
Hello! I'm Geoff and live in the Chicago area. I've been playing harp for over 30 years, mostly blues and some country rock.

I sit in with a few different bands around Chicago. The Special 20 is my favorite harp.

During the summer months I like to ride my Harley to blues festivals around the midwest.

Thanks for having me!
26 posts
Jan 03, 2013
1:27 PM
What a great resource this is! Thank you, Adam! Looking forward to learning more in the videos to come!

I'm Kelly from the low country near Savannah. Been a blues stringer for nearly half a century, and picked up the harp about a year ago.

"It can't rain all the time." - Eric Draven
JD Hoskins
396 posts
Jan 03, 2013
10:08 PM
I'm a 61 yr old male blues fan of about 45 years. I have played mainly guitar, quite a bit of harp, a little trumpet, flute, and keyboards since I was a teenager.

Although I've read some books and studied what has been available to me, I still have mixed feelings about this subject and I am hoping that Adam's "Blues Talk" series will help me to gain a better perspective.

Last Edited by on Jan 03, 2013 10:09 PM
1 post
Jan 04, 2013
6:58 AM
I am 57 and started the harmonica at 14 and the guitar at 25, it wasn't until 1997 however that I started trying to get a handle on the blues. I live in Monmouthshire in the UK and am delighted to get the opportunity to expand my overall insight into the blues, since it seems that nothing much else has quite influenced the history of modern music so profoundly.
688 posts
Jan 04, 2013
4:07 PM
Thank you JD Hoskins for liking our Facebook page!
snakes in Snohomish
Ville Kansanen
1 post
Jan 06, 2013
2:24 PM
Hey, I'm Ville, originally from Finland but I now live in Los Angeles. I just picked up the harmonica about a year or so ago. I'm very passionate about it, I play it in traffic, the john, the kitchen, everywhere I can. I hope to learn a lot from all you real harmonica players & experts here in the forum, esp Adam Gussow, who's videos have helped me tremendously to understand the instrument. Also, just cool to talk to people who love the harmonica.
messy ventura
44 posts
Jan 08, 2013
8:18 PM
Hey peoples . I've read 2 of Adam's books and dig him as an author, and of course , as a harp player/teacher as well. So now I'm checking him out as college professor of blues history. Just finished lesson one. Dug it. Hungry for more. Thank you Prof. Gussow for feeding us hungry folks.
41 posts
Jan 09, 2013
12:48 PM
Hey All, My name is Matt. I'm a 44 year old electrician, Army vet and attempted harp player in the Detroit metro area. Just finished second video. I've always been very interested in blues history and folklore. These lessons are perfect for that. Thanks, Adam!
Matt in Michigan.
2 posts
Jan 12, 2013
3:41 PM
Hey, I'm Daz. 43, airline pilot, white, British male. Can't get further from the Blues than that but I just love listening to it and playing my harp. And now loving the history and sociology lessons. Speak on Mr Gussow!

Last Edited by on Jan 12, 2013 3:43 PM
860 posts
Jan 30, 2013
2:48 AM
G'day. Name's Eric. Born in Canada to Novia Scotian father and Trinidad-born mother, studied Japanese at university, met an Aussie gal in Japan and moved Down Under. Been playing harmonica seriously for about three years, spurred by Jason Ricci and Adam's YouTube vids. Play whenever I can; have a gigging band and a busking duo. I was probably ambivalent about the need for me to have "academic" (for want of a better term) insights into the blues, but Adam's fascinating videos have proven me wrong. There's a lot to absorb. I'm going to have to rewind his tapes a few times...
3 posts
Feb 17, 2013
9:16 AM
Great, great series. I just finished bar 11. I've learned a lot about the history of the blues and a lot about 'the blues.' I've also learned a lot about myself and the winding road that started with me listening to my grand-parents' Polish polkas (on 78 RPM), then watching American Bandstand, and then listening to 'rock' (pop) radio (on a transistor radio). Del Shannon was my favorite.

I wasn't exposed to 'the blues' (other than the influences) until I heard and bought 'The Thrill is Gone" by B.B. King. That's about the same time I was mesmerized the first time I heard two songs - "Purple Haze" and "Sunshine of your Love." I've been a fan of 'rock.' I didn't realize (for a long time) how the rock that I gravitated to was heavily influenced by the blues. I've come full-circle as I volunteer-DJ at our local college radio station playing blues - everything from Buddy Guy's "74 Years Young" to tracks from a 'new' band - Riley Road - who are 60 years younger than Buddy. Last year, I played tracks from a CD by a very cool harp player - Adam Gussow.

Most of what I spin is 'blues-rock' but I still get chills when I listen to, for example, "Roberta" by Cephas and Wiggins. Play the blues....
177 posts
Feb 26, 2013
8:56 PM
Hello to all of you.

To Adam I say what a great opening lecture. Really draws out the tensions inherent in the connections between the differences of perspective on the Blues. Also resonates deeply with feelings for the human condition, and for the artistic motivation deriving from the seminal relationships between possessors, the possessed, and the dispossessed. Whenever and by whoever, the soul of the Blues is thus born and recreated and evolves. It's not just music, although in some instances it is.

These are only my immediate reactions to the first lecture. I'm pretty sure to find more meanings via reflection on your words. I look forward to all of them.

Thank you.
1 post
Feb 27, 2013
4:33 PM
Hello All!

My name is Carl, I currently live in Hawaii, but was born and raised in Virgina. I started learning harmonica from my dad when I was young.
After moving to Hawaii I needed something to keep music in my life. My guitar was back home, and I happened to find an old Special 20 in C from when I was kid. Picked it up, and the fire was rekindled.

Love, love, LOVE all of the videos on Youtube. Adam was one of the first youtube professors that I found, and his videos are on point!
Hope to make some contributions here as well as learn a thing or two!

I just wanted to take a quick second to thank Adam for putting so much time and effort into this site and his video lessons and lectures. And any of the other harmonica players (pro and amateur) who take the time to interact with each other and keep the music playing!
1 post
Feb 28, 2013
5:36 PM

I'm taking a History of Blues in America course in college, and this is an excellent addition to what I'm learning from Charlie Sawyer, my instructor.

I'm returning to blues harp after a long layoff. I'll be at Jon Gindick's camp in Clarksdale in about a month.

Enjoying all of Adam's teaching!

2 posts
Mar 19, 2013
9:23 PM
Hello are you blues players.
As you can see My sign in name is bluesjamin.
My nick name is cotton top. And I'm sure that you can guess why they call me that. As Iam a 57 year old man with lots of hair.
I play diatonic harmonica's in karaoke. And have played in some bands. What started it all was a few jam sessions. I'm playing some bars in a karaoke Song. But I feel that I am just a basic player.
As I have a long way To go And need to learn to read music.
Since I play all by ear. You know who that is why I joined the site.
In my dream is to be able to play A solo Using my own lyrics.
I have been told that I have several beautiful songs Written. And now I need to put the music to them. I have watched Adams videos And want to do a solo as well as him. There is 1 other so was that I love to watch And to learn from. Dave Gage is a nother 1 that I I want to learn from,
well this is a little about me and I hope to meet several others.
Will keep the harp notes playing.
As I might meet you some day.
107 posts
Mar 20, 2013
7:15 AM
Hey there, Bluesjamin.
This particular forum is for the series of online "lectures" Adam has provided.
For Adam's general blues harp forum:

Click on Blues Talk Forum all the wat at the top of this page, then see item 4 and the link to the general forum.

Last Edited by TetonJohn on Mar 20, 2013 7:16 AM
1 post
Apr 04, 2013
5:58 PM
Hello all.

I am from Perth, Western Australia.

I have been a professional drummer for many years.

I have always loved the harp...its emotion, its impact and its a very personal instrument.

I have bought "Harmonica for Dummies" and I am enjoying it a great deal.
1 post
Apr 23, 2013
7:46 AM
Hey Guys,

I'm here in Milford, PA. Been noodling around with harps for years but just starting to actually learn how to play for real, attended a recent workshop in Philly with Adam and Ronnie....Awesome and highly recommended.

Keep Jammin !!

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