|I first heard or actually noticed the Blues Harp back in 1978. An Aussie Blues Band "CHAIN" had a hit on the radio. I would go and see Chain at local Pubs as a teenager and admire MATT TAYLOR and his electric harmonica. Matt and Chain are still pumping out their brilliant original 'OZ' Blues to this very day.
I guess my early favourite Harp Player was Paul Butterfield. I also listened to a lot of Charlie Musslewhite (I was lucky to support him at the Perth Blues Club about 10 years ago). Little Walter Jacobs, Junior Wells and Big Walter Horton spent a fair amount of time on my turntable too. A Finnish friend of mine 'Jorma' introduced me to the styles of George 'Harmonica ' Smith, Rod Piazza & William Clarke. Some say they are the West Coast style of harp in the U.S.A.
I am a big fan of Paul Delay. Paul Delay has a unique style on diatonic and chromatic harmonica. He is an exceptional vocalist and compose. Jim Conway an Australian blues harp player that performed on a number of Dutch Tilder's records plays some great stuff with a very clear acoustic tone.
Kim Wilson is my favourite living bluesman and harpist in the world today. The guy is a virtuoso, so tasteful in all styles. Kim fronts the highly successful Fabulous Thunderbirds and has released several albums under his own name.
Stevie Wonder for my money is the most soulful chromatic harp player in the world. Larry Adler is a genius on the chromatic harmonica... a virtuoso!
These are just some of the harp players I enjoy, admire and practise with on a daily basis!
As my mate Gary 'Gus' Collinson says 'Practise makes progress!!!'
INTERESTING HARP BOOKS
Me and My Big Mouth : Larry Adler
Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers : Kim Field
The Harp Handbook : Steve Baker
CDs DAVE IS LISTENING TO
Smokin Joint : Kim Wilson
Take It From The Turnaround : Paul Delay
The Whole Truth : Darrell Nulisch
I use the old Hohner Marine Band Harps. I like wood and I think they sound the best for me!
For Chromatic Harps I use Hohner Super 64's and Larry Adler Specials.
I now use a HARP GEAR 30 Amp that is about 30 watts of 'Tube' or 'Valve' through two 8" speakers.
The Harp Gear is light, compact, loud and has a very good clear sound. The Harp Gear 30 Amp is great for small rooms like taverns.
For outside concerts and large venues I combine the HarpGear with my old Fender super reverb Amp for a bigger sound. I also have an early 70's Fender Champ 6 Watts through a 6" speaker. This is a very dirty sounding little Amp, used many for practising.
I use an astatic Microphone and also have a Hohner Blues Blaster that puts out a sounds good.
Adding Reverb can improve the sound, I use a Boss digital Reverb RV - 5 pedal.
The main sound is the player!
Getting a good acoustic sound through the P.A. is another dynamic for the Harpist.