Monday, October 24, 2011

Sidewalk Stradivarius

I play the harmonica. The only way I can play is if I get my car going really fast, and stick it out the window.
I put a new engine in my car, but forgot to take the old one out. Now my car goes 500 miles per hour. The harmonica sounds amazing.
~ Steven Wright


Today's Music Monday focus is on the unexpectedly-versatile harmonica. First, some songs and then trivia from the Wikipedia list of famous harmonica solos:

Gianluca Littera with the Spain Symphony Orchestra:

Yuri Lane:

Little Walter:

Tommy Reilly:

Christelle Berthon:

Harmonica Solo Trivia:

Toots Thielemans played the solo for the Sesame Street theme. Delbert McClinton's harmonica was featured in Bruce Channel's Hey! Baby.

Some singers do their own harmonica solos, such as Huey Lewis, Michael Stipe, and Robert Plant. Dan Ackroyd did in The Blues Brothers' Soul Man. John Lennon played harmonica on ten Beatles songs!

I have to mention Bob Dylan (whose solo was featured in Harry Belafonte's Midnight Special) and Stevie Wonder (who played on Chaka Khan's I Feel For You and Sting's Brand New Day and is in a class all by himself as far as I am concerned).

Check out the rest of the list here.

More links:
* Beginners' Guide to Playing Harmonica
* The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection has really neat old harmonicas.
* A list of some of the top female players
* A list of some of the blues pioneers

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