Michel Herblin

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Michel Herblin is an unusual character. At one point in his life he was a professional American Football player in one of the best French teams, he is also a farmer at times and, of course, a harmonica player.

His instrumental history is similar to many : an exploratory passion that leads him to discover the masters, big ones and little ones, and to roam the music bars. He dwells on a middle road between blues and jazz that allows him to develop his own sound, a very personal and melodic style. Today, a few years after the release of his first album, he's working on a second album and has collaborated a few years to the records of French bluesman Bill Deraime.

His current bands are a light instrumental combo (guitar-harp ou keyboard-harp) and a heavy blues band called 'Mr Tchang & les Easy Money'.

His approach is very technical and he juggles with overblows fluently. The Herblin sound is not a deep booming one but rather a light, aerial one. Michel has a jazzy approach to the instrument but stays clear of hardcore jazz. Michel can be contacted through his very own website.

Matin aux Pommes

Matin aux pommes is an album that leaves me with mixed feelings. Before I go any further I should point out that this doesn't have anything to do with Michel's playing, which I find wonderful. The thing is, I really have trouble with synth music. For me, nothing can match the sounf of a 'natural' instrument.
Since the approach taken on this album is an experimentation relying heavily on syhthesiser arrangements, you'll understand that I'm not a great fan of Matin aux Pommes.
That being said, one number called Gadget Boogie is played with a regular band, and believe me, I love that one ! Gadget Boogie is inspired by the theme to the cartoon 'Inspector Gadget', played in 3rd position, and it rocks ! The very interesting thing is that Michel Herblin uses and abuses the lower octave of the harp, often neglected by 3rd position blues, and it conveys a dimension to his play that the middle octave lacks.
If I had a comment to make it would therefore be : Michel, for your next album, please hire in a few good musicians and bring us some tunes in the vein of Gadget Boogie : I for one will be happy about it !