Danish harp player Lars Ringaard now has a website:
This danish harp player plays both diatonic and chromatic in a wide
array of styles including jazz, folk rock, acoustic blues and fusion.
Several tracks are available for download on the website if you want
to discover this harp player, 2 times national harmonica champion
in his country. Check it out:
Harmonica for musically hopeless finally online:
Jon Gindick who wrote several harmonica tutorials for the musically
hopeless has a new website: http://www.gindick.com
featuring lessons, links, online store (gear and tutorials). The website
is loaded with software, soundbites and lots of tips for beginers
/ intermediate players. A reference !
Jon has also decided to contribute to PlanetHarmonica by sending us
on a regular basis some brief articles that cover tips for beginers.
Have a look for yourself:
Claude Saubestre online:
Another new website up: French harp player Claude Saubestre can be
found at : http://www.harmonica-passion.fr.st.
Claude has a style that ranges from classical to pop music. He has
received many honors both in France (golden Medal in Paris) and other
countries (Rotterdam, Innsbrück, Barcelone, Detroit
can discover his work on several tracks (streaming) or purchase his
albums from the website.
San Diego "Spring harp fest" 2d edition:
April, 14th 2001 was the second edition of the "spring harp fest"
organized by the "Blues Lovers of San Diego" (www.BLUSD.org)
for the benefit of the "San Diego Blues in the Schools"
20 harp players played for a total of 7 hours and over 120 harp players
attended the jam session. 6 year old Selena won the public's affection
when she announced she had been playing harp for two days only.
The 7 hour show went exactly as planned and the 2001 spring harp fest
was a great success: games for kids, BBQ, Easter eggs, workshops:
the whole nine yard !
This harmonica happening was founded by Harmonica John FRAZER, Chet
CANNON and Budd WILLIS and takes place during the Easter week end
The benefit from the spring harp fest will once again help the "San
Diego Blues in the Schools" program and allow to purchase harps
for the kids in schools. In 2000, 1000 harps have been purchased and
donated and the goal for 2001 was to purchase and donate 2000 harps.
More information can be found at http://www.BITS.trev.org
A new band for Thierry HAU:
Having left the Hoodoo Men and moved to the south of France, singer
and harp player Thierry HAU has founded a new swing blues band. Pascal
Delmas, fromerly from Otis Grand Big Blues Band on drums and Michel
Garcia on bass provide rhythm and swing to Thierry and fellow guitar
player Bernard Sellam (who also sings and plays guitar in the band
Good luck to the four of them!
Altered States v2.0
Pat Missin is a well known musician and harp technician on the web.
A few years ago he started publishing on his website a guide of alternate
harp tunings covering over a 100 various tunings.for diatonic, chromatic
or tremolo harps.
A new release of "Altered states" has now been published
and is available on http://www.patmissin.com
Blues sur Seine
The 2001 edition of Blues Sur Seine (www.blues-sur-seine.com)
took place in Mantes La Jolie, France, between November 8th and November
Blues sur Seine is now affiliated with the "Muestra International
Raices y Ritmo" festival in Madrid, Spain.
This year's lineup included:
U.P.Wilson - Bill Deraime - Andy J. FOREST - Beverly Jo Scott - Alain
Giroux et Jean-Louis Mahjun -Patrick Verkebe -Nina Van Horn -Connie
Lush - Renaud Patigny - Doo The Doo - Patrice Boudot-Lamot - Butt
Naked - Karim Albert Kook - Bleu Nuit - Rag Mama Rag - Lance &
Donna - Last Call - Soul System - AEK - Coup d' Blues and all the
way from Spain : Red House.
Planet harmonica attended and voted for the contest that took place
on sunday november 18th. This year's winners are:
Mathis's Mathematical blues band in the Acoustic Blues category
The Bloosers in the Electric Blues category.
Patrice Boudot-Lamot for the special price "La Poste" (national
Congratulations to all of them.
The end of "Ruine babines et manivelle"
The astonishing harp and barbarian organ duo "Ruines babines
et manivelles" featuring Laurent Cagnon on harp and Dominique
Robert on organ is no longer active.
Laurent Cagnon will not stay inactive for long: he has some new projects
that we hope to tell you all about shortly.
You still can go and check out the website www.ruinesbabines.org
Death of Bluesman Willie Foster:
Internationally aclaimed harp player Willie Foster died on 05/20/2001
from a heart attack. He was 79 years old. Foster played with lots
of the greats including Muddy Waters.
Born in Missouri, Willie fell for the Blues when he was a kid and
started playing professionally in 1950 in St Louis. He only recorded
at the end of his life and the "live at the airport grocery"
is considered to be his best recording (ASIN B00000JB70)
El Fish becomes El Fish and Roland
Since Guitar player and singer Filip Casteels left the band, belgium
group El Fish found a new frontman in Roland van Campenhout, real
pionneer of folk and blues music in Belgium.
After working on the soundtrack of the movie A12, they just put out
a new record: "Waterbottle". You can find its review there.
Jean Labre, Founder and president of France Harmonica
released an album:
Harmonica blowout: all sorts of harp and tunings are featured. Jean
Labre found inspiration in music from all over the world for these
14 originals (plus one cover from Henri Salvador).
The liner notes indicate what harps where used for each track. Some
mp3 soundbites can be found at :http://pc.leclerc.free.fr/jlabre/
New online store for harps in France:
Music shop "La clé de sol" in Flers just opened an
online shop: www.harmonica-store.com.
Honher fans will find everything from the little lady to the always
surprising sextet tremolo and other accessories. We had to mention
it, even if Lee Oskar afficionados may have to wait for their turn.
Little Walter finally on video:
The only Little Walter video known to man has finally been released.
It features about 100min of footage in NTSC format including pieces
of the 1964 and 1965 American Folk Blues Festival. Also on this video
are Sonny Boy Williamson II, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon,
Big Mama Thornton, Howling Wolf, Lightning Hopkins and Walter Horton.
The video can be purchased at: http://www.angelfire.com/hi4/littlewalter/index.html.
Alexandre Thollon's new album:
Young french harp player Alexandre Thollon just put out his second
album "Out of time". You can check his classic-jazz style
at his redesigned websitehttp://perso.wanadoo.fr/alexandre.thollon.
Hohner collectors reissued:
For everyone's pleasure, Hohner decided to reissue the Puck (http://www.hohnerusa.com/2000/news/images/puck.jpg)
a short (about 7cm) diatonica harp named after a Shakespeare character
in a "Midsummer night's dream" that was very popular in
the 20s. This reissue model has 20 reeds, stainless stell cover plates
and a plastic comb. It's sold in a plastic box that will fit most
pockets for a retail price of $6.95.
Another hohner reissue (in limited edition this time): the Echophone
Made of brass it is identical to the one manufactured in the 20s.
Comes in the key of C, clear sound, airtight, plastic comb. This reissue
comes in a collector engraved wood box.
A Brazilian harp orchestra:
The "Orquestra Harmônicas" from Curitiba just released
a new CD. The track BRASILEIRINHO (little basilian) can be heard in
mp3 format at http://www4.sul.com.br/rpereira.
You can order the CD by contacting the orchestra manager, M. Eduardo
Pereira by fax at +55 41 262 7988
Everything you ever wanted to know about La Bolduc:
The "Harmonica et musique traditionelle quebecoise" website
tells you all about the canadian harp world. The website is well designed:
clear with a lot of illistration, you can even see the picture of
shêng, ancestor of our beloved instrument. Checkit out: http://www3.sympatico.ca/sylvain.beauregard2/
Travel down the Route du Blues:
The website www.route-du-blues.net
will have you travel all the way from New Orleans to Chicago taking
Highway 61 looking for the roots and pionneers of Blues music. Its
intended to be a musical and touristic guide and is loaded with details
and pictures. It's not harp specific but the tin sandwich is definitely
part of the journey !
Harmonica in caribbean music:
Looking for clear water and blue sky ? here's a website that'll make
you discover harmonica in caribbean music and more specifically Martinique
and Guadeloupe: http://www.ifrance.com/HARMONICASOLEIL.
The website is not only in french but also spanish and english and
is maintained and regularly updated by harp player Jean Louis Nguyen.
Tim Moyer's back to work:
Custom harps lovers will smile again: Working Man's Harps are back
in business at http://tymoyer.home.texas.net/WorkingMansHarps/
Tim Moyer offers three diatonic custom harps : The "T-Bone"
based on the classic Hohner Marine Band will suit blues, rock and
country players; the "Honeycomb" keeps the looks and feel
of the Marine Band with its beeswax sealed pearwood comb; lastly,
the "soloist", built from the Hohner Golden Melody, is perfect
for single note playing. Online shop and full servicing: a website
that deserves a good look at.
Harp family or family harp ?
If you like those big family pictures you might like Patrice Leclerc's
idea: a website to gather soundclips from as many harp players as
possible, known or unknown, pro or seasoned players. Just one big
family. The more the better ! Add yourself to the list at http://pc.leclerc.free.fr/album
If you like browsing the web looking for tabs, check out http://www.harmonicatabs.com.
The name says it all: lots of tabs for sale on CDs. Ranges from Bluegrass
to Gospel and Folk: Everyone should find what they look for at a very
decent price. .
Benoit Blue Boy on the web:
Our national Benoit Blue Boy, one of the real french blues figures
can now be found on the web. Go say hi at http://blueboy.free.fr
Benoit recently put out a new album recorded in the USA " Gare
ta voiture dans l'allée
t'es la seule " that recieved
Bluesy Train online:
Another entry In the french Blues category: Gerard Tartarini and his
band Bluesy Train (Thomas Laurent on harp) has now a website of his
own. You can find all their pictures, infos and tour dates at http://www.multimania.com/bluesytrain/
Wild Child Buttler just released a new album:
"Sho' Nuff" is Wild Child's 4th album. Wild Child has a
style all his own, and though it is influenced by SBW II, his is always
Other musicians on the album include Jimmy D Lane, Jimmie Lee obinson,
Bob Stroger, and Sam Lay. For more info, check WC's website at: http://www.bassharp.com/butler.htm
CD players for musicians:
If you've been thinking for years about breaking down each John Popper
or Sugar Blue chorus but your brain simply isn't fast enough you may
be in luck: Superscope offers CD players that have the capability
to slow down a track without changing its picth or to play in loop
a selected portion of any track. That should just about do it for
Chek it out at http://www.superscope-marantzpro.com/Superscope/arts.htm
The complete idiot's guide to playing the harmonica
(soon to be reviewed):
They finally did it ! With a foreword by Steve Baker, this book takes
the complete layman and teaches him all there is to know about the
harmonica in a very simple and down to earth fashion.
Comes only in English for now. Published by MacMillan Press.
Dave Gage's album available from www.amazon.com
Dave Gage's album "Love you just the same" (see review in
Planet Harmonica #3) is now available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005JSFA/harmonicalessons
Jean Sabot online:
Jean Sabot (see his last album review HERE) recently emailed us about
his website. Celtic harp lovers will surely enjoy it as well as alternate
tunings users. The website is in french, english and breton ! (local
dialect from britany, France). Stop by and say hi at: http://www.perso.wanadoo.fr/jsabot/
Some news from Lee Sankey:
Harp player Lee Sankey now offers a quite interesting concept on his
website: Soundbytes of new songs or gigs will be posted on his site
and a regular basis and should allow Lee's fan to stay tuned to what
he's up to and give him some feedback.
Lee's album "My day is just beginning" that scored very
well in UK is now available on the US market which should help finance
the next album.
Little Walter Biography:
After many years of long wait, the first Little Walter biography is
about to be published.
Scott Dirks, Ward Gaines and Tony Glover had all started researches
on their respective ends and decided to join forces for this book.
Scheduled for the fall of 2002, this biography is quite a tour de
force in itself considering the fact that information about Little
Walter's life are quite hard to find when not contradictory !
The team spent over 3 years searching and interviewing all the musicians
still alive that had known Little Walter. The results finally lead
to this 400 pages book.
Masters of blues harp:
Author Glenn Weiser just published "Masters of Blues harp",
a book of 21 transcriptions of classics from Little Walter to Paul
Butterfiled and Slim Harpo or Sugar Blue.
Each piece is transcribed in standard notation as well as tab and
really tries to tackle all the nuances in embouchure, attack etc
The book also features some biography info about the players and some
comments about each one of the 21 tunes. A more detailed review of
the book will be posted on planetharmonica shortly.
News from Damien Masterson:
After a short step back Damien is back with a new band, the Blue World
Order. Damien decided to take the opposite route of the one he had
travelled in the past: The band now blends some world music to a set
of R&B, Soul and funk material instead of the opposite approach.
Damien also decided to take up singing. For more info, go to: http://www.goodomen.net
Pete Pedersen has a website:
Unsung heroe of the chromatic harmonica Pete Pedersen has now his
own website. No excuses not to know everything about this chromatic
jazz virtuoso: you can even order his CDs: so
Mick Jagger and the Red Devils
If you're a major rock star and you feel that some of that little
spark has vanished over the decades, follow Mick Jagger's reciepe:
Go back to the studio and to your first love and record a blues album
and give Lester Buttler the harp chair. A record full of that early
Rolling Stones energy.
RockOn! Harmonica Game v1.2
A new update of Harmonica game is now available:
- new 3D explosion
- new music meter
- smoother animations
- improved install process
- windows Me bugs corrected
Danelectro Danecho mods:
Some Danecho owners have complained about the loss in tone while plugged
in their pedal. They can now cheer up: Ron Holmes should be able to
fix it for them with his soldering iron and expertise. http://www.holmeseng.com
(00) 1 661 827-1158
ASTATIC MC151 crystal element discontinued:
To all the gearheads out there: the crystal element that Astatic has
been using in its JT30 for decades is now discontinued. Another "classic"
The Cereamic element should still be available.
Kid Ramos new album: Harp a-plenty:
Kid Ramos new album "Greasy Kid Stuff" should please a lots
harp players by judging at the list of guest stars featured: Paul
deLay, Johnny Dyer, Rick Estrin, James Harman, Charlie Musselwhite,
Rod Piazza and Lynwood Slim.
The album, that received very good critics (and should be reviewed
here soon) is available from Evidence (ref ECD-26117)
Cable with integrated volume control:
For all the harp players using a standard guitar cable in their mic,
you can now enjoy the advantages of a volume control without having
to drill that nice vintage bullet mic or use a soldering iron: Guyatone
offers a cable with integrated slide-type volume control in their
high quality cables. Available only in the US so far at http://www.guyatone.com
Gordon Mitchell passed away:
Gordon Mitchell, founding member of SPAH passed away on 12/20/2001.
Gordon was a real figure at SPAH conventions every year.
XB40: You've been dreaming about it ? Hohner did
How many generations of harp players have felt the frustration of
those "missing notes" on their 10 holer ?
How many of them gave up on the elusive "overblows" or got
tired of retuning harps for specific tunes ? Lastly, how many ended
up filing the diatonic harp under the toy category ?
This could all end pretty soon with the release of the XB40 (eXtreme
Bender 40 reeds) on which each note (blow or draw) will be bendable,
all this in a size just slightly over the average 10 hole diatonic.
No excuse to avoid scales and arpeggios anymore
The XB40 is scheduled to be released in the second part of 2002.
You have to see it to believe it: The beast can hold up to 6 harps
at a time with incorporated pickup. The most daring harp players will
enjoy the opportunity to surprise the crowd: "Look Ma! No hands"
Ange Amadei on Magali Fortin new album:
Magali Fortin's new album "En vert et contre tout" scheduled
for the second quarter of 2002 features Ange Amadei on harp as well
as some other guest stars.
You can already listen to some soundbytes at the "actualité"
and "animation" pages at http://www.djarabi.com
Christophe Dupeu online:
Another french harp player online. Christophe made a name for himself
by playing as a sideman for a lot of french artist including France's
very own Johnny Halliday. You'll find Christophe sharing some interesting
stages experiences at
Custom mics by Silvertone:
If you're an Ebay addict on the hunt for vintage mics, you most likely
know his name and have seen some of his custom mics for sale. You
can now buy these babies directly from his site or send him your favorite
bullet for some mods at http://micsbysilvertone.com/silvertone2.html
Michel Herblin: The comeback ?
The outstanding but very discrete Michel Herblin seems to be getting
ready for a comeback: he's offering 3home made CDs at a very decent
price to help him finance the projects for 2 new albums. These 3 CDs
represent about 10 years of work from a guy who has a real sense of
phrasing and melody and one of the most amazing tone you'll get to
These are already collectors !
Gary Primich new album:
"Doghouse music", Gary's new release should be available
by the end of april 2002.
His last album goes back to 1999: that's a lot of time for a guy with
so much taste and ideas so this new release should be quite a treat.
Available on the Antone's label in the US and CRS in Europe.
Greg Szlapczynski new release :
Greg's new album is available since the beginning of April. This new
CD shows some of the directions Greg has been exploring recently with
his always distinctive jazzy phrasing. Interesting to say the least.
Pete Pedersen passed away:
Pete Pedersen, a true master of the chromatic passed away on 05/15/2002.
Pete had started his carreer as a member of Borah Minevitch orchestra.
Great arranger and composer, Pete had written a lot of pieces and
arrangements for the harmonicats and other harp based ensembles. For
all his friends, he will certainly be remembered as a great musician
but mostly as a wonderful human being in many aspects. Recently, a
website had just been put out for him. You can still go and order
his CDs or find more about him at: http://www.pete-pedersen.com