A new solo ep-length collection of 6 original pieces. All were recorded on various diatonic harmonicas/bass harmonica.
Thanks to all who attended the August residency at the Hideout. As H/O owner/manager Tim Tutten and I were talking about before the first performance, the series is to allow Hideout regulars (such as myself) who might have played the club before as a sideman but want to try out some news ideas. And, there were many ideas…solo looping on original pieces, new arrangements of pieces by great artists I admire, performances with projected images, plus working with dynamic duet partners like Yuri Lane (the Human Beatbox), the wonderful, soulful Weldon Anderson whose support and friendship helped me shape each evening. Not to mention old friends like Joe Filisko, Graham Nelson and the BlackWilloughbys. Thanks to all who accompanied on stage and in the audience!
This is from the Hideout Harmonica Hoedown 2013. The Eden Ahbez classic as interpreted on bass, diatonic and tremolo harmonicas, with a few gadgets thrown in.
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon’s score of the opera version of the Steinbeck classic “The Grapes of Wrath” includes harmonica and bass harmonica. I’ll be performing in February/March at Northwestern University. Find out more here.
I had the pleasure of first meeting Whisperin’ Bill Anderson in 2003 when I road-tripped down to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry with my friend and radio news mentor Dick Sutliff. Bill not only is one of the finest songwriters in country or any popular musical genre, he’s a great guy who really cares about his fans.
I was honored he asked me to sit in at the Opry. I was an experience that’s hard to describe without sounding like I’m resorting to a cliche: a true piece of Americana…a tremendous honor…the Mother church of Country Music…humbling…thrilling. The thing about something as institutional and legendary about the Opry is that it’s so institutional and legendary that it’s the reason we have cliches! To sum it up, it was all that and more (see what I mean about cliches?)
I first saw Dave Alvin perform in the mid-90s and found deep inspiration in his writing and playing. At least once a year I would see him perform live and the inspiration would be rejuvenated. When I got the call to play this particular gig I was surprised and thrilled. It was a real honor to be on stage with him and the wonderful Christy McWilson for City Winery Chicago’s musical opening night, not to mention being there with the incredible Robbie Fulks and Rob Gjersoe. The Chicago Tribune published a review of the show.
It turned out to be an incredible night of music. James Conway, Joe Filisko AND special surprise guest Howard Levy made the Hideout Chicago “the center of the harmonica world” as one friend put it. For me, it was a chance to bring out several pieces I’d never played before an audience and to do it alongside three of my favorite players, all representing different styles of music and approaches to the instrument. Here’s “The Duo for Flute and Piano, First Mvt.” by Aaron Copland. I’m joined by Abigail Allison.