Harmonicast welcomes Mickey Raphael

 

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The latest podcast episode is a conversation with one of my favorite people and a true harmonica hero, Mickey Raphael of Willie Nelson & Family.  The episode was great fun to do when we met up backstage in June and I hope fun to listen to! Check it out here.

 

 

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March 13th – Hideout Harmonica Hoedown

It’s hard to believe it’s the 5th time we’ve done this! Seems like we just got started – this is again a showcase of some of the best harmonica players in Chicago: Joe Filisko, James Conway, Graham Nelson. This year’s special guest is the first time we’ve had an international performer as our special guest – the fantastic Catriona Sturton!

The Hideout Chicago – March 13th, 7pm

hoedown poster 2016

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Turnspit single, “Lamplighters”

Turnspit is my new favorite rock band. They’re a high-energy, tight ensemble that can turn on a dime, sing meaningful lyrics, and even have the good taste to add harmonica on a tune when it calls for it! I’m on their new single “Lamplighters.”

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“Of Mice and Men” at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Sound designer and composer Joe Cerqua did a brilliant job of writing music with layers of harmonica (surprisingly, he’s NOT a harp player!) It’s the second Steinbeck theatrical piece I’ve contributed music to. The show runs starting 1/19 at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

 

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Amplitude EP is here

A new solo ep-length collection of 6 original pieces. All were recorded on various diatonic harmonicas/bass harmonica.

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Hideout Residency, Aug. 2014

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!

 

hideout residency poster

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Chicago Reader article, Feb. 2014

Thanks to the Chicago Reader for this nice bit of ink!

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Here and there…

A collection of recordings from the last 2-3 years: at the Grand Ole Opry with Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, Americana group the BlackWilloughbys, along with some solo pieces.

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It’s an Opera…

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.

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This is the Grand Ole Opry!

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?)

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