Bush Piano Interlude

At last, a Boomerang tin of the mouth organ variety to sit in the Shep Dawg collection. Sometimes just collecting the tins can be as much fun as for the item inside. Only paid a blue swimmer and a pink lady. Cheap at half the price!

Found an advertisement for Bush Piano mouth organs (three models) sold by Hocking & Co., Ltd., in the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie in 1908. I would think the Star Vampire was Hohner’s Star Vamper. Hocking and Co. published the daily newspaper The Kalgoorlie Miner, but they did sell a few other knick knacks. Haven’t located any other mentions of the Bush Piano in any other publications. Help me if you can (I’m feeling down), please?

I had heard of the mouth organ being referred to as the Pocket Piano. Weiss had them out in 1912 and Hohner mentioned the pocket piano when explaining the different models and tuning in a 1923 catalogue.

A couple of things to update (your car at Kevin Dennis) with. Been back recording with Benoit at Fretwire Studios with the most excellent Dave Miller at the controls – just saying. The new album ‘Valleyhas been on the COVID back burner, but things are starting to happen. Stay tuned. If you’re having Benoit withdrawal symptoms, he has a mini release ‘Interlude’ – tunes written in lockdown as a gift to his loyal fans in waiting. Out now on good (Bandcamp) and bad streaming platforms.

A couple of additions to a NAWFOS post ‘Hess’ Harpwith a couple of photographs of The Federal Harp from San Diegan John Whiteman’s collection. Perhaps adding weight that it was an Aussie Harp (Made In Germany) is the fact that it wasn’t housed in its proper box, but in a very old Crackajack Tin. I’d have it a guess this tin was for the original Professional model that hit the shops in 1903. One more December Crackajack post to go, ‘Crackajack Cold Case’. This will be posted Boxing Day. A refurbished ‘Aussie Models Timelineis set for publication early in the new year and keep an eye out for the first of the month posts next year. They will appear under the banner headline of ‘45 Revolutions’. Hope you like.

And, late to (Mark) hand…… Mark Hand good friend of HRR sent this Crackajack Trade Brochure pictured below. Of great interest is the Bandmaster’s testimonial. Who is Alfred ‘Duck’ Fletcher? – as the noted Crackajack endorsee was Harold Collier. At present I haven’t located any information pertaining to Alfred ‘Duck’ Fletcher, except for an obituary for his wife Bessie who died at the young age of forty eight in 1931. They resided in Charles Street Northcote and it stated that Duck was a noted musician. He might have been a Salvo as Major Wilkinson conducted his wife’s funeral. Funnily enough he even looks a bit like Harold.

Three Aussie albums for a quick review. First off the bat is Wayward Johnson and The Adjustment from Perth with their debut EP ‘The Triphammer’s Crash’. Best for me is Three Ducks In A Row a touch of Dylan and Paul Kelly. There’s harp on a couple (of course there is) provided by Wayward Johnson, who is more commonly known as Phil Barry. Give Two Song Rule a spin on the turntable to hear some mouth harp.

From the outskirts of Melbourne town where the mountains meet the ocean is Ghosts Towns Of The Midwest a band you’re gonna hear more from. Their first full album release is a beauty – titled ‘Other Places’ and it features harp from multi – instrumentalist Jarrod Dexter. Gotta love a bit of Alt Country. My personal fav is Monuments Of Mud. Why don’t you check it out?

Last, but not least is an old HRR chum Kim Churchill. We loved the earthiness of his early material – this is a wee bit different, but it has a great hook and it will go around and around on the turntable of your mind. I’m talking about the first single taken off his EP ‘The End’ entitled simply Summer. Just two letters WOW!

Oh! Another late inclusion. Kerryn Tolhurst’s has just released his album Shag Pile – a collection of Steel Guitar tunes produced by Kerryn during lockdown. What a musician! Single Malt Serenity. A few of my favourites here Wichita Lineman, 24 Hours from Tulsa and Seven Bridges Road. Giddy up! Streaming now. Speaking of Kerryn, I’ve uploaded (over on Soundcloud) an old radio interview we did reminiscing on his early seventies band Country Radio.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Riff Raffers.

Ch EssDawg

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