770 notes (8 feet long) demonstrated in Michigan, Detroit 1932 Left - 320 notes (41 inches long) designed for duets on display Michigan Illinois 1938 and Right - Ah ha! That’s what’s going on. A Blue Bird (F A Bohm) built for two. 1938 - Two more sharing a Blue Bird (F A Bohm) The … Continue reading The Big One (Pictorial #1)
Mouth Organ Ephemera Left: Albert’s Boomerang Mouth Organ Tricks & Effects Booklet (1928) Right: One of the tricks inside. Picked up this booklet for a song the other day. Playing the Blues was a bit of a novelty trick back in 1928. Why is it so? Henry Whitter was playing cross harp blues back in … Continue reading Choke the Tone
I had a sneak peak of the box (first time) for the unfortunately named Boss Cracker and managed to snap a photo before it disappeared (just as quick as it appeared) off the ether (internet). Interesting to see the claim, ‘The World’s Best Vamper’, wonder who judged that - F A Rauner? This mouth organ … Continue reading Sampson the Israelite (Ohhh ohh)
I have been well ministered by Steve Williams on the need to stay away from the vocal when playing harmonica, both in the band and in the recording studio. In recent times I have become increasingly discerning of harp players trying to play too many notes and play phrases that don’t appear to have any … Continue reading The Space Is The Place!
Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes; God bless little children while they're still too young to hate. When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line 'bout old dogs and children and watermelon wine. I want to preface this article by stating that making the charts (or … Continue reading Old Dogs Never Die.
Prominent world harmonica collector Harland Crain sent HRR this photograph of a Crackajack Miniature Concert (with bakelite frame). In the Melbourne Weekly Times (Saturday 10th November 1934) advertised alongside the Crackajack Miniature Concert was Ludwigs "Improved Bakelite" mouth organ (maybe the Antoria Concert). It had me reminiscing on the bakelite devices in our family home … Continue reading Bakelite Brevities
Thirty years to the day the stars aligned for Steve Williams to play harmonica on a John Farnham tune that would change his life forever. A remarkable set of circumstances, links in a chain reaction, would take him from Melbourne's Pub music scene into the heady heights of the concert arena. To celebrate the anniversary … Continue reading One Link In A Chain
In following up on our May article on mini moothies (four and five holes) that weighed in at one and three eight inches, here is a quick peek at the small ten holers. The standard diatonic is commonly four inches in length, while the Junior models that many brands supplied were usually a wee bit … Continue reading Three Inches Big
Hi Riff Raffers, Mike Stevens first appeared on my radar when he collaborated with fellow Canadian, Matt Andersen on the 2009 album, 'Piggyback' (released on local independent label Busted Flat Records). 'Blue Celtic Rose' was a particular favourite of the authors as it featured his inimitable harp playing. Mike's unique style was suited to, but … Continue reading Pig Jiggin’
Hi Riff Raffers, At last, an interview of sorts with one of my all time harmonica favourites, 'Dingo', Broderick Smith. As a twelve year old, Brod along with Matt Taylor (Chain), Mike Rudd (Spectrum), Ross Wilson (Daddy Cool) and Chris Blanchflower (Country Radio) piqued this young Australian boy's interest in the instrument that fits in … Continue reading Man On The Run