Re: Kim Wilson

Kim Wilson doesn't tongue block all the time. He's usually puckered down
on the bottom, but once he's above the three hole he's usually blocked.
Kim is a walking human catalog of different, bluesy tones, and as Charlie
Sawyer noted, he'll do whatever he needs to do to get the sound he wants.
Words to live by.

I had the good fortune to see Kim play with Muddy Waters a few times,
and it was as close as I'll ever come to getting a taste of what Muddy's
early bands with Little Walter or James Cotton must have sounded like live.
I can also vouch for the fact that Muddy was crazy about Kim's playing.

Kim is touring quite often with his own blues band since the release of his
first solo CD, Tiger Man. He'll be touring extensively with his blues band
in August and September. If you have the chance to see him, do yourself a 
favor and go. Let's face it, a lot of what passes for blues harp is a lot
of noise and hyperventilation. Seeing a player like Kim--who never plays too
hard and yet who has as good a tone and rhythmic drive as anyone--can teach
any player, rookie or old-timer, more in a couple of hours than they could
pick up from countless sessions listening to tapes and records. Next time
you see Kim live, pay attention to his microphone technique--he's an absolute
master at using both the harp mike and the vocal mike to get the harp across.

Somebody complimented the harp player for Little Charlie and the Nightcats
today. That's the great Rick Estrin, who has been around for a long time
and is just as good a singer as he is a harp player, which is saying something.
The Nightcats tour constantly, so there's no excuse for not catching him.
He has a show-closing number where he plays the hell out of the harp with no
hands--he just sticks it in his mouth like a cigar. It's an old trick--Sonny
Boy II (Rice Miller), among others, used to do it--but Rick plays as well with
no hands as most of us do with them. If you want to get demoralized, catching
Rick do this riff will do it.

By the way, I can't believe this dialogue about the harmonica being an
"outcast" instrument. I'm used to this from nonbelievers, but nobody who's
ever heard Little Walter, Toots Thielemans, Walter Horton, Larry Adler,
Howard Levy, James Cotton, Kim or any of the dozens of brilliant players
could possibly embrace that notion..the players d

-Kim Field

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