[Harp-L] SBW One way out

Robert Hale asks:
Listening to some deep draw bends here, precisely done.

Any evidence of harp customizing in the day of these recordings? Or was he
simply powerful in throat control?

When is the first known occurrence of embossing, for example? Time-line of
other enhancements?

Steve responds:
Harp customizing almost definitely did not exist at that time. There is little evidence that any of the classic blues harmonica players ever adjusted their instruments. Rice Miller had an amazing tone and 1950s Marine Bands were very good. The first documented case of a blues harmonica player tinkering would probably be Al Wilson's widely analyzed modification to play the solo in Canned Heat's On The Road Again (1969). Rick Epping has been credited with the earliest use of embossing and there will no doubt be details in the Harp-L archives. He first told me about it in the early 1990s.

Steve Baker

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