[Harp-L] harmonica instrumentals

   As a Jim Liban fan and friend for close to 40 years, one of the things I
appreciate about Jim is his craftiness in choosing instrumentals for the
diatonic harp.  Stuff you would never hear in the middle of a blues or rock
set by another harpist.  Tunes like "I'll Take You There" by the Staple
Singers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9ndbuSnKH0), "Way Back Home" by
the Crusaders (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fnfj16JSNs), a reggae
version of "Always There" by Ronnie Laws (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV8oiC8ZqDs), "I've Got Love On My Mind" by
Natalie Cole (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DwWzvOX6H0) are just a few
of ones that have shown up on YouTube lately.
   There have been plenty of harpists who have covered "Ain't No Sunshine"
by Bill Withers, but I believe Jim has been playing the tune since the
70's.  I've never heard anyone before Mr. Liban covering it, and apparently
it's still in his set list (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0SbMCG-RxE).
   In this regard Jim is a lot like Charlie Musselwhite.  I never know what
instrumental either guy is going to surprise me with on their CDs or in
live performances.  It sure beats hearing "Juke" or "Whammer Jammer" over
and over again.
   I should warn anybody reading this that Jim Liban is a minimalist.  He's
an acquired taste.  Spaces and silences are as important to him as notes,
so if you're looking for barrages of sixteenth notes.....that's just not
his game.  It's tone, simple riffs, and playing off the drummer.  Kind of
the Jimmy Reed formula, only used in a completely different way.

Mick Zaklan

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