Re: [Harp-L] Old timers on harp

After reading the comments attacking Bobby Darin's harp playing, I went back to the YouTube and played it a few more times.

I not only found no objections to his performance, I really liked it.

I think it works as part of the "Midnight Special" (more of a Sonny Terry than Little Walter tune/rendition) and as a cross harp performance. I don't care if the haters don't like him; Darin works for me.

Sure, Darin is no Little Walter clone; but who is?

Dylan, Petty, Springsteen, Morisette play chordal straight harp, as I recall. Dylan is the only one I'm familiar with and it has been months since I've listened to him.


-----Original Message----- From: Richard L Williger <rlwilliger@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> To: harp-l <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Wed, Jul 8, 2015 9:31 am Subject: [Harp-L] Old timers on harp

With respect to slamming Bobby Darin's lack of harmonica chops, I think (and
I'm not trying to spark a debate here) that the listening public tells us
what is popular. Listen to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Alanis
Morisette, and others who have "made it," and tell me what you think of
their harp abilities. However, look at where they are, and look at where we
are. I won't get into the discussion of "color" use of harp, or technical
Listen to early recordings of popular guitar - everything from Elvis to the
Beatles, and everything in between. The lead guitar work in The Beach Boys'
60's stuff was, then, groundbreaking. Put it up against Eric Johnson, EVH,
Zappa, etc., and it sounds like the early folks were playing on the toys we
had as kids.
Technique, like anything else, evolves. Bobby Darin's use of harp is to be
acknowleged, celebrated if you want, but don't dismiss it, lest you miss a
link in the chain.
Just my two cents on a Wednesday morning.

Rik Williger
Nowhere, Ohio

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