Re: [Harp-L] John Popper Performance at NAMM 2015

The actual harmonica is a Seydel harp (I know this to be 100% true and am 
sharing the details fit for public consumption).  It has the antique covers 
and black comb you can find on the brass Session, but the reed plates are 
stainless steel.  The antique plates do have a lacquer on them which is a 
new concept.  So, you can essentially buy this harp right now if you buy a 
Session Steel. I have vids and info at

I thought it was interesting that early in the vid he is holding a SM57, 
but when he is playing, it is clearly a SM58.  JP also says the Hohner 
harps have "tin" reeds, when they are, in fact, brass.  The blonde in the 
back of the vid is his girlfriend.  The guitar player is Chan Kinchla, the 
guitar player from Blues Traveler.  

In another vid from NAMM, the Fender rep suggests that John goes through 
over 300 Special 20's a year and that he will use replacement reedplates 
with the Fender harp rather than chucking them (the band's tech will change 
them out).  In addition, the Fender John Popper Signature harp will only 
come in 7 keys.  John has a full set of 14 keys including High G and Low D. 
 When I spoke to Fender directly they quoted a release 90 days from my 
phone call, which would make them available in May for around $99 each 
MSRP.  So, it looks like it will be priced between a Session Steel and 
1847.  They will only be available from Fender and not direct from Seydel.

Blues Traveler has started some light touring already in 2015 and any 
YouTube vids from those show clearly show him still using Special 20's.  He 
was playing a bunch with Brother's Keeper before that, again, using Special 

On Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 11:29:24 PM UTC-6, John Schaman wrote:
> Thank you Michelle, 
> I had a rare opportunity to make this recording, however, I was unable to 
> use a tripod. Hand holding while composing, zooming, maintaining focus, 
> dealing with the crowd, etc. was a challenge. I had never previously seen 
> or heard John Popper and was impressed by his singing and unique harmonica 
> style. I understand he is also a great composer and song writer. 
> I believe the guitar player was a member of his band. At the beginning of 
> the second song, which I believe is called "Carolina Blues", the guitar 
> player had just re-tuned the Fender acoustic guitar with the built-in tuner 
> and forgot to switch back to the amplified setting. As a result, the guitar 
> briefly had no amplification and you can see John appears a bit miffed 
> until a Fender tech appears with the solution. Regarding close-ups, I 
>  attempt to get occasional close zooms during performance recordings. I'm 
> glad you liked it. 
> John 
> Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2015 08:53:03 -0700 
> From: Michelle LeFree <mle...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <javascript:>> 
> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] John Popper Performance at NAMM 2015 
> To: har...@xxxxxxxxxx <javascript:> 
> Message-ID: <54F335DF...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <javascript:>> 
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed 
> J Schaman wrote: 
> > Here is the complete John Popper performance at the Fender booth at NAMM 
> > 2015: 
> > 
> > 
> Thanks for that terrific link, John. Very high quality audio and video 
> close-ups of a rare acoustic Popper. 
> I had seen the first part with him playing "Runaround," probably my 
> favorite Blues Traveler song, but I hadn't seen the second song (the 
> name of which I do not know -- I'll call it the "Train" song). Having 
> listened to "Runaround" a thousand times or so I was more impressed with 
> his "Train" song in which he really lets go with his pyrotechnic playing 
> style. What I found particularly interesting were the close-ups of him 
> playing (9:00 - 10:20), which you almost never see as most other videos 
> I've seen are taken from a distance with him on a big stage. I loved 
> watching all the things he does with his face, mouth and jaw and 
> breathing. They are all orchestrated in constant motion of one kind or 
> another. I noticed a heavy reliance on "jaw flicks," which it seems many 
> really fast players use, but I had never seen Popper doing it. 
> Even if you  don't care for his playing style, this high-quality video 
> sequence of him with a single unseen guitar player in an acoustic 
> setting offers a rare opportunity to gain insights into a great player's 
> unique style. 
> Michelle 

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