[Harp-L] new bio

   Just finished the new bio on bluesman Jimmy Rogers by Wayne Goins
(University of Illinois Press).  Found it to be a very well-researched 387
page work that reads like a who's who of post WWll blues
harmonica.  Sixteen harpists are listed as sources and one of them, Kim
Wilson, wrote a very heart-felt forward to the book.   Over 25 other harp
blowers are mentioned throughout; including several obscure but killer
Chicago players rarely, if ever, talked about on Harp-L:  Good Rockin
Charles, Little Joe Berson, Henry "Pot" Strong, Bill Lupkin, and Scotty
"Bad Boy" Bradbury, to name a few of them.
   Important to note that Jimmy is known primarily as a singer, guitarist,
composer, and an architect of the Chicago Blues sound as a member of the
original Muddy Waters band.  He did, however, start out on harp and became
quite proficient on the instrument before distinguishing himself on
guitar.  I think this partly explains why his music is so
harmonica-friendly.  His tunes just don't sound right without a harmonica
filling and soloing through them.  His bands almost always included a good
or great blues harpist.  I was fortunate enough to catch Mr. Rogers a
couple dozen times during his career and those were all wonderful,
inspiring harmonica evenings for me.
   I don't know if Professor Goins will ever sell a thousand copies of this
book but it's a beautiful thing that one of the all-time great bluesmen
finally has his story documented.  And we blues harmonica players ought to
be grateful for the great catalogue of songs Jimmy Rogers left us to blow

Mick Zaklan

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