[Harp-L] Happy 91st birthday to the overblow!

Rick Dempster rickdempster33@xxxxx
Tue Oct 13 23:54:06 EDT 2020

And if ypu want to know where the main influence behind "Mean & Low Blues"
lies, check out "Savoy Blues" by Louis Armstrong (Hot Five, I think)
particularly from the second 12 onwards.

On Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 14:30 captron100--- via Harp-L, <harp-l at xxxxx>

> Happy 91st birthday to the 1st ever recorded overblow! Acc. to the
> fantastic harmonica info website, www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q40.html: On
> Oct. 13, 1929, James Simons, a relatively obscure harmonica player from
> Norfolk, VA, went into a studio in Richmond set up by the Okeh Company and
> recorded two jazz-influenced instrumentals accompanied by an unknown piano
> player. These were issued as Okeh 8244 under the name Blues Birdhead, with
> some later reissues using the name Harmonica Tim. One of these tunes, “Mean
> Low Blues”, features the first recorded example of the technique commonly
> known as "overblow". The recording makes it sound as though the piece is in
> F#. As Simons is playing in first position and low F# harps were not
> readily available back then, it is likely that the tune was in G (a much
> more piano-friendly key) and has somehow got slowed down in the recording
> process. Wanna hear it? Listen closely - it's only one note. The OB is on 6
> hole blow at 0:47/0:48 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzvjZPHYfyU .
> Ron - FL Keys, USA

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