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The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie

Amos 12 Feb 09 - 11:20 PM
katlaughing 13 Feb 09 - 12:30 AM
Lin in Kansas 13 Feb 09 - 12:33 AM
Amos 13 Feb 09 - 01:38 AM
Splott Man 13 Feb 09 - 03:10 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Feb 09 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Feb 09 - 06:55 AM
Amos 13 Feb 09 - 08:25 AM
meself 13 Feb 09 - 12:41 PM
PoppaGator 14 Feb 09 - 03:56 AM
Mark Ross 14 Feb 09 - 09:25 PM
Little Hawk 15 Feb 09 - 12:18 AM
Murray MacLeod 15 Feb 09 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Feb 09 - 04:54 AM
meself 15 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM
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Subject: The Harmonica Goes Big Time ay Carnegie
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 11:20 PM

One man, yearning all his life to reach Carnegie Hall, finally hit the big time, and it was fully deserved, too. He plays like an orchestra on an ordinary Hohner, and the look on his face as he fulfills his dream is beyond description.


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time ay Carnegie
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 12:30 AM

I think we already had this in one of the youtube threads? Still, incredible!


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time ay Carnegie
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 12:33 AM

Amos, this is Buddy Greene, who played at the 2008 Winfield Festival this last September. And yes, he has just as much fun on stage as he did at Carnegie Hall. He's a damned fine guitar player and singer, too, and was co-writer, with Mark Lowry, of a new/old-fashioned Christmas song called "Mary, Did You Know?" that was quite a hit a couple years back. He's got a lot of good albums out, too. Check out his website at clicky.

Thanks for posting this. Buddy deserves to be better known.

Lin


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 01:38 AM

Well, I am glad to have heard of him, and sorry I haven't before.

He's a wonderful act and person.


A


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: Splott Man
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:10 AM

The link got me to a video of the History of the Internet. That can't be right.


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 06:39 AM

Yup - For Friday the 13th history of the Internet....Saturday someting else.

Click on the calendar to bring up Thursday the 12th of February.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I'm guessing the internet is rather new to you Mr. Splott?


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 06:55 AM

Truly a delightful find, THANK YOU for sharing this Amos! It is certainly new to me.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I do have a doubt that the final harmonica is as you say - "an ordinary Hohner" straight out the box ... or that is one heck of a bend the lad is getting in the upper register reeds.


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 08:25 AM

SOrry-- it is a dialy-video site that rolls its daily pick over each day.

Here's the archive link tot he right video.


A


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: meself
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 12:41 PM

It sounds to me like he is playing a customized harmonica - customized for better volume, easier playing, and accuracy of pitch.

The thing I always find a little ironic in this clip is that when he plays a few bars of Oh, Susanna to demonstrate the type of trivial music that is associated with harmonica, and which seems to rightly deserve the contempt of the Carnegie Hall set, the audience responds with great enthusiasm. I get the impression that they would be quite happy to hear some more of that stuff "that grandpa played".


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: PoppaGator
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 03:56 AM

I believe it's a "regular" harmonica. The volume can very simply be attributed to the microphone, and "ease of playing" to Mr Greene's skill. Easy for him, not so easy for you and me.

It's definitely "regular" insofar as it is NOT a chromatic harp. Almost invariably, when you hear any example of virtuoso harmonica playing, the instrument is chromatic: Larry Adler, Toots Theilman, Stevie Wonder, etc.

I found the presence of the emcee holding the mic kind of annoying. Such a good player should have been allowed to perform on his own without a narrator, been given a mike stand, and been allowed more than four and a half minutes.


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 09:25 PM

You should check out the Sam Hinton harmonica CD on Dancing Cat Records. Sam is a magnificent mouth harp player. The 2 CD set closes with transcriptions of his appearance on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour in 1938.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:18 AM

Asolutely wonderful! What a treat. I loved it all, including the stuff "Grandpa would play" at the beginning.


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:32 AM

Great playing indeed, but if it's not a chromatic harp then how does he hit that flattened third so clean at the end of the "William Tell Overture" ? He's not squeezing it like a blues player would do.

Incidentally, I always liked Billy Connolly's definition of an intellectual as somebody who could listen to the "William Tell Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger ...


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:54 AM

I agree Mr. MacLeod. You will notice that he changes harps out of his pocket before starting in on the WTO....(that or he shook out spit.) I believe he swapped the upper register notes...easy to do...remove the plate and change the reeds....perhaps he even filed them down himself but Hohner provides EVERY reed imaginable. I just do not believe it was straight off the store shelf.

Not discounting his ability...WOW...a true vertuoso performance. I plan to read up more about him.. Very inspiring!!!

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Thanks again for bringing this YouTube to our attention Amos ...


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Subject: RE: The Harmonica Goes Big Time at Carnegie
From: meself
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM

There is no question that he is using your basic diatonic harmonica; that's simply what it is. As I've said, I suspect it has been customized for 'higher performance', but it appears to be in the usual diatonic harmonica tuning (so-called "Richter")- otherwise he would not be able to play the chords he does in both Oh Susanna and the WTO (note: in the upper register as well as lower). You will notice as well that in the WTO he has to do a number of bends (flattening) in order to get the notes he needs, which would suggest that he has not altered the tuning of his harmonica. As for that flattened third - that is simply top-notch technique; he is indeed "squeezing" or bending the note. Any blues-harp player in the equivalent league - in other words, your top-level players - would be able to do the same thing. Again, although I hate to keep harping on it (har, har), a customised harmonica will respond in a more reliable way to the use of these more demanding techniques.

Btw, it may at times look like he could be pushing the 'button' of a slide with his right index finger; this is simply the natural movement involved in trying to keep a decent grip on the (little) diatonic.

I don't see anywhere that he switches harmonicas, although it could be happening off-screen. He is probably playing the same harmonica all the way through - although I would assume he has a back-up harmonica about his person, because you never know when a reed will let you down.

The vid. in the original link has been replaced, so here's the youtube link: Buddy Greene.


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