Related Posts

Share This

Whoopin’ The Blues By Tom Walbank



Tucson has a treasure trove of musicians that have played on the world stage. As with most big little towns in this country identity is hard in the 21st century because of the Internet and amount of music that is available.

Records which were the dominant listening medium 50 years ago helped ahmad Jamal, Charlie Musselwhite, Harvey Brooks and Mac Rebenack gain identities within the public sphere through pictures, linear notes and the music itself.

To develop an identity today you need to separate yourself from the half baked buffalo Springfield wanna bees and Paul Butterfingers by developing your own individual sound. Stop trying to sound like Sonny Boy Williamson or Charlie Christian, stop emulating joe morello and Toots Thielsman and be yourself. Don't be afraid to be yourself is my guests mantra. He immersed himself in scotch Irish blues and the echoes of Elvin Bishop growing up in England and Scotland. He took the music he was hearing and began to elicit sounds on the harp from the visceral gut induced soul cycle that exists within every magician err musician.

He uses his voice and harmonica to bend notes and harmonies and melodies in angular prisms of light that can act as a pyramid to the sun or a reflection from a shard of glass after a hard days night @ The Barrio Brewery.

When Smokey Robinson would go into the Panhandle or John Lee Hooker would go on tour they would go to different towns and ask about the local talent in that town. It was too expensive to bring their working bands on the road so by scouting local talent they in turn were giving cats an identity and their next gig, open door and opportunity.

Such is the case with my guest who has firmly entrenched himself in the Old Pueblo scene. It was not surprising to me to see that when Indianola Blues Master BB King swings through Tucson on Feb. 18th  he like LightingHopkins and Sam and Dave asked around about who can play the harp and elicit the sounds of church, the strip joint and the blues bar. The one that  has taken their technique and fused it with the soul so as to entertain and leave the audience saying, "heck that harmonica cat can really play!"

Ask Arthur Miggliazza or The Jazz Video Guy or Amochip Dabney, my guest can boogie Woogie with the best of them. He may not remember what he plays which is good because he is so immersed in his ideas that only on playback can he here the sequencing of musical ideas - still painting on his palette in the old pueblo Tom Walbank welcome to the JFS.....