Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings, Recorded Performances (live and otherwise)
This performance of Big Walter Horton’s chromatic harp instrumental “Have Mercy” was recorded live at Alpine Wines, Driggs, ID on the night of 31 August, 2013. I use two patches on the Digitech RP355 for this piece: a double-octave-down patch to lay down the bass line on the looper, then a Blackface Deluxe patch with slapback delay for the rhythm and solo lines. This latter patch is included in the Huntersounds v16 RP355 patch set under the name of “BDBlue.”
The harmonica mic is an Audix Fireball with V element, and the harmonica is a Hohner CX12 in the key of C. The piece is played in D minor. The RP355 goes into a Digitech JamMan Stereo looper, and from there to a Peavey KB2 keyboard amplifier. The performance was recorded on a Zoom H4 positioned a few inches from the grill of the KB2.
This piece was written to take advantage of the strengths of the chromatic harp, and does it ever. I’ve been playing this piece since the late 1970s, and I find that on any given night it can bring out anything from jazz to hard blues. This night was on the bluesier side, and I like the groove. I hope you do too.
Have Mercy performed by Richard Hunter, 31 August 2013
This performance of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” was recorded live at Alpine Wines, Driggs, ID on the night of 31 August, 2013. The vocalist is Sue Berkenfield, with piano and harmonica by me (Richard Hunter, in case you’re confused about whose blog this is).
I play the chord structure once on (synthesized) piano, looping as I go; then I do a chorus with (live) piano over (looped) piano, then switch to harmonica, first for an “acoustic” solo through my vocal mic (which is running through the Zoom G3, with a patch designed for vocals with a slight amped edge), then for fills and a solo using a Digitech RP355 patch that includes a Matchless amp model coupled with a pitch shift of a perfect 5th up, and a delay line to add some mystery to the tone. (This patch is not included in the Huntersounds v16 RP355 patch set, but is included in the v16 RP500 set under the name MAPST5.) The harmonica is a Seydel Session Steel in C, played in second position (key of G).
Little Wing performed by Richard Hunter and Sue Berkenfield, 31 August 2013
The piano sound is created by a Roland JV1010 synth module, an aged but still effective device that includes a number of cool pianos. The harmonica mic for the RP setup is an Audix Fireball with V element. Everything, including instruments and vocals, is running through a Peavey KB2 keyboard amp, and is recorded by a Zoom H4 sitting a few inches in front of the amp grill. That’s about it for the gear.
A few notes on the harmonica blocked on the second solo; somehow I got them unblocked again. I think the sound and conception are cool enough to carry it through stuff like that, but there you go. We’re still living in a material world…
This is obviously a very cool song, and I love that it works so well with such sparse instrumentation, including an acoustic harmonica sound. Placed side by side with the heavily effected harp, the acoustic harp sounds every bit as otherwordly. The ending is a little abrupt, but up till then it’s very effective.
I’ve just booked a gig for Friday, August 2 at Alpine Wines on Main Street in Driggs, Idaho. The first set starts at 7 PM, and overlaps the Friday night wine tasting, so come early!
I’m performing at this gig with Susan Berkenfield, who I’ve played with on and off for about 25 years. She can really turn on the heat with her voice, and let’s face it, I can’t. I’ll be happy to focus on the harmonica and keys at this gig and let her do the vocal heavy lifting. For those who want to sample the wares before they drive to the show, here’s a version of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” that I recorded with her in 1998. Enjoy, and see you at the gig.