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Harmonica Master Boris Plotnikov is Teaching in Denver on June 15!

We saw a post recently on harp-L about Boris Plotnikov teaching a harmonica master class in Denver on June 15. Boris originally hails from Yekaterinburg, Russia, and it’s pretty rare that he sets foot in the USA, so this is a great opportunity for anyone willing to go to Denver to get some hands-on instruction from this master of modern harmonica.

We’ve highlighted Boris in our blog on several occasions. Boris seems to be able to play just about anything convincingly–his skills and his conception are wide-screen and technicolor. He’s one of the most in demand harmonica players and teachers in Russia. He’s won prizes at two international contests: the World Harmonica Festival 2013 (Trossingen, Germany), and the MasterJam Fest 2013 (Odessa, Ukraine). A cursory listen to his videos shows just how much ground he covers with his work.

June 15 is the day before Boris plays a gig with Mikhail Bashakov in Denver, so catch that too if you’re still in the neighborhood. The harmonica master class is taking place at Art Gallery 975, Lincoln Street, Denver, CO. Start time is 7 PM, and it’ll end around 9 PM. The main topic is “How to play faster”, but Boris says he’s ready to discuss any other questions on demand. (You can email him at ploboris@gmail.com if you have some specific questions to discuss.) The donation is $25, cash only.

You need to go to this thing if you live within 100 miles of Denver. while you’re thinking it over, here’s Boris playing with Mikhail Bashakov. Dig.

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“The Lucky One” video is up on Kickstarter!

I’ve just loaded up a video on Kickstarter that talks about “The Lucky One,” complete with a demonstration of several of the sounds I’m planning to use on the record! If you want to hear what kind of voodoo is going to be in the mix on this record, drop by Kickstarter and take a listen!

Thanks for your support on this project!

Blog, Hunter's Music, Recommended Artists & Recordings

The Kickstarter Campaign for “The Lucky One” is underway!

The Kickstarter campaign to fund my upcoming record “The Lucky One” has officially launched! To contribute to this groundbreaking electric harmonica record, just click here.

Help this man make an incredible record!

Help this man make an incredible record!

We’ve put together a great set of rewards for this campaign, including digital downloads of the record, autographed copies of the CD, patchsets for Digitech RPs and Zoom G3, harmonica lessons with me (Richard Hunter, in case you wondered), my services as harmonica player on your recording session, a new Digitech RP500 loaded with the patches I use on this record and autographed by yours truly, and live performances by me and the band. Lots of choices, lots of ways to contribute, lots of cool!

Digitech RP500: I'm offering one of these loaded with the sounds for the record as one of the rewards for contributors to my Kickstarter project

Digitech RP500: I’m offering one of these loaded with the sounds for the record as one of the rewards for contributors to my Kickstarter project

I want to make a special shout-out here to the many people who’re using my patchsets in their Digitech RPs and Zoom G3s who’ve told me that they’re behind me on this project. I really appreciate that support, folks, and it moves me to know that my sounds have meant something to you, too. THANK YOU.

I’ve been building up to this record for a while, and every day I’m getting more excited about it. When the sessions begin in Philadelphia this September, we’ll be blowing down the walls. Be a part of it. Thanks!

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The Kickstarter Campaign for “The Lucky One” starts in a few days

As I work my way through writing and recording demos for my upcoming record project, “The Lucky One,” I keep in mind that making a record takes money as well as talent and dedication. On that score, within the next couple of days I’ll be launching a Kickstarter project to raise the money I need for this project. Stay tuned for the URL, coming soon to a browser near you…

Digitech RP500: I'm offering one of these loaded with the sounds for the record as one of the rewards for contributors to my Kickstarter project

Digitech RP500: I’m offering one of these loaded with the sounds for the record as one of the rewards for contributors to my Kickstarter project

Part of a Kickstarter project is the rewards I put together for contributors. In addition to the usual stuff–downloads, CDs, etc.–I’m offering one reward that includes a new Digitech RP500 fully loaded with 1) the patch set I’m using to record the record, and 2) the standard Huntersounds RP500 patch set. I’m going to autograph that RP before I load it and ship it, so it’ll be the closest thing you can get–actually, functionally identical, just with fewer scratches and dents–to the one I’m going to use in the recording sessions for this record.

Like I said, stay tuned.

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Recording for the “The Lucky One” is Set for September in Philly

I’ve been hard at work writing songs and recording demos for the upcoming record sessions. The tentative title for this project is “The Lucky One.” We’ve set the date for the sessions in late September, and we’ve got guitarist Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, who I’ve played with on several of Ed Abbiatti’s records, and some of his favorite rhythm section buddies lined up to handle that end.

In addition to playing harp in various amped and un-amped configurations, I plan to sing and play keys on this record too. Keys are entering the picture now because I’m finding that there are just some things that I express better with an electric piano than with a harmonica. Go figure. (Perhaps one of those things is a desire to be perfectly in tune…)

This record is going to be dark, rocking and jammy. The touch points are Morphine, Little Walter, and the White Stripes. My strategy for these sessions is to rely on the players to create an organic sound with lots of personality, because this is not one of those sessions where there are going to be 1000 tracks going into the mix. This is one of those sessions where the people in the room define the sound. As Mark Ronson said in a recent interview, “A bunch of dudes in a room playing the shit out of something will never date.”

The KickStarter campaign will start before long. In the meantime, here are the lyrics for the title piece. These are copyright 2016 Richard Hunter, all rights reserved. Enjoy.

The Lucky One

Chorus
everything’s relative
with fathers and sons
in my house
I was the lucky one
The one who changed
The one who found love
The one who’s alive
The lucky one

1. My father was a winner
Who thought he was a loser
Anything that wore a skirt
Walked by and he’d pursue her
I guess he had his reasons
For doing what he done
One thing I know, he didn’t show
A father to his sons

Chorus
everything’s relative
with fathers and sons
in my house
I was the lucky one
The one who changed
The one who found love
The one who’s alive
The lucky one

2. My father’s lies became his truth
He hollowed out inside
Embraced the dark side of his life
And that is where he died
One brother fled to Mexico
One went to Paris France
I went through lots of places
Till I found out who I am

Chorus
everything’s relative
with fathers and sons
in my house
I was the lucky one
The one who changed
The one who found love
The one who’s alive
The lucky one

3.
You came along and saved my life
Long before I saved yours
I know that I been lucky
Maybe more than I deserved
I wasn’t taught to be a man
To raise a family
I didn’t know what love was
Till you showered it on me

Chorus
everything’s relative
with fathers and sons
in my house
I was the lucky one
The one who changed
The one who found love
The one who’s alive
The lucky one

Chorus
everything’s relative
with fathers and sons
in my house
I was the lucky one
The one who changed
The one who found love
The one who’s alive
The lucky one

Blog, Recommended Artists & Recordings

Grant Dermody’s got a Chicago Blues house party going on in Seattle tonight

We just got notice from our friend and harmonica player extraordinaire Grant Dermody, whose standard-setting record “Sun Might Shine on Me” was reviewed on this blog not long ago, that he’s playing a Chicago Blues party tonight in Seattle. Here are the specifics, straight from Grant:
***
Hey all!
I’m doing a house concert this coming Saturday!
It’s going to be a maximum groove/minimum volume Chicago Blues blowout with
Tim Sherman-guitar
Mark Dalton-bass
Conrad Ormsby-drums
Grant Dermody-harmonica.

It’s going to be a blast!!!

Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 PM in PDT
3945 South Edmunds Street Seattle WA 98118
***

If I was in Seattle I’d be there. If you’re in Seattle, you oughta be. Tell Grant I sent you.

Blog, Recommended Artists & Recordings

RIP Prince

I saw Prince perform a half dozen years or so ago at a club in Las Vegas. It was an incredible performance, easily the best I’ve ever seen in a nightclub, but I don’t think it was an unusually great show for Prince. He sounded like Jimi Hendrix fronting James Brown’s band, and the band was every bit as brilliant as he was–in fact, he left the stage for a half hour just to let them run amok. What a show. “So many hits, so little time,” he remarked at one point. “The old school, that’s the whole school,” he said at another.

Years ago, Tony Glover wrote of Little Walter: “Genius is a f—ed-over word these days, but Walter was one for sure. What’s more, he knows how to get you off.” Those words apply in full to Prince.

RIP Prince, and thanks for all the great music.

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A shoutout for Jon Gindick

I got an email today from Jon Gindick, harmonica player, singer, songwriter, author of numerous books on playing the harmonica, and the man behind Harmonica Jam Camp. The message was all about the latest harmonica Jam Camp in Missisippi, which apparently was a damn good time for all.

I was reminded of how much fun I had as an instructor at one of Jon’s Jam Camps years ago in Danvers, Massachusetts, near Boston. The fun included teaching one on one and in groups, listening to and learning from the other instructors (which on that occasion included Richard Sleigh and Dennis Gruenling), and jamming with Annie Raines (who disclosed to the campers and instructors that she began her own harmonica journey with Jon’s book “Harmonica Americana”). It was very gratifying to be part of an event where all involved visibly improved their musical skills and had a lot of fun doing it. (My only moment of distress at the event came when I learned that Legal Seafoods in Danvers did not offer Guinness, on tap or otherwise. I can barely express my shock at learning that Guinness was not being sold in a restaurant a few miles from downtown Boston, whose population includes more people of Irish heritage than you can find in Dublin. So far as I know Jon had nothing to do with the restaurant’s decision not to offer the best beer in the world.)

Anyway, it’s great to see that Jon’s Jam Camps are still going strong, and that he’s added singing to the list of musical skills that campers pick up at Camp. More music, more fun for all. Roll on Jon!

In case you’re interested, here’s the video of my jam with Annie from that Jam Camp in Danvers.

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