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Recording for the next Richard Hunter record begins in July!

It’s been over a decade since my most recent CD was released. In the meantime, I’ve been busy with lots of stuff; I wrote three books, I saved my wife’s life a couple of times, and I created a revolutionary new way for harmonica players to get loud. So I haven’t exactly been lying on a couch eating chocolates since 2005.

But enough is enough. It’s time for the next Richard Hunter record, and this one will be electric. It’ll have plenty of looped textures, plenty of jams, and plenty of big freakin’ harp sounds. It’ll take full advantage of everything I’ve learned in the last 15 years about the harmonica as an instrument for the 21st century.

There’ll be plenty of news coming about this project in the next few months, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’m very excited about this opportunity to lay down a major statement about the future of the harmonica. Now excuse me while I go write some songs…

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More Christmas music: “Peace to You All Tonight”

I improvised and recorded “Peace to You All Tonight” a few weeks ago. The piece is played on a standard diatonic harp in second position. The signal chain starts with an AKG BT330DT mic (my preferred harp mic in 1987, when I bought it, in a signal chain that included a Boss BF-2 flanger, an Electro Harmonix Memory Man delay, and a Fender Twin Reverb amp), which is input to a TC Helicon Voicelive Play vocal processor running a factory preset that’s supposed to sound like the vocal processing on Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. I think it sounds pretty good on an acoustic harmonica.

I recorded the performance on my Digitech JamMan Solo XT looper, and transferred it to Audacity to convert it from WAV to mp3. That’s about it for the processing. I think the piece speaks for itself pretty clearly in this recording.

The most interesting thing about the piece is the constantly shifting chord voices and counterpoint, all of which are performed in real time here without overdubs.

Enjoy. Merry Christmas. (Please note that we retain all rights for commercial exploitation of this material. Contact us if you’re interested in discussing same.)

“Peace to You All Tonight” written and performed by Richard Hunter. Copyright ©2015 R Hunter/Turtle Hill Productions, all rights reserved

Audio/Video, Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings, Recommended Gear, Recorded Performances (live and otherwise)

A Little (Harmonica) Organ Music for Christmas

As I have for a while now, I’m exploring the sounds I can make with a harmonica and two amp modelers running in parallel. I recorded this piece with a Digitech RP500 running a patch that combines a Champ amp model with a rotary speaker, paired with a patch on the Vox Stomplab IG that includes a low octave, an autowah, and a tough amp model. There are some subtle and not-so-subtle things going on here.
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings

Scott Albert Johnson’s “Going Somewhere” is a Brand New Rock n’ Roll Trip

Scott Albert Johnson’s new record “Going Somewhere” literally starts with a bang–a big drum groove–that is soon capped with feverish amped harmonica whose lines pay homage to the blues tradition without ever directly invoking it. Throughout this record, on every track of which Johnson sings lead, plays harmonica, and produced or co-produced–he also wrote or co-wrote every track except for covers of Peter Gabriel’s “I Don’t Remember” and Brett Winston’s “Haunt My Dreams”–the songs are memorable, the singing intense, and the harmonica new and powerful, often in surprising ways. It’s a great record if you’re into rock n’ roll; in fact it’s the most daring rock harmonica record since the early 1990s, when Blues Traveler came along to shake everybody up with a completely different take on the instrument.
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Blog, Recommended Artists & Recordings

Grant Dermody’s “Sun Might Shine on Me” Sets the New Standard for Acoustic Roots Harmonica Records

grantdermody I’ve been listening to Grant Dermody’s latest release, Sun Might Shine On Me, for the last couple of days. It’s a brilliantly produced work that presents the listener with lovingly rendered performances of traditional American music and original pieces in traditional styles. For harmonica players, the record offers what amounts to a catalog of essential acoustic harmonica techniques, applied with plenty of guts and smarts to great emotional effect. In short–and there will be more details in this review, but let’s say it now–this record sets the new standard for harp-focused traditional acoustic music.
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