Jimmy Gordon's Favorite (Harmonica) Things
Jimmy Gordon is perhaps the only harmonica player who has played
with both Bonnie Raitt and Jerry Lee Lewis. He sometimes tours with
rock legend J.J. Cale, in whose company he has played such venues as
Carnegie Hall. Jimmy’s first CD, Come On Over, is a fine collection of rumbling, laid-back rock and blues, with deeply felt, original harmonica work by Jimmy on every cut. As of this writing, Jimmy is hard at work on his second CD.
Jimmy’s Top 5 Harmonica Records
In addition to Richard Hunter’s CDs,and many others, I enjoy:
- Eivets Rednow– This instrumental recording of the Chromatic Harmonica Pop/Jazz stylings of Stevie Wonder is inspirational, melodic, beautiful, and unique.
- The Fastest Harp in the South – Charlie McCoy is the acknowledged master of Country Diatonic Harmonica.This record helped me to realize early on just how fast our instrument can be played,and still be musical.
- Desert Horizon/Lovin’ In the Valley of the Moon – Norton Buffalo has played with Steve Miller for 2 decades. These records have been re-issued
as a double CD, and exhibit musicality, tone, dexterity, harmony parts; great diatonic and chromatic harmonica throughout.
- Little Walter Box Set (Chess Records) – All the classic Blues Harmonica from the master innovator, still much imitated today.
- Jimmy Reed Box Set (Chess Records) – Master of understatement, purveyor of the lanky feel, and ruler of the High-End Blues Harmonica sound.
For chromatic work I prefer the Hohner CX-12. I also use the Meisterklasse Chromatic, as well as 270 and 280 models, all by Hohner.
For diatonic work I mostly use the Hohner Golden Melody, but Marine Bands are another favorite as well.
I rarely play stock harmonicas. I modify, repair, and tune my instruments myself. (Richard Hunter says: Jimmy is well known in the harmonica community as a repair and customization expert. I have used his services myself, and I’m glad I did.)
I have been recently using an amplifier called the Warbler/Juke Custom 10, which is made for me by Gary Croteau. I also use a collection of
mikes, including prototypes made by Gary.
My previous setup, which I still use, is a Fender Blues Jr. or modded ’56 Fender Tweed Princeton amplifier, with Astatic JT-30 microphone.
For recording, I will often choose between the above, or play directly into a high-quality studio microphone for a clean sound.
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