The harsh Harmonica


Crossroads and Friends:

There are those crossroads that we end up at, where there are no two ways of going about things. You know you cannot lose your way around for you have known each stone. You probably were better off someplace else, yet here you are at the moment, right where you should not have been, pondering if that what does not kill you, does it really makes you stronger? A question perhaps best left to the better judgement of the conscience of the self. By the way it was Nietzsche who said these lines before the joker made it his own.


Is that not what harshness is. An all too familiar crossroad from your hometown, where you once got beat, and you keep visiting it like you got an alkaline score to make man.  If you could only side step the longitudes of time, there would be someone waiting for you there. Yet for the sake of the beloved planet we move on ahead, with only hope to meet again. Uncalled for yet, necessary, offending and hilarious at the same time, avertible yet forever cherished. That would perhaps be all the authorship could make of harshness before we move onto the harmonica.

Groove in to the Harmonica:



“Gonna change my way of thinking, make my self a different set of rules. Gonna put my good foot forward and stop being influenced by fools.”-Bob Dylan


Onto the harmonica, the French harp, the mouth organ, on to the free reed,  aerophone that it is. Perhaps what distinguishes the great romancers from the lugubrious lovers, that which draws from the hollows, and soars above the skyline of sound arrangements. This which sings when the flimsy reeds, its heart and lungs like the sails of a vessel dance to their own tacking, in this case tone, at the breath and blow of the performer. That which rubs not just the lip of ja performer, but even the deepest recesses of the soul of those who care to listen. The faithful companion to the one man band. The prodigal folly of the venturer, what but the vocation of the virtuoso. The gasp of air which holds the melody through, when there is no verse to be sung, or a chorus to be emphasised upon, or hook to be dearly hung onto, or any other form of lead to be strung out.  Be it service to the Jazz, or personification of the blues, reviving the flamboyance of the swing of the 30’s, or the drone of the bebop of the 40’s, or the soul and gospel of the 50’s. there always was to be found the compositional vibratos, and the harmonies of the harmonica, with their bends, beginnings and endings, which kept on breathing in the spirit of the decades gone on by, as rolled over the pages of Beethoven digging on those rhythm and blues. That would be the harmonica my friend, what virtuoso John Popper would say as, ‘delicious but not digestible.’

The Great Harmonica Romancers:
Something surely goes amiss without at least a modest mention of some of the humble mongers, who got the trade to the stature it is at, as of the day. The masters at their war. The missionaries of their order, the soldiers incognita with their hollow, innocent shoulders, all of them, of the precepts of the pride beholders. Simply speaking the great harmonica romancers.  Without been specially, or temporally too data basic about it, we shall infer upon the ramblings by touching on the names and the notions of a few of those harmonica romancers, about whom an average reader may already know.

Now obviously there is the Bob Dylan. The prominent personage with his rhythms and harmonica stand, sticking out close to the microphone, like a swarm of bees working on a hive. There is the Neil Young of old, overtly confused as to which of his pockets holds which piece of what tuning. There is Mick Jagger, as there is Brexit, there is as well at the harmonica, Eddie Vader at his contemplative best, as there is Steven Tyler, feeling the tone of the instrument, through the chords of his voice. Then there are the purists as well, at least a couple among whom, who simply could not do without a mention. John Popper, with his line of Fender Harmonica, whom the reader may remember from earlier in the publication.  There is also the much lauded lord of the licking stick, to his listener, known as Magic Dick.

For a calling somewhat commonplace, and an expression stirringly rustic, to the extent of been inclement. Many maestros and mediocre alike would have had their time with the instrument, and would have their body of work and extent of imitation to speak of. So has the universe many mysteries untold.




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