Mark Hummel's Blues Harp Blowout
A Little Walter Tribute featuring
Corky Siegel, James Harman & Little Charlie Baty
Join us for an evening of unforgettable harmonica blues served up by
some of the true masters of the genre. Blues fans near and far will not
want to miss this harmonic convergence of exceptional blues harp players
live on stage!
Blues harp ace Mark Hummel has handpicked a sterling lineup
of musicians to celebrate the CD release of a tribute to Little Walter,
"Remembering Little Walter" at Arena Theater.
The idea for the Little Walter tribute recording grew out of a number
of highly successful West Coast concerts in early 2012 that were part
of an ongoing series of "Blues Harmonica Blowout" concerts organized
by Mark Hummel, who is also the producer of the new release "Remembering
Little Walter". Said Hummel, "Walter changed all the rules and raised the
bar so high that nobody has yet surpassed him either in innovation or
technical prowess. Walter's original sides have become the holy grail
all other harpers are still trying to aspire to."
"Little Walter Jacobs was one of the best singers of the blues and a
blues harp player par excellence" - Keith Richards
"Little Walter was a very, very powerful influence on me"
- Eric Clapton
The extraordinary line up for the evening:
Mark Hummel, on harp, is a road warrior, a true blues
survivor who has thrilled the audience at Arena Theater many times with
his masterful blues harp tunes backed by his band, "The Blues Survivors".
Hummel has been a major force in shaping and defining the West Coast
Blues style, a genre that draws from the Chicago school but adds elements
of jump blues, jazz, swing and rock 'n' roll into the mix resulting in an
exciting new style of West Coast blues. Over the years, Hummel has
crafted his own trademark harmonica sound - a subtle combination of tone,
phrasing and attack combined with a strong sense of swing.
In 1991, Hummel started the Blues Harmonica Blowouts
which have grown to be a much heralded blues event on the national scene.
These multi harp packages have included John Mayall, Huey Lewis, Snooky
Pryor, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, Carey Bell, Lazy Lester
plus almost every other player of note on the blues harp. Hummel has
been nominated four times for the best harmonica player Blues Music
Award and his eighteenth and most recent CD is entitled
Blues harp player Corky Siegel has earned an
international reputation as one of the world's great blues harmonica
masters. Few can claim to have forged an entirely original genre of
music, but in 1966, Siegel did just that. Guiding the blues of Howlin'
Wolf and Muddy Waters out of the smoky cavern of Big John's and onto the
stages of the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and beyond, the
harmonica-playing mad scientist had the tuxedo-and-gown crowd on its
feet, clamoring for more of this blues-classical alchemy. Siegel's career
began when he formed the legendary Siegel-Schwall Band that toured the
major rock palaces and clubs in the 60's and 70's and these days, the
harmonica virtuoso and composer is continent-hopping with Chamber Blues,
and as guest from time to time in Dr. L. Subramaniam's Global Fusion,
obliterating musical categorization and boundaries in the process. A
documentary film will soon be released featuring Corky, along with music
icons and legends titled, "Born In Chicago," which chronicles the
historic Blues explosion in the 1960's in Chicago that inspired
generations around the world.
Siegel is a recent winner of the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest/Meet the
Composer's national award for chamber music composition and the Illinois
Arts Council Fellowship Award for Music Composition. "There's a fine
line between a genius and a madman - and Corky walks it." -
Joe Nardome's Gallery of Sound
"For groups like the Rolling Stones ... names like Muddy Waters and
Howlin' Wolf were exotic inspirations. For Siegel-Schwall they were the
guys that played with them on 43rd Street." - Lin Brehmer - Music
Director for WXRT radio.
Alabama-born vocalist, musician and songwriter
James Harman now lives in southern California, but his
music clearly reflects his southeastern roots apparent in his recordings
and live performances: he is a disciple of the classic qualities of the
Southern blues harmonica tradition. In more than four decades of touring
and recording, Harman has staked his claim as an original, legitimate
blues artist and musician and as bandleader and veteran of the blues
roadhouse circuit, Harman has led various combinations of his James
Harman Band over the years, most featuring top-notch talent such as
Hollywood Fats and Kid Ramos.
During his long career starting in the early 60s Harman has built up an
enormous song catalog and had 20 of his original songs used in movies
and television, the most famous being "Kiss of Fire" (from "Those
Dangerous Gentlemens"), which was the background for the infamous rape
scene in "The Accused" (starring Jodie Foster).
Along the way, Harman has received 19 W.C. Handy nominations including
"Blues Song of the Year", "Blues Single of the Year" and even "Re-release
of the Year" for the CD reissue of his landmark 1987 album, "Extra
Napkins". He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and he is
the harmonica player of choice on recordings and live performances by ZZ
Top, appearing with them on both David Letterman and Jools Holland's TV
shows. Harman is a one of a kind song writer, producer, musician,
showman, vocalist and internationally known bluesman who remains true to
his credo: Strictly the Blues.
These harp virtuosi will join forces with world renowned guitar slinger
and former bandleader of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Little
It's been over 40 years since guitarist Little Charlie Baty teamed up
with harmonicist /vocalist/ songwriter Rick Estrin and took hard Chicago
blues, jump, Texas swing and jazz and mixed it with rockabilly,
proto-rock'n'roll, jumping jive, bebop and Estrin's sharply original
lyrics, creating a sound one critic described as "Charlie Christian
playing in Little Walter's band.
From jazz to blues to rock to surf, Baty has all the styles mastered.
He seamlessly blends various elements into a guitar sound that is his
alone. Guitar World declares, "Baty's straight blues playing is
eye-popping...he stretches solos to the breaking point, skittering on
the edge, where one wrong note will bring the whole thing crashing
But there's also a harmonica in his long career as blues musician: When
Baty was a UC Berkeley student, he blew the harp and was mesmerized by
the music of harmonica great "Little Walter". But after he got together
with Estrin and formed the famous Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Baty
decided to switch to guitar full-time as Estrin already was an
accomplished harp player.
Combining these four world-class talents of the genre in one concert is
certain to guarantee a very special evening, get your tickets early!
The event is generously underwritten by Gualala Chevron and The Pier
Chowder House and Tap Room.
The Arena Theater bar and snack stand will be open.