20 episodes

A podcast for mouth harp players by a harp player featuring conversations with great harp players

Harmonicast with Bob Kessler Bob Kessler

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.7, 10 Ratings

A podcast for mouth harp players by a harp player featuring conversations with great harp players

    Harmonicast Episode 20 - Peter Madcat Ruth

    Harmonicast Episode 20 - Peter Madcat Ruth

    Peter Madcat Ruth is a Grammy Award-winning virtuoso harmonica player who draws from a wide range of styles and creates his own unique sound. He's also this year's special guest at the Harmonica Hoedown at Martyrs' in Chicago on March 13th. We talk about taking lessons from Big Walter Horton, his years performing with jazz legend Dave Brubeck, how he incorporates humor into his music and his current projects with The Madcat Midnight Blues Journey, Chris Brubeck's Triple Play and his solo performances.

    • 39 min
    Harmonicast Episode 19 - Grégoire Maret

    Harmonicast Episode 19 - Grégoire Maret

    Chromatic harmonica player Grégoire Maret hails from Switzerland, grew up in a musical household and at age 17 took the advice of legendary player Toots Thielemans which shaped his approach to the instrument ever since. He went on to record and tour with Jacky Terrasson, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Steve Coleman, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves and many more. We caught up with him backstage in Chicago where he was performing with the Monk'estra. 

    • 38 min
    Harmonicast Episode 18 - Ross Garren

    Harmonicast Episode 18 - Ross Garren

    Harmonicast is back! 
    Ross Garren, somewhat like Tommy Morgan before him has become the go-to guy for recording sessions for albums, singles and soundtracks recorded in Los Angeles. That's just part of the story. As a middle-schooler he was encouraged by the legendary Toots Thielemans, he's produced albums, plays keyboards and has several interesting projects in the pipeline including an album with guitarist Andre LaFosse. I caught up with Ross while he was on the road with singer/songwriter Chelsea Williams. 
    (by the way, if you're curious about what I've been up to during the Harmoncast hiatus, check out Margaret Larkin's interview on her podcast  Radio Girl.)

    • 44 min
    Harmonicast Episode 17 - Martin Lang

    Harmonicast Episode 17 - Martin Lang

    Martin Lang has backed up Chicago blues icons
    for decades. He first learned what it takes to be a real-deal player by spending time with blues masters on the West and South Sides of the city. He talks about what he learned by having contact with these great blues artists, how its essential to have "weight" as harmonica player in both soloing and accompanying others, and his overall blues philosophy. 
    The Kickstarter campaign to
    get me to Nashville to interview three of the greats: Charlie McCoy,
    Buddy Greene and
    Jelly Roll Johnson is well on its way to being funded. However, there's just a few days left! Contributing $10 or more is the
    only way to get this exclusive content and $25 contributions get you a
    Harmonicast coffee mug! 

    • 42 min
    Harmonicast Episode 16 - Phil Alvin

    Harmonicast Episode 16 - Phil Alvin

    Phil Alvin, in addition to being harmonica player, is an incredible singer, advanced set theorist and great storyteller. His powerful voice was first heard by much of the public in the Blasters, a band he and his brother Dave Alvin founded in the late 70s. This, after years of tutelage performing alongside Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, Lee Allen and other musical greats Dave and Phil met while growing up in Downey, California. Phil talks about taking harmonica lessons from Sonny Terry, his years of study in mathematics, his latest duo albums Common Ground and Lost Time with his brother and their potential follow-up recordings.
    This is also week 2 of the Kickstarter campaign to get me to Nashville to interview three of the greats: Charlie McCoy, Buddy Greene and Jelly Roll Johnson. Contributing $10 or more is the only way to get this exclusive content and $25 contributions get you a Harmonicast coffee mug!  

    • 37 min
    Harmonicast Episode 15 - Karen Mantler

    Harmonicast Episode 15 - Karen Mantler

    Karen Mantler is a singer, songwriter, pianist, organist AND chromatic harmonica player who got her professional start at age 10 playing glockenspiel with Carla Bley (the jazz composer and arranger who also happens to be her mother). She's made a handful of wonderful records including her most recent, Business is Bad which showcases her highly personal, often humorous and sometimes deeply touching lyrics along with her piano and harmonica playing. We talk about her musical upbringing, her frustrations as a major label signee in the early 2000s, how she came to discover and fall in love with the sound of the harmonica, her recordings with Robert Wyatt and much more.
    I've also launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund a trip to Nashville I'm hoping to make in early November to interview three harmonica greats: Charlie McCoy, Buddy Greene and Jelly Roll Johnson. All three have agreed to be interviewed for Harmonicast and if it's funded through Kickstarter, I'll head to Music City to meet up with them. You can contribute here.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

harp d'jow ,

Love this podcast

This is a fun and very informative podcast for music lovers especially harmonica players. Ive gotten lots of useful info listening. There hasnt been a show since Oct 16 when Bob was asking for donations to travel to Nashville. What's up?

Gogas40 ,

Finally

I love the show I hope you stick around for a long time ,excellent!!!

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