Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blowin' the Blues: Top 10 Blues Harp Players

Hohner, the most famous brand of harps for blues players.

The harmonica, or as it's known in blues terms as the 'harp', has been and still is an essential addition to any blues song. The harmonica is older than the blues, but ever since the early days of the blues in the Mississippi Delta,  harp players started accompanying guitarists and vocalists, it gave the song a more 'country folk' sound that people associate with. 

Eventually with the great migration of blues players to the urban centers of Chicago, Detroit, etc, harp players started using amplifiers to keep up with the electrified guitars and vocals, and since then traditional blues players most always have a harp in their band lineup.

I compiled a list of my personal top 10 harp players, based on influence and legacy.

Here we go:

10. Charlie Musselwhite

9. George “Harmonica” Smith

8. Paul Butterfield

7. Junior Wells

6. Sonny Terry

5. Sonny Boy Williamson II

4. Sonny Boy Williamson I

3. James Cotton

2. Big Walter Horton

1. Little Walter

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