Harmonica Shah
Some time ago, on another blog, in another world, I wrote a few articles about banjos, a secret pleasure of mine. Those posts produced so much response that I thought it would be interesting to have a look at other little-regarded instruments and I began a search for harmonica players on YouTube.

Harmonica Shah
Harmonica Shah

In point of fact, the search produced little that I could use but there was one very well-made video of a guy named Seward "Harmonica" Shah that I just had to show you. This is the real blues, the harmonica wailing and the voice growling out words from real life - a wonderful taste of the roots of rock. Listen as Shah handles this great song, I've Got To Help My Own Damn Self.

Apparently Shah has been going since the sixties and, having heard this song and his excellent treatment of it, I can understand why. I wanted more but the only thing I could find on YouTube was this song, Lowcountry Blues. Not as well made a video, but the song is just as good. The funny thing is that I am not usually a great fan of the blues but Shah does it the way it should be done and I just can't help but like him.

Otherwise, if you want to hear more of Harmonica Shah, click on over to his MySpace site where there are a few songs that can be heard on the embedded player.


Not bad... it's very "standardized" 2nd position play, but he does it right and does it well... and I get the impression that he'd play the same if he was in a football stadium or if he was on a train platform, and there's a serious beauty in that.

Also notice that his playing does not overpower his group, nor does it even intend to show off or upstage the other members of the band. "I've Got to Help My Own Damn Self" barely has him playing in it, because he plays enough.

On second thought, it would have been better with just a little less guitar. Just a little.
Date Added: 31/08/2007

I think you may have hit on the reason why I like the guy so much, Chunter - as I said, I'm not a great fan of the blues. But Shah has a sense of balance and creates music that does not jar, it being all of a piece.

Too much guitar? Well, I can be no judge of that, being biased - I love lead guitar. ;)
Date Added: 31/08/2007

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