I was out for a harmonica walk tonight and three cool things happened to me. First, I ran into my neighbors and got to have a nice neighborly chat. That’s always nice. I like my neighbors. Second, someone yelled out a “Thank you!” from their window as I passed by tonight. That makes me feel good. And third, a guy ran out from his house and stopped me to talk. His name is Sheldon and he says he used to walk around playing the harmonica. I love meeting other harp players. It’s like finding someone else is also a part of the secret society of harp blowers. Suddenly you feel a connection with them. Anyway, Sheldon asked if I had ever heard of Mike Pickett, to which I replied, “no.” After some emphatic recommendations for Mr. Pickett, Sheldon gave me some advice on bending and bade me play him some blues as I walked away, to which I happily obliged. Sheldon (and his friend Mark) made my night tonight. And when I got home from my walk I looked up Michael Pickett and was more than pleasantly surprised!
Here’s a video of Michael playing at the Silver Dollar Room in Toronto. He plays a song that really draws you into it. I love his technique! His bends make his songs incredibly emotive and his hand action gives his sound the flexibility of the human voice. I really dig the way he sprinkles syncopated rhythms in amongst the 12 bar blues. It gives his songs a driving quality that makes me smile and tap my heel. I’m excited I ran into Sheldon (and his friends Mark) tonight and I am thrilled to have learned of another great Toronto harmonicist!
Now sit back and have a listen to some awesome blues harp. Enjoy!
Image credit goes to Flickr user, B Stahls. Thanks, B! Great photo!