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Mark Hummel: Harpo-Ventilating, Hard Hearted Woman, Summertime. LEE OSKAR: In A Sentimental Mood, Lee's Blues. MAGIC DICK: Pontiac Blues, High Temperature. JOHNNY DYER: You're Sweet. WILLIAM CLARKE: Lonesome Bedroom Blues, Chrome Jumpin', Stretch My Money. PAUL Delay: Blues And Trouble, Mean Ole Frisco, Can't Stand Your Evil Ways. CAREY BELL: I Got To Go' JAMES HARMAN: Extra Napkins. SAM MYERS: I Done Quit Getting' Sloppy Drunk, Sweet Home Chicago. RICK ESTRIN: Getting' Out Of Town. BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Sugar Gal. LAZY LESTER: Sugar Coated Love. 

Blues Harmonica Blowouts are live events that Mark Hummel has been staging in various California venues for the last fifteen years, inviting the cream of America's blues harp blasters to come out and play with his band, The Blues Survivors. For this great double CD though, one or two special guitar players joined in too...Rusty Zinn appears with William Clarke and Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Watson clangs along on the James Harman and Paul DeLay tracks, Steve Fruend plays with Lazy Lester and, of course, Anson Funderburgh is the axe-man on Sam Myers contributions. Plus drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith also lends a hand on the Lazy Lester and Carey Bell songs.

In this double live selection of spectacular sucking and blowing, several performances stand out. James Harman pulls out every trick in the book on "Extra Napkins", easily demonstrating why Hummel's description of him as "showman extraordinaire" is spot-on. He has to be on top form to stop guitarist Junior Watson stealing the spotlight with his peppering fills and power chords. The late great William Clarke just scorches across the stage with his electrifying harp work on "Stretch My Money" and he just pours out the misery on the late-nite slow burner "Lonesome Bedroom Blues". 

Rick Estrin sets the endurance record for breath control on his six and a half minute solo "Getting' Out Of Town". He gives this old Sonny Boy piece humour, flair and funkiness and probably needed to lie down in a dark room when he'd finished this marathon. The late Paul DeLay cools things down with his masterful playing on the long slow blues "Can't Stand Your Evil Ways", Lazy Lester re-creates his vintage Louisiana style on "Sugar Coated Love" and Sam Myers just howls on "Sweet Home Chicago" with some of the dirtiest harmonica on the CD. This track rocks likes crazy thanks to Anson Funderburgh's guitar work and the boppin' piano of piano player Bob Welsh.

Hummel had a damn good idea when created these Harmonica Blowout concerts. This 2 CD set will positively thrill any blues harmonica fan and, as the notes say, "here's your chance to get up close and personal with twelve of the greatest blues artists ever to draw breath through a harmonica".

Get your copy of this 2 CD set from Red Lick at a fantastic price of £14.35 plus p&p right now.


Review Date: November 2008

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