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Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowouts - Still Here and Gone 1993-2007

Electro-Fi Records

Ok, you start out by putting on a series of shows where you pick some of the best blues harp players in the business, then you record them. Periodically you release a “Harmonica Meltdown” compilation (Mountain Top Productions.)

Then you come along and pick 21 of the best performances by 12 of those players from all the blowouts over a 15 yr period and put out a 2 CD set on Electro-Fi Records and what you have is dynamite, I’m talking set you on fire smokestack lightning, I’m talking about some low down mean and evil blues, you’ll be crying mercy, mercy, mercy.

Mark, William Clarke and Paul deLay are each featured on 3 tracks. Lee Oskar, Magic Dick and Sam Myers had a pair each and Johnny Dyer, Carey Bell, James Harmon, Rick Estrin, Billy Boy Arnold and Lazy Lester round things out with one track each. From the opening notes of Hummel’s “Harpo-Ventillating” you know this suckers going to be a MONSTER!!!

By the very nature of this compilation every track is a stand out; but the Paul deLay and William Clarke tracks are really special. Paul gave versions of “Blues and Trouble,” “Can’t Stand Your Evil Ways” and “Mean Old Frisco” while Clarke weighs in with “Lonesome Bedroom Blues,” Stretch Your Money” and “Chrome Jumpin’.”

Tracks like Johnny Dyer “You’re Sweet” or Rick Estrin solo as in sans band doing “Getting’ Out of Town” and James Harmon singing ‘I love this BBQ, just don’t want it all on me, bring the napkins bring ‘em on ‘round to me’ on “Extra Napkins” all jumped out to me and blew me away! If you like serious harmonica blues then look no further than Mark Hummel’s Blue Harmonica Blowouts “Still Here and Gone” 1993-2007, very highly recommended.

Reviewer Malcolm "Yard Dog" Kennedy is a frequent contributor to the Washington Blues Society Bluesletter, and he is the former Vice President and Merchandise Director of the society. He is the co-author of the profile published in the 2009 Blues Festival Guide, which recognized the WBS for its Keeping the Blues Alive Award. Malcolm volunteers at the society's monthly all-ages Blues Bashes and at many festivals and special events promoting the blues in the Pacific Northwest.

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