Started playing the harp when I was 16 after hearing my dads blues records, in particular 'The Blues: Volume II. Lived in a pub that put on music and my dad started putting on Geordie Blues men. They quickly taught me how to drink, smoke tabs and play the harp. From then on started travelling around different festivals and pestering bands and harp players.
I am a diatonic and occasional chromatic player that has been playing half my life. At varying points I have played alot and been busy up and down the country playing in a host of bands. I am going through a reasonably busy phase at the moment and am pretty much living harmonica and tinkering with them to make them sound better for me. I love all styles of harp but mainly play trad blues, particularly pre war stuff that I have immersed myself in recently as you can play all day without a band and it is great for practicing many aspects and techniques of the instrument.
A documentary was made about myself and guitarist Neil Dalton and our interest in the music and how we met etc. This can be previewed at:
When not playing I am a Youth Worker working with young people aged 11-19, I run drama, music and fiim workshops aimed at getting young people to express themselves through multi-media. I hope to involve the harmonica in this someday. I did take my harp to work recently and the kids just stared at me as if I was doing something really strange! They need educating obviously.
I have studied American Studies/Media Studies and I concentrated my dissertation on African American Expressive Culture. Of course blues was a major factor. I wish now though I had of concentrated in the harmonica and how it became such a popular instrument in the US, with particular focus on the black community.
I hope to progress as a player and meet loads of harp players. Share ideas, thoughts and tips on harp modification. I'm all ears!
Food and Drink
Walking in the hills