Harmonica Quotations

Posted on: Sunday, Sep 24, 2006

I’m a blues harp player in case you didn’t know.  So I particularly enjoyed these quotations on blues harmonica.

“The harmonica is the mother of the band.” – Otis Spann

“Little Walter was the best I ever heard.” – Muddy Waters

“Me and my harp was a love affair from way back.” – Little Walter

“Little Walter was the best harmonica player I ever heard in my life.” – James Cotton

“I might be wrong, but I don’t believe I ever seen Little Walter without his harp.” – Robert Junior Lockwood

Harp used to cost a quarter.  Now it cost two dollars.  It’d be nice if that company’d remember who helped raise that price.” – Little Walter

“Little Walter was another Robert Johnson…it’s hard to find them kinds of peoples.” – Muddy Waters

“The records made money, but I didn’t get none.” – Little Walter

“Little Walter once got into a shooting match with a winehead and ended up missing and shooting himself in the leg.” – Jerome Arnold

Little Walter had the best sound of any harmonica player… Big Walter Horton, he was the best harmonica player there ever was, but Little Walter had the best sound – a sound and a style like no one else before or since.” – David “Honeyboy” Edwards

“Little Walter was a very good player, but Big Walter was a helluva player.” – Willie Dixon

See, my name was originally Little Walter.  But after he cut the tune ‘Juke,’ there couldn’t be no two Little Walters, so I gave him my name and took Big Walter for myself.”  – Big Walter

“This harmonica blowing, it’s not something Big Walter picked up, he was born to do it.” – Johnny Shines

“I just loved Big Walter’s sound. He had the most beautiful sound. To me, that is what harmonica playing is all about.” – Jerry Portnoy

“There weren’t no harmonica players I took from – no, I learned mine’s the hard way.” – Big Walter

“They underestimated Big Walter because he’d stay loaded most of the time, but once you’d get him in good condition, he could run rings around all of them.” -Willie Dixon

“I like to play loud.” -Big Walter

“When (Big) Walter was in the right mood, he could be the most ferocious, the most inventive, the most dangerous harp player I ever heard.” – Charlie Musselwhite

“Big Walter was fantastic, beyond chilling” – Paul deLay

Big Walter started playing harp when he was only five years old. And he was the best…. He could play any kind of harp in any style.” – David “Honeyboy” Edwards

“The chromatic will fry your brain.” – Big Walter

“Sonny Boy (I) stayed sharp, had plenty of women and was dangerous to fool with if you made him mad. But you loved him just the same.” – Sunnyland Slim

“(As a boy) I was listening to Sonny Boy Williamson’s (I) records and I would close my eyes and I could visualize myself playing the harp.”  – Junior Wells

“There was one Sonny Boy and that’s it, just one, and I don’t mean that second one!” – Little Walter

“These (young English) boys wanna play the blues so bad;  and they play it — so bad.” – Sonny Boy Williamson II

“Every time we’d get to recording, he (SBWII) would say, ‘Keep them goddamn Chesses away from up here where I am!'” — Willie Dixon

“I love Sonny Boy.  If I gave him $100,000 today, he’d be broke tomorrow.” – Leonard Chess

“Sonny Boy Williamson (II) was a beautiful guy, a straight guy…  (but) he was always raising hell one way or another, so you never could tell if he was drunk or sober.” – Willie Dixon

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