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Harmonica Players: Country & Bluegrass

Art- Male These players make country and bluegrass music all that much better.

Charlie McCoy
"The Godfather of modern bluegrass & country harmonica styles. Any musician in Nashville has heard of Charlie McCoy. A mainstay in Music City since the '60s, Charlie has played on dozens of hit records, including work for such legends as Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and many more."

Mickey Raphael
"Mickey Raphael has been playing harmonica in the same country band for almost 30 years. Sure, it's Willie Nelson's band, but still, Mickey's been playing "Crazy" since Mariah Carey was two, and the war in Vietnam plagued us!" Click here for an interview with Mickey Raphael.

Jimmie Fadden
"Jimmie has been one of the true greats for many, many years. With Fadden on drums and harmonica, the NItty Gritty Dirt Band has become one of the most influential bluegrass/country/etc. bands of all time. Ask any country musician about influences, and the "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" records will be high on his/her list."

Terry McMillan
"What do Garth Brooks, Amy Grant, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and Chet Atkins have in common? Terry McMillan. One of Nashville's top session players for the past twenty years has finally recorded his own blend of blues, soul, Gospel, pop and country on "Somebody's Comin'". His passionate vocals come together with his own unmistakable percussion and harmonica work and some of the country's best musicians to create a sound that is uniquely Terry."

Mike Caldwell
"Mike Caldwell just might be the best kept secret on the harmonica scene today. Never having pursued a solo career, he is relatively unknown except to those who have heard him live on the country touring circuit. He is a truly exceptional player."

Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson
"Top Nashville session pro, totally killer country harp player with a big, beautiful sound and great ideas."

Frank Bard
"Announcing the release of my first harmonica recording, entitled, HARMONICA FROM THE HEARTLAND. I describe it as, an instrumental collection of tunes from a variety of music genres."

Tony Eyers
"Tony Eyers plays bluegrass and irish fiddle tunes on retuned diatonic harmonicas. His tuning system allows accurate tune renditions, at authentic bluegrass and irish tempos. His recordings (available online) feature double-tracked close harmonies, which draw upon his background as a baroque player."

Cara Cooke
"Known for her ability to play fiddle-tunes on the harmonica or to twin fiddlers with the harmonica, Cara applies those same skills towards a variety of music styles, but never ventures far from the acoustic music she loves to play the most: bluegrass. She has been termed "the best kept secret in Texas" by veteran Tennesee Valley Authority fiddler/mandolinist, Hank Harrison."

Tulsa Read
"Tulsa Read performs Bluegrass, Gospel & Country styles of diatonic harmonica, and is a three-time National Harmonica Champion. He is a full-time professional harmonica instructor, now in his 35th year of teaching, and a regular harmonica instructor at the SPAH harmonica conventions."

Eddie K Lively
"Easy listening traditional country music played with a bluesy, plaintive, melody-driven style that adds ambience to the vocals like a fiddle or steel guitar. This is a concept album intended to show how straight diatonic harmonica can be used to add interesting riffs, flavor and ambience to vocal country songs."

Kevin Garinger
"I am a player that picked up the harmonica about two years ago and now some people are comparing me to John Popper."

Clint Black
Primarily known as a country singer-songwriter, Clint also plays harmonica live and in the studio.

Harmonica Vic and Dark Road Music
"Western New York, Harmonica player, multi-styled diatonic, old-timey country/bluegrass/blues/folk. Performer of festivals and small concert venues."

pˇter kiss dala
"Though I played in a few rock and blues-funk bands from 1989, I prefer and play country and bluegrass music on the diatonic harmonika. Now I have been playing in a band our own music, which is some mixture of country, blues, folk and rock and roll feeling."

Leo Enry
(In Spanish) "A country/bluegrass player from Santiago de Chile."

Delbert McClinton
Primarily known as a country singer-songwriter, Delbert also plays harmonica live and in the studio.

If you have a harmonica-related website and would like it listed here, please email us with the web address, site title (or player's name), brief description, and the page it should be included on. Also, if you find any 'dead' links or have changed the URL to your site, let us know so we can make the update.

To open any of the pages in a new browser window, right-click and select "OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW" ("NEW WINDOW WITH THIS LINK" in Netscape). Macintosh users should click and hold on the link until you can select the same option.

SAMPLE VIDEO:  Harmonica Instruction for Beginners
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A simple playing tip to speed up your movement and add accuracy in single notes.
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Dave gives a general overview of what you can obtain from both diatonic and chromatic harmonicas in regards to harmonica chords.
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In this excerpt, Dave discusses some of the reasons for playing in either 1st Position or 2nd Position.

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SAMPLE VIDEO:  Advanced Harmonica Instruction
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Dave explains how the concept of "Follow Through", as found in many sports, also applies directly to your breathing and airflow.
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Dave explains the value of not just learning a scale up and down, but dividing it into smaller "bite-size" chunks, which can then be used as blues riffs.
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Dave demonstrates how you can use the "Tonguing" technique to create interesting sounds such as the "Chicken Call".

Featured Harmonica Video
(Sons of Harmonica Teacher Dave Gage)

"Fun Blues Harmonica Jam"
Here are Dave Gage's sons, Brody and Alex, now called the Brothers Gage, back when they were 10 and 12 year old kids. This video shot in 2015, is an unedited take playing an improvised blues and country based jam and having a bunch of fun.

One plays rhythm beatbox harmonica while the other takes a solo. They are both playing a standard key of "C" 10-hole diatonic in 2nd Position (which is also known as "Crossharp"). They both learned to play harmonica around age 5 and now also sing, play guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. The key to getting good is consistency. They still practice every single day.
Watch more of their videos at the
- Brothers Gage Website -

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