I had my television tuned to the satellite blues channel while I worked on a few novel revisions and suddenly superb blues harp tones caught my ear and I had to stop and listen before it dawned on me who the heck had those kind of chops. There just ain't many that can lay it out there like those notes that were being produced. Jerry Portnoy came to mind and sho' nuff that's who it was.
It then dawned on me that I really haven't given Portnoy his due here at Back In The Day. I mentioned his Legendary Blues Band recordings in an earlier post and lauded him a bit--but just having my head whipped around at the first fat notes sucked on that tune today reminded me that, yes indeed, he is one of my favorites--me and Eric Clapton, anyway. Darn it, though, I wish he would get more prolific and put that stuff to work on some new stuff. It's been awhile since Down In The Mood Room-which I thought needed more nasty Chicago licks thrown onto it.
Of course, by now, EVERY harmonica player has a copy of his Harpmaster instructional CDs and has improved their chops considerably if they let him sink in to their soul and practiced what he preached. He put it all out there for us. If not go over to his website and order a copy. I haven't visited the website in quite sometime, but I noticed that he has a signature custom Marine Band that he's hawking. Now, that peaked my interest. I'll have to investigate that offer a little more.
So, here I was listening to Jerry Portnoy and it caused me to check around and see if he had anything new recorded that I didn't know about. The first thing I stumbled across was this video and he just knocked my sock off, playing with an Italian band called Guitar Ray and the Blue Gamblers. So to make amends for not praising Portnoy enough around here, well, check this out:
Wow! What a tone monster, huh? Anyway--
James 'Son' Thomas - Beefsteak Blues
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