I've always been a big fan of Annie Raines. She got one wail of a big tone on the harmonica, whether she's playing acoustic pre-war blues with her partner, Paul Rishell, or flat out, gutbucket, fat and greasy amplified blues harp. I was about to say that she's got the fattest tone of any woman that I've heard, but that would be misleading....she has as fat a tone and anyone in the game; male or female. Think Big Walter, no really, she can whom the deep stuff. I've got several of her recorded examples around the house, but one that stands out is her performance at one of Mark Hummel's Blues Blowout, where she holds her own with all the gentlemen on the bill. Anyway, now she shares what she knows on a set of instructionals Without further ado, I simply pass along the press release announcing what has to be a valuable resource to assist us harp players in gettin' it down better.
W.C. HANDY AWARD WINNER & LEADING FEMALE HARMONICA PLAYER ANNIE RAINES RELEASES FIRST INSTRUCTIONAL INTERACTIVE VIDEO SOFTWARE "BLUES HARMONICA BLUEPRINT" ON TRUEFIRE JULY 31
68 VIDEO LESSONS AND 263 MINUTES OF INSTRUCTION MAKE THIS MOST COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTION TO DATE
Blues Music Award winner and foremost of only a handful of female harmonica players Annie Raines has recorded the most comprehensive harmonica instruction to date and the only interactive video format with "Blues Harmonica Blueprint" with 263 minutes of instruction, 68 video lessons, and over 75 charts. It will be available as interactive video software available via DVD-R or download July 31. Raines is eminently qualified to teach as harmonica legend James Cotton calls Raines “James Cotton Junior” and Muddy Waters sideman Pinetop Perkins said, “She plays so good it hurts."
Presented for the beginner to advanced intermediate player, this revolutionary video drills deeper and wider than any blues harmonica course ever published. Over two years in the making, with hundreds of hours dedicated just to the visual notation guides and animations, "Blues Harmonica Blueprint" features animated graphics showing where the notes are as they're being played; detailed video breakdowns of songs and exercises; text descriptions; live band jam tracks so you can play along with a blues combo including guitarists Paul Rishell & Troy Gonyea; an adjustable metronome; and a guitar tuner in multiple tunings.
One of the challenges of teaching harmonica is that one cannot see what a harp player is doing and TrueFire's animation over the footage of Raines cuts through that barrier.
Finally, Raines teaches solos and repertoire in the styles of blues harmonica masters such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Big Walter Horton, Jimmy Reed, and Little Walter.
Having learned from Jerry Portnoy who has toured with Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton, Raines has performed on three Susan Tedeschi albums and with John Sebastian over her distinguished twenty-five year career. She has been the touring and recording partner of Paul Rishell for over twenty years. They have released six albums together, including the W.C. Handy Award-winning 'Moving to the Country.'
Over the past 20 years, TrueFire has worked with over 600 top artists and educators building what Guitar Player magazine calls "the planet's largest and most comprehensive selection of guitar lessons. Over 220,000 students from 140 countries are enrolled in various TrueFire educational programs"
For more information on Annie Raines or "Blues Harmonica Blueprint," please contact Nick Loss-Eaton firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.541.1130.
As of May 30, 2008, I retired as a high school teacher with 29 years of sharing my knowledge of journalism, English, and world geography with Texas teenagers and eventually some of their kids (including three of my own).
This blog will provide a piece of the answer to the question I've been asked for the millionth time, "Well, what are you going to do now?"
#1 Son, John Bush, designed the title artwork several years ago and it is remarkably appropriate for this blog. Try this as a contact e-mail: rkbush51 at att dot net.