Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Best Harmonica You'll Ever Hear

As cool a harmonica as NPR's John Burnett might play, I gotta say, this guy remains my favorite harmonica player. His name is Grandpa Elliot Smalls; he plays outside the French Quarter's Cafe du Monde on weekends (used to be every day, but he's getting older). He's often joined by a younger guy on guitar, named Stoney B. Smalls went to Lubbock, TX after the storm. This interview suggests he's got a sad soul, but he appreciates his fans and, as he made clear to me, is very proud of his harmonica skills. He's also a good singer. The final picture is a woman playing violin with Smalls the first time I saw him, last March. She was quite good - she would play and converse with bystanders at the same time!

I'm posting these because I realized the other day, reading the liner notes to Harry Connick Jr.'s new NOLA CD (a birthday girft from my parents - thanks, Mom!), that the most important thing about New Orleans is its zany culture(s), and I've made very few cultural posts. So here's one now. Photos courtesy Craig Parker of Hanover, NH

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