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Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?

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Zorro 29 Apr 99 - 05:34 AM
Roger in Baltimore 29 Apr 99 - 06:27 AM
Helen 30 Apr 99 - 08:48 AM
Steve Latimer 30 Apr 99 - 10:27 AM
Rick Fielding 30 Apr 99 - 11:09 AM
Roger in Baltimore 30 Apr 99 - 08:22 PM
Rick Fielding 30 Apr 99 - 10:24 PM
Ronn 01 May 99 - 01:18 AM
Lonesome EJ 01 May 99 - 02:12 AM
Rick Fielding 01 May 99 - 11:49 AM
Mudjack 01 May 99 - 12:16 PM
Zorro 01 May 99 - 07:54 PM
Lonesome EJ 02 May 99 - 12:28 AM
JOField 02 May 99 - 04:52 AM
JOField 02 May 99 - 04:53 AM
Mike Billo 02 May 99 - 12:03 PM
Rick Fielding 02 May 99 - 03:47 PM
Lonesome EJ 04 May 99 - 12:13 AM
Roger the zimmer 04 May 99 - 10:46 AM
Mike Billo 04 May 99 - 10:09 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 10 - 09:56 AM
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Subject: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Zorro
Date: 29 Apr 99 - 05:34 AM

I watched Blues Brothers 2000 last night and was reminded of a question I have about the Blues Brothers movie. Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp? I've heard yes and I've heard no.

Zorro.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 29 Apr 99 - 06:27 AM

Zorro,

I have an opinion, but I don't really know. The quality of the harp playing is pretty workman-like, nothing special. This leads me to believe he is really playing the harp. The rest of the band really cooks, professional backup musicians all.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Helen
Date: 30 Apr 99 - 08:48 AM

Okay, so I've got a vision of Dan Ackroyd in Blues Brothers suit and glasses playing a Celtic or a pedal harp like an angel...or like harpo Marx....but I guess you don't mean *that* kind of harp *grin*

Helen


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 30 Apr 99 - 10:27 AM

My understanding is that Dan actually does play. I must give credit to Dan and John Belushi for doing what they could to keep the blues as a viable music form. At the beginning of their shows Dan would say something to the effect of they wanted to people to hear this music before it got to so you could only hear it if you went to your local library. Were they great bluesmen? No. Did they introduce artists like John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Matt Murphy, Cab Calloway to millions of people who may never have otherwise heard them? Indeed, and they must be thanked for that.

I still haven't seen Blues Brothers 2000, is it any good?


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Apr 99 - 11:09 AM

Yup, he sure does. Now whether a non-movie star harp player, would think he was really good , I can't say, but for a number of years Dan and two friends owned a "booze-can" (speakeasy) (illegal watering hole) in the Spadina and Dundas area of Toronto. When he was in town he would show up and blow his brains out on the harp with lots of visiting celebrities.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 30 Apr 99 - 08:22 PM

Only on the Mudcat can you get the inside "skinny" on blues and folk. Thanks for the words Rick!

And are you dodging on your opinion of his harp playing? C'mon, step up to the plate! Take a swing!

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Apr 99 - 10:24 PM

Roger, there have been many great harp players, but c'mon, if it was down to one, just one, someone who could flat out SCARE ya, wouldn't it be Sonny Boy #2?

Okay, I'm going to tell the truth, and forgive me for being a folk snob, but I hated the Blues Brothers! I though Ackroyd and Belushi were fine, funny men, and I don't begrudge them indulging their hobby, but keerist folks it was a comedy skit that got out of hand! I know the movie gave work to some of the blues pioneers, but it just seemed like a silly waste of time to me.

Back to harp players (see, you got me goin') for a moment. Little Walter! Sonny Terry! James Cotton! Junior Wells! Oh boy, could I go on. How 'bout the tone of Mel Lyman (I know he was a lunatic) or John Sebastian, or My God, Woody, with a rack yet!! Wildman Mike Turk, Toronto's Chris Whitely (I got him for two songs on the new album!!) or how 'bout another white kid who could tell the story with his harp..guy named Zimmerman! Even the chromatic...Listen to Larry Adler, and tell me he didn't sit in on the odd blues jam session over 60 years of playing. He'd have gotten respect from Rice Miller even though their music was so different. Shit, I'm totally rambling now. Yank and Hammie!! I got to see them before they passed.....etc. etc. etc.

Sorry about that Roger...oh Ackroyd, I forgot. Pretty decent harp player.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Ronn
Date: 01 May 99 - 01:18 AM

I have played with him on 2 occasions. As a harmonica player he is adequate: no James Cotton but FAR from the worst I have had to endure sitting in at open jams. Ditto for his singing. But as a supporter of the music he loves, he has few peers. He truly puts his money where his mouth is.

As for BLUES BROTHERS 2000, it was not as bad as its reviews or its rapid disappearance from the first run theatres would indicate. But it's out on tape now, and worth an evening's rental so you can decide for yourselves.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 01 May 99 - 02:12 AM

I think Rick's description of Aykroyd's playing as "workman-like" hits the target. I have played blues harmonica for a few years, and Aykroyd is what I call a "spitter", that is, a harp player who uses breath control and mouth position in his playing- he doesn't tongue-block. The greatest degree of precision in harp playing is achieved through a combination of breath-control and tongue-blocking. John Popper with Blues Traveler is probably the all-time champ of the tongue-block, but I think his playing sometimes suffers from his desire to show his technique off. There are three attributes of a great harp player- skill, emotive power and enthusiasm. James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Paul Butterfield exhibit all three in their playing. Others show these attributes, but in lesser measure,ie. Stevie Wonder,Sonny Terry, Junior Wells, even Mick Jagger. Aykroyd, though a middle-weight spitter, had enthusiasm in abundance. Much like yours truly.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 May 99 - 11:49 AM

Good post Lonesome. Now I know this is digressing but..any opinions on Hohner vs. Lee Oskar, or even Huang. I got a couple of Huangs last year and I really like them.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Mudjack
Date: 01 May 99 - 12:16 PM

He blows into the Harmonica and sounds of blues come out, I'd say he's a fine "blues harper". I also wondered about this thread thinking funny man Dan was into Celtic harp. Thanks for the reminder of his blues influences and how well the Blues Brothers play the blues in front of some great blues musicians.

Jack


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Zorro
Date: 01 May 99 - 07:54 PM

Although the plot of Blues Brothers 2000 was much like the original the music was fantastic. I'd watch the movie again just for that. Thanks to all who responded to my inquiry. Z.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 02 May 99 - 12:28 AM

Rick- I haven't really experimented with the Oskar or Huang harps. I saw some Oskar harps which had replaceable reed boards, which I thought was a great idea, since I only get about a years worth out of a harp before the reeds or the cover plates are shot.I've used Hohner's Marine Band and blues models, but the Marine bands have a more clean harmonic that doesn't work well for the blues, though I think it would be great for folk music, Dylan-style.I have worked with the Chromatics, but that requires true musicianship which, I'm afraid, I lack.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: JOField
Date: 02 May 99 - 04:52 AM

A noticable omission in these blues harp listings:

Jimmy Reed (not a lot of notes, but unique tone).


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: JOField
Date: 02 May 99 - 04:53 AM

Oh...another celeb who can hold his own with a harmonica:

Robert Klein, the comedian.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Mike Billo
Date: 02 May 99 - 12:03 PM

I believe the most glaring omission from this discussion of harp players is a man I had the great honor of playing with for several years. The late, great Big Walter "Shakey" Horton. A true giant of the genre, yet his name is consistently omitted when the discussion turns to great Blues harp players. Many nights,I spent on the bandstand with him convinced that I was in the prescence of true genius, yet he seems to be a forgotten man. Charlie Musselwhite often cites Big Walter as his greatest influence (check out the two of them playing together on the "Chicago, the Blues Today" series on Vanguard from the late "60's,), and champions the cause for greater recognition for "Shakey". On any given night, Walter could have blown many of the players mentioned in this thread off the stage. C'mon folks, let's give him some credit.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 May 99 - 03:47 PM

How right you are Mike. In my "stream of harp players" posting I was about to type in Walter Horton's name when I got side tracked. Many years ago I saw Big Walter and Johnny Young (just mandolin and harp) and it was marvellous!


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 May 99 - 12:13 AM

I second the mention of Big Walter Horton. He had a truly unique tone to his playing, and created some wonderful lead harmonica lines.Ever hear Jimmie Rodgers' "Walkin by Myself"? Horton was Rodgers' harp player on the tune, and performed one of the best harp solos I've ever heard.

I have also always admired John Mayall's playing. Great "feel" and great rhythm harp behind his consistently amazing lead guitar players.I saw him about two years ago at The Little Bear, a famous little Roadhouse Bar in Evergreen, CO. He was touring in a panel truck which he helped load at the end of the show. The guy must be 65, but looks 49.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 04 May 99 - 10:46 AM

What about actor John Goodman- he appears to play blues harp in a couple of episodes of Roseanne I've seen? Is he just miming to the musician who does the sig. tune or does he really play?


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: Mike Billo
Date: 04 May 99 - 10:09 PM

The harp player you hear in the "Roseanne" theme song is John "Juke" Logan, who has appeared on the show several times. To the best of my knowledge, Goodman doesn't play harp, but he does play guitar.


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Subject: RE: Does Dan Aykroyd really play the harp?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 09:56 AM

yes he really plays the harmonica and i think he's pretty good he has been playing since he was 17. the kid in blues brothers 2000(buster) however does not that was prerecorded and he acted over it!


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