Blues Harp (Harmonica)
We were and are honoured to have David as guest blues Harp. He
regularly joins us at The Prince of Wales Feathers, Castor near
Peterborough, long may it continue!
David's interest in the blues started in his mid teens. It was the
time of The Yardbirds, Long John Baldry and, of course, John Mayall plus
many more bands of the 60's and early 70's. There was a lively music
scene in his hometown of Basingstoke at this time. At school he had
learned to play the clarinet, badly, but made it to the school
'Though the guitar was king, David couldn't quite manage the chord
shapes and the harmonica called - especially with heroes like Sonny Boy
Williamson, Little Walter and Cyril Davies to learn from. At College in
Portsmouth he played at student 'folk' nights and also helped organise
gigs at the Student Union with bands like Status Quo.
The need to work meant the harps were put away for some years, until
in the early '80's when he dug some out to jam with local bands in the
New Forest area.
Moving to Peterborough in late 1984, David was amazed at the live music
scene in the local pubs. This rekindled the urge to play again and it
was a question of blagging his way into performing with whoever was on
at The Gladstone Arms, The Crown or wherever - with acts like the
Davison-Woods band, Lloyd Watson & others and joining in with some
local folk/blues nights at places such as The Decoy at Newborough and
The Bell at Stilton.
It was in Peterborough he received his first money for performing -
He soon also became involved with a group of people at work who were
interested in starting a band and 'Hard to Swallow' (it was) was formed.
Lots of jamming turned into serious gigging, at the Cherry Tree, Hudsons
etc. but the band eventually moved in musical directions, which did not
interest David, so he left - "HTS" are still gigging.
Another 'just for fun' band then followed, playing in a mate's garage
- and so 'Tony's Garage' were formed, playing a mix of blues, pop and
some of their own songs, at local wedding receptions, parties, charity
gigs and the village fete.
Tony's Garage eventually had to wind up as band members moved away but
David has continued blagging his way on stage with local performers,
like the one-Eyed-Cats, in local pubs - old habits die hard .... (Thank
Sadly Died in March 2003.
- Sonny Boy Williamson
- Little Walter
- Paul Jones
- Keith Relf
- Paul Lamb
- Charlie Musselwhite
- John Mayall
- Eric Clapton
- Bonnie Raitt
- Muddy Waters
- John Lee Hooker
- Robert Cray
Keep breathing and bending the notes now and again