Paul Oscher Playing Melodica with Muddy Waters

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  • #10836
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Melodicans,

    I was watching some old performances of Muddy Waters’ band and low and behold there is Paul Oscher playing melodica with Waters in 1972. Go to 13:50 and about 18:30 on the video.

    Paul Oscher playing melodica

    Then on Paul’s website, he says:

    Q: Does any of your equipment date back to your time in Muddy’s band?

    A: Yes, I have a road case that was given to me by Muddy and it was bigger then my attaché case I’d been using for my harps. It’s 20in x14in x 9in. I might sell it if a get a big enough offer. I also have a guitar that was given to me by Muddy, but I’m not selling that anytime soon. I needed a bigger case to hold a Hohner 36 melodica and my harps and mic. Muddy liked that melodica — he called it a piano harp and I recorded with it through a Leslie speaker; it sounds just like a Hammond B3. By the way, I was the first to use melodica in the blues.

    Lowboy

    #10840
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    What a great find! That’s probably a Hohner Piano 36, you think? The melodica sounds good, but there’s this Western Massachusetts guy who has significantly raised the blues melodica bar of late.

    #10867
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Yes, Piano 36. He says so in his answer during the interview.

    Lowboy

    #10873
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    When I went to Havana two months ago, as I think I mentioned earlier, I took a Hohner HM-927 (first Piano 27) with me and gave it to a singer/guitarist at Patio de la EGREM. It was “guitar night” and he was one of the terrific players, whose name I unfortunately did not get. I took that model because it’s a classic and was easiest to fit in my suitcase.

    Also, I got three sets of claves for $10 each (a staggeringly expensive upgrade from the regular $6 model). They all sound different, and so I was able to pick up ones whose sound was good. I have two pairs away when I got home, keeping the best sounding after careful comparisons — also quite nice looking. Same pair in different exposures:


    #10874
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Here’s the guy:

    #10876
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Alan, you are a true ambassador for the melodica. Sounds like you had a great trip. I trust you have seen the Bueno Vista Social Club documentary with Ry Cooder about the music and musicians in Cuba. If not, I can recommend it wholeheartedly. It was captivating.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #10877
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I’ve had the CD for years. It’s one of my favorites. I ordered the DVD when I got back from Cuba. Buena Vista Social Club was recorded at EGREM Studios, THE recording studio in Cuba with its main studio at the location we visited. The musicianship of players at the club all three nights was phenomenal. And those people are very friendly!

    #10878
    AvatarJerry Ballard
    Participant

    I visited EGREM last year when we went to the Jazz Festival. Also went to the now physical manifestation of the social Club, at the former rehearsal studio/school for the Cuban National Ballet. Touristy as hell, but a lot of fun and great musicians.

    #10879
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    The club at EGREM wasn’t at all touristy the three evenings we were there. The club was pretty full, but so far as I could tell, my wife and I were the only tourists there. Well, Americans can’t actually be tourists in Cuba. We were there under the category “Support for the Cuban People.”

    #10880
    AvatarJerry Ballard
    Participant

    Might have been because it was during Jazz Festival. Don’t get me wrong. We loved it.
    (Although it was a great place to go if you don’t drink… The Cuba Libras and Mojitos were scarce on alcohol. ) 😄
    We loved Cuba. People need to go to understand what US spiteful ness does in the world.

    #10881
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Yes, Jerry. Not to get political, but “spitefulness” is exactly the right word for U.S. policy toward Cuba. The effects of it are so obvious when one visits Havana, especially in the living conditions and in the infrastructure. Still, everyone who learned that we were Americans was most gracious to us. Lovely people. The Mojitos and Libras are definitely nothing to write home about, but the beer is quite good!

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