We will use primarily a D harmonica and just a bit on the A harmonica
In this class we will be examining a few of my favorite songs that come from the iconic Junior Wells album Hoodoo Man Blues released in 1965. Each song that will be covered in class is in the key of A and played in 2nd position on a D harmonica. I will not be breaking down all of the harmonica parts in each song but rather key melodies, introductions or select portions of the solos. Here’s a link to the full album on YouTube.
I will cover the intro melody that Junior plays on the instrumental “Chitlens con Carne” which was originally written by Kenny Burrell a few years before Junior Wells recorded his version of this latin jazz influenced melody.
I’ll also touch on “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” which was originally composed and recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson I in 1937. Junior keeps things simple in this song by bringing the introduction lines into the solo.
We will take a listen to “Hoodoo Man Blues” and grab the introduction that Junior plays and take a listen to some parts of the solo for fun so I can help you decode what’s going on. Since “Yonder Wall” is also in A on a D harp, I’d like to grab a few ideas from Junior’s solo on this one as well. .
If time permits, my other favorite tunes on the album are “Snatch it Back and Hold It” and “Ships on the Ocean” which are both in the key of B played on an A harmonica in 3rd position. I’d like to at least take a listen if we can and describe how Junior moves around in 3rd position on these songs. We will not be breaking down anything via tablature on these tunes but rather listening and discussing his approach should be helpful.