Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout celebrates 30 years in January 2022. The Blowout started on a Sunday night in 1991 at Ashkenaz in Berkeley with four harmonica players – Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Dave Earl and Doug Jay. Throughout the years, the traveling blues show has featured many of the top Harp Blowers, including Huey Lewis, John Mayall, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, Magic Dick, Lee Oskar, Jerry Portnoy, Corky Siegel, Jason Ricci, Howard Levy, Lazy Lester, Carey Bell, Snooky Pryor, Billy Boy Arnold, Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, Sugar Ray Norris, James Harman, Paul DeLay, Sam Myers, Norton Buffalo, Curtis Salgado, Carlos Del Junco and Gary Primich. The guitar chair is equally stunning with Elvin Bishop, Duke Robillard, Anson Funderburgh, Jr Watson, Steve Freund, Little Charlie Baty, Billy Flynn, Rusty Zinn, Bob Welsh and Charles Wheal.
2022's 30th Annual Blues Harmonica Blowout is a Tribute to Big Walter "Shakey" Horton -- one of the most revered Chicago Blues Blowers. Willie Dixon called him "THE GREATEST Harmonica Player I EVER HEARD IN BLUES!!!"…and Dixon recorded with Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson & Jimmy Reed. Big Walter is rumored to have schooled both Sonny Boy & Little Walter. He was known to have the deepest tone of them all, both amplified and acoustic. Charlie Musselwhite commented that "Shakey would be really Happy about this Blowout."
Harmonica Blowout Producer, Grammy nominee/Blues Award winner/author/podcaster/harp man MARK HUMMEL started playing harmonica in 1970 and has gone on to become one of the premier blues harmonica players of his generation. Hummel's been featured on over thirty recordings since 1985, including the Grammy-nominated 2013 release Blind Pig recording "Remembering Little Walter" (a recording of a Hummel Blues Harp Blowout.) "Mark Hummel came of age in the early '70s, at the height of rock and roll, like many of his peers went and bought a harmonica and hasn't stopped playing since. A specialist in West Coast Blues he's a seasoned showman who knows more than a thing or two about how to please an audience." (The New Yorker)
KIM WILSON - Singer, harmonica master, Grammy Nominated for 2022, BMA winning leader of The FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS is known to all harp freaks as the leading exponent of mastery on the instrument and a great vocalist. Kim has recorded with a who’s who of talent-Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Mark Knopfner, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Rogers, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, Jimmy Reed Hyway, Luther Tucker and many more. Tbirds scored two big hits in the mid-80s with Tough Enuff and Wrap It Up!( on all dates but 1/7-8/22)
San Jose native GARY SMITH has left a large imprint on the Bay Area scene. Starting out in early '70s. Smith's been called “The Godfather Of South Bay Blues” because of his longtime influence on the scene. Robbin Ford, Jr Watson, Ron Thompson and Steve Gomes (John Lee Hooker & most recently Fab Tbirds) all got their start with Gary Smith. Smith brought to SF and backed Otis Rush, John Lee Hooker, Charles Brown, Mike Bloomfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Nick Gravenities (who called Gary Smith his favorite harp man), Luther Tucker and many others. Smith put together the historic Blue Bay LP in 1977 w/Musselwhite, Tucker, Ron Thompson, HiTide Harris, Sonny Rhodes, Robert Lowery and others. Because Smith stopped touring years back, his recordings have become sought after by harp fans worldwide!!
CURTIS SALGADO- is the Northwest’s phenom known for his soaring voice and adventurous harmonica work, plus inspiring John Belushi to create the Blues Brothers while John was filming Animal House in Eugene, OR. Salgado got his start as co-vocalist in Robert Cray Band in its first five years, two years in Roomful Of Blues, a short Santana stint and a superstar run as a solo act in the NW for three decades. After signing up with Alligator Records in 2012, Curtis’s name is becoming world renown. Curtis has had a number of health issues over the last 15 yrs but has miraculously survived both liver cancer( a new liver) and a quadruple bypass! Salgado has won 7 BMAs over the last ten years( on all dates but 1/10 & 1/14)
SUGAR RAY NORCIA- Singer,harp man and three time Grammy Nominee Sugar Ray Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray and the Bluetones with guitar giant Ronnie Earl and it has stayed there ever since.Norcia has received a total of twenty seven Blues Music Award Nominations including winning two Blues Music Awards in 2014 and has appeared on over sixty albums.In 2012 Ray was inducted into Rhode Island’s Music Hall of Fame.In 2016 Sugar Ray and his band The Bluetones released a CD called “Seeing Is Believing”. Sugar Ray was nominated for an unprecedented seven 2017 Blues Music Awards including Traditional Blues Male Artist and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year! In 2020 Sugar Ray and the Bluetones Featuring Little Charlie Baty recorded a new CD on Severn Records called “Too Far From The Bar”. This CD was nominated for five Blues Music Awards.In 2021 Sugar Ray and his band won the prestigious Blues Blast Music Award for Best Blues Band.
AKI KUMAR - is the creator of Bollywood Blues, as he hails from Mumbai ( Bombay), India. Aki moved to the San Jose, CA as a teen, worked for big Tech in his late 20s only to chuck it for a blues harmonica. He has since become a sensation thanks to inventive blending of traditional blues with Bollywood songs, plus writing many of his own creations. Aki has become both a great harp blower and a charismatic performer. Kumar is signed to Sony Music India and records here for Little Village Foundation. Kumar’s latest is ZINDAGI.
Guitarist DUKE ROBILLARD founded the band Roomful of Blues in 1967 and was a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Although Robillard is best known as a rock and blues guitarist, he also plays jazz and swing. Duke spent over a decade with Roomful of Blues before departing and becoming the guitarist for singer Robert Gordon, then a member of the Legendary Blues Band. He started the Duke Robillard Band in 1981, eventually adopting the name Duke Robillard and the Pleasure Kings, with whom he toured throughout the 1980s and recorded for Rounder Records. Duke became a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1990. He formed a duo with jazz guitarist Herb Ellis and the swing trio New Guitar Summit with Gerry Beaudoin and Jay Geils and briefly in 2013, he was the guitarist for Bob Dylan's tour and played on his album Time Out Of Mind. With his forthcoming album. it Duke will have recorded 36 albums under his own name and over 60 with other artists.
ANSON FUNDERBURGH is one of the toughest Texas guitarists on the scene. After playing 20 yrs with Blind Sam Myers in Anson and the Rockets, recording loads of Black Top Records releases both under his own name and backing other artists like Snooks Eaglin, James Thunderbird Davis, Earl King, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Delbert McClinton, Boz Scaggs and others. The Rockets took home 12 Handy Awards( pre-BMA) in 1990. Former Rocket’s bassist Mike Judge ( and Hummel’s bassist before that) is rumored to have based Beavis on Anson’s hair and sense of humor! From 2012 till now Anson has been a part of Golden State Lone Star Revue w/Charlie Baty (before he passed in 2020), Hummel, Starr and RW Grigsby. This group recorded two CDs for ElectroFi Records.
BOB STOGER - Born in 1930 in MO before moving to Chicago in 50s, is an American electric blues bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has worked with many blues musicians, including Eddie King, Otis Rush, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Buster Benton, Homesick James, Mississippi Heat, Snooky Pryor, Odie Payne, Fred Below, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Billy Davenport. Bob has won two Blues Music Awards in 2011 & 2013. Stroger has appeared in four Blues Documentaries including "Sideman", a theatrical release as well as being Grammy nominated. Bob won a Grammy in 2011 for Joined At The Hip w/Pinetop Perkins & Willie Smith!
Drummer WES STARR's resume includes long stints with every Texas act of merit-Asleep At The Wheel, Marcia Ball, Delbert McClinton, Omar and the Howlers, Anson and the Rockets w/Sam Myers, Jimmy Reed Hyway
(w/Jimmy Vaughan and Omar), Jr Brown, Mason Ruffner, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Mose Allison and Tiny Tim!
Keyboardist BOB WELSH - doubles on guitar and bass, a triple threat indeed. Bob plays as Elvin Bishop’s sidekick in Big Fun Trio, sometime guitarist to Charlie Musselwhite and pianist to Kim Wilson’s solo projects. Bob’s been part of the Blowouts since 2002.