To me, the harmonica is like a voice.
The harmonica is the most voice-like instrument, you can make it wail, feel happy, or cry. It's like singing the blues without words.
Sometimes the spirit is playing you. I call it following the will of the music, and when that feeling shows up, you just go with it. It's almost like I'm a bystander. I'm watching this happening, and it's not a mental process. It's just spontaneous.
Some players, they have all their licks memorized. They think about what they're going to play, but I try to think about what not to play. Tone and phrasing, that's what's important - less is more. The feeling, that's the thing.
It is secular spiritual music, the gospel blues. It's music from the heart instead of the head.
I love the music, but being on the road ain't a piece of cake, but it is real rewarding. You've got to - all those people can't come to my house, so I've got to go out on the road and play for them.
When (Big) Walter was in the right mood, he could be the most ferocious, the most inventive, the most dangerous harp player I ever heard.
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