Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowout™


The 30th Harmonica Blowout will feature Magic Dick, Sugar Ray Norcia, Anson Funderburgh, Bob Welsh, John Nemeth, Aki Kumar, Randy Bermudes and Wes Starr.


Harmonica Blowout History

Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout™ started on a Sunday night in 1991 at Ashkenaz in Berkeley with four harmonica players - Rick Estrin, Mark, Dave Earl and Doug Jay.  Each player performed a twenty to thirty minute set and everyone jammed together with Hummel’s Blues Survivors as backup.  Over the next five years it grew to become a multi venue event around California and included bigger names like William Clarke, Norton Buffalo and Paul DeLay.   By the year 2000 the Blowout was headlining Yoshi's in Oakland as a four night show with Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, James Harman and Billy Branch.  These shows were recorded for Mountain Top Records.  

Since then it’s become a who’s who of older and younger players, black, white, male and female, national and international.  From icons like Snooky Pryor, Carey Bell, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, John Mayall, John Hammond, Little Sonny, Lazy Lester, Billy Boy Arnold, Sam Myers, Corky Siegel, Magic Dick, Huey Lewis, Lee Oscar, Jerry Portnoy, Howard Levy and Paul Oscher to younger players like Sugar Ray Norcia, Jason Ricci, Son Of Dave, Aki Kumar, Curtis Salgado, Kenny Neal, RJ Mischo, Sugar Blue, Annie Raines, Carlos Del Junco, just to name a few. 

The selection of guitarists has also been a stunner including Duke Robillard, Rusty Zinn, Bob Welsh, Little Charlie Baty, Anson Funderburgh, Jr. Watson, Billy Flynn, Steve Freund, Mike Keller and many more.  

In 2013 the tribute to Little Walter Blowout was recorded for a CD on Blind Pig Records called Remembering Little Walter.  This recording was nominated for a Grammy award and won two Blues Music Awards ( Album of the Year and Best Traditional Blues Recording). 

Year after year Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowout™ continues to play festivals nationally and internationally as well as sold out venues coast to coast.

MAGIC DICK is the original harp man from the J. Geils Band, whose many hits flooded the airwaves during the 1970s and 1980s. Chart-toppers like "FreezeFrame", "Centerfold", "First I Look At The Purse", "Must a Got Lost", "Give It To Me" and Magic Dick's own "Wammer Jammer" were in the Top Ten off and on for 20 years and made them one of the few top bands(other then WAR) that featured a harmonica prominently in the frontline. Dick went on to start "Bluestime" with J. Geils after the original band broke up, making two CDs for Rounder Records.

BILLY BOY ARNOLD  Starting in the early 1950s, he joined forces with street musician Bo Diddley and played harmonica on the March 2, 1955 recording of the Bo Diddley song "I'm a Man" released by Checker Records. The same day as the Bo Diddley sessions, Billy Boy recorded the self-penned "You Got to Love Me" which was not released until the box set, Chess Blues 1947-1967, in 1992. In 1993, he released the album Back Where I Belong on Alligator Records, followed by Eldorado Cadillac (1995). In 2012, he released Blue and Lonesome and in 2014, he was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year category.

CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE  is one of the most recognized names in Blues harmonica. Born in 1944 , Musselwhite has traveled the long road from backwoods Mississippi to a teenaged upbringing in Memphis, where he first heard and learned the blues from it's originators. On to the south side of Chicago, Charlie served his apprenticeship with Johnny Young & Big Walter Horton. By the mid '70s he & Paul Butterfield were the two trendsetting white bluesblowers in the biz. In the mid-'90s Charlie Musselwhite signed with Alligator Records and had a string of successful recordings. Musselwhite has recently hit his stride with Real World (Peter Gabriel's label) -- his newest being Delta Hardware, a throwback to his early '60s sound with a little funky Mississippi mud in the grooves. Charlie Musselwhite has received several Grammy nominations and won 19 W.C. Handy Awards. Not bad for a southern country boy from Kosciusko, MS.  

Lee OskarLEE OSKAR  was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, moved to the States in the late sixties,and along with Eric Burdon,went on to become a founding member of the soul-funk-rock group WAR. Hits like "Lowrider", "World Is A Ghetto", "Spill The Wine", "Me And Baby Brother", and "Slippin Into Darkness" were huge records that got national airplay coast to coast and stayed high up in the charts for months. Oskar's unique approach to harmonica has earned him the distinction of being voted 1976's Instrumentalist Of The Year in three major music publications, Billboard, Cashbox and Record World. Lee went on to start the Lee Oskar Harmonica company in 1983,which is second only to Hohner Harmonicas in popularity and sales.