"I don't always listen to Mark Hummel records, but when I do it's a Harpbreaker."
- Gary Smith
Grammy Award Nominee and Winner of two Blues Music Awards, Mark Hummel started playing harmonica in 1970 and is considered one of the premier blues harmonica players of his generation. Thanks to over thirty recordings since 1985, including the Grammy nominated 2013 release Blind Pig recording Remembering Little Walter (part of the Blues Harmonica Blowout CD series). Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowout™ started in 1991 and have featured every major legend (Mayall, Musselwhite, Cotton, etc.) on blues harp as well as almost every player of note on the instrument - a who's who of players. Read Full Bio
Golden State-Lone Star Revue at Blue Frog Studios
Saved By Harmonica - Exclusive Mark Hummel Interview
by Jaine Rodak
Mark Hummel spent a good part of his life being the odd man out, which is to say, in the minority. And so it was that early on he was immersed in, and gained an appreciation for, the music and culture of races, places and cultures other than his own.
His parents met at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, marrying shortly after graduation. Mark, the first of their three boys, was born in December of 1955.
As with many ministers’ families, the Hummels moved where their father was needed most, often assigned to black and Mexican communities where they were the only, or one of the only, white families in their neighborhood.
Mark’s first memories are of life in Aliso Village, a housing project on the edge of downtown LA. From there, the family moved to east LA.
“I remember a lot about those times,” he says, many of which are tied to an array of babysitters who exposed the boys to soul music and the blues early on. Remembering those radio days, he recalls that, “You could hear Marvin Gaye and Jimmy Reed, R&B and the blues all mixed together.”