Well I finally did it! I finished creating one of the most useful tools for Harmonica. For years I have felt there was a void in Backing Tracks for Blues Harp. Most of the tracks I’d heard were too busy like the maker intended them to be interesting to listen to, rather than sort of empty and in great need of a Harmonica or a lead instrument. Some of the better Tracks I’d heard had really good grooves but still had too many instruments and the piano or guitar were doing something I didn’t want to do with that particular groove. I wanted to grab just what the Bass and Drums were doing and get rid of all the rest and have the guitar lay down something basic and groove oriented. So that’s what I did. And then I took it a step further. I decided to use all different beats and record every cool common groove I had heard through years in all the cities and bars. I tried to include every important groove. Then I figured many players would be jamming along in their car so I put songs in the same key next to each other. So you can jam for half a CD without changing the harp. I did this on both discs.
These Harmonica backing Tracks come in a 2 CD Set and are designed to cover every Blues Groove a musician should know and learn. It is a great learning tool for all members of the band, drummers and bass players a like would benefit greatly by learning these particular grooves. They were created for harmonica but are perfect for playing lead blues licks and melodies with any instrument, whether it be harmonica, sax, piano, guitar or anything else playing blues music. They would be excellent for making recordings with and listening to one’s self. (*See below*©) It is important not to break up the set in order to get a complete picture of the Blues. The Titles were carefully chosen, and will help immensely to communicate with drummers and the rhythm section, at jam sessions or gigs, in order for them to understand what you are looking for in a particular groove or song. For example it will help a great deal to know what the difference is between a Jazz Swing and a Texas Shuffle, a Tramp Groove and a Backwards Linda Lou (slang terms used by blues players) and of course names for a bunch of other types of “feel” or groove. I can’t say enough about this project. This is a lifetime of living in different cities and working with countless different musicians and hearing the slang used to communicate feel and ideas without written music. These CD’s are like getting a degree “from the boulevard of the blues”. It will help make anyone “street smart” with the blues.
For a 2 CD set entitled “Every Groove a Bluesman Needs to Know”, just reply to this email and I will send a $39.99 PayPal request, shipping is included, US & Canada, ($5 more for out of country). There are 31 Tracks in all with all kinds of different Beats, Tempos and Grooves. Harmonica Keys A, C & D (2nd Position) will cover most of the Trax, but for the complete set one would need Keys A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F & G to play every Track in cross harp. I hope many to come will enjoy these carefully picked, fun and enthusiastic, Blues Grooves!
Here’s what a few professional harmonica players I sent mp3 samples say. Brendan Powers says, “I'm a Believer! They sound great, natural and swinging :) I'd like to order. Those tracks make me want to pick up my harps and play :)”. Christelle Berthon says, “if the rest of the CD’s is the same as this track this product will be a success I'm sure. It goes beyond any other harmonica backing track I've ever heard”. Adam Gussow says, “I love those two jam tracks you sent me. Great stuff! The rhythms really percolate. Spiky and alive”.
Please let me know if you notice any connection and experience you have after jamming through a whole CD?
I think something magical may happen, this was very important to me. I want it to feel kind of live and real.
You will notice the Trax are not touched up and perfect but left very loose, as they were. You might feel as if you are interacting with the players, this was my goal, along with real grooving and good ‘feel’.Any reactions you have will be appreciated. Try it in your car too. I put several in a row in the same key. I hope this makes it convenient for the car jam.
(* ©These tracks are mixed and ready to record with. Just record your track, pan it to the left (*adjust balance) 46%, set your volume and you will have a great mix. (* 46% pan explained): If you play to these trax and record a harp track with GrooveTrax as your backing band, it will sound good to pan the harp track to the left 40-50%. The guitar is 46% to the right. Panning is the same as “balance” on a stereo. I ask that if you are going to make a CD for sale using these tracks, please pay the 3 musicians what’s called in the Union “another use”. This would be $300 each, a one time fee for all the tracks, (a great deal) or if you only want to use a few tracks $50 per track per musician, $150 ea. *)