Various Artists

Classic Harmonica Blues

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Matthias Hohner, a clockmaker by trade, began making harmonicas in Germany in the 1850s, and it became a popular instrument in America in the first decade of the 1900s, particularly among African-American musicians, who embraced the instrument's expressive versatility, inexpensive cost, and complete portability, and it was soon in widespread use among blues musicians. This set, the 21st release in the Smithsonian Folkways Classic Series and compiled and annotated by Barry Lee Pearson and Jeff Place, features some of the great vernacular harmonica players of the 20th century, with tracks drawn from the extensive Folkways Records archives and from live performances recorded at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival by Sonny Terry, Doctor Ross, Eddie Burns, Phil Wiggins, and others who made the harmonica their own.

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