Exclusive Interview with Christopher Nacy

Christopher Nacy How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ I was given a harmonica by my brother Matt as a gift. I went to a record store looking for albums which had harmonica in at and came across a James Cotton record called Live & On the Move.

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which bluesharp player would you invite for a jam session?
~ I have already had the opportunity to jam with my two harmonica heroes, Phil Wiggins and Jason Ricci. I would have to say David Morris from Big Dave and the Ultrasonics. The band is no longer together but David is one of the most innovative harp players I have ever heard.

What is your favorite blues harp brand / type and tell us why?
~ Not because I am an official endorser but because of their unique tone, quality and out of the box playability.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Learn your scales fowards, backswards and inside out. Listen to and study he masters but develop your own style. Too many harp players all sound the same.

Tongue blocking or lip pursing, what do you prefer and tell us why.
~ I actually use both depending on what I'm playing. For faster runs I tend to use tongue blocking. For bending notes I use lip pursing.

Give us the 3 most important albums every (beginning) blues harp player must buy.
~ Little Walter, His Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection, Sonny Boy Williamson II, His Best (Chess Records) and of course Izzy and Chris Preachin The Blues Vol 1.

How do you clean your harps?
~ Since I play Seydels and the combs are sealed I usually just rinse them. For a deep cleaning I will disassemble the harp and gently clean the cover plates, comb and reeds using a toothbrush.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Can I pay for your drinks.
My answer would be bartender make it a double.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Izzy and I were actually lucky enough to record our album in the Grammy award winning studio Audible Images located in Pittsburgh PA. I believe what makes an ultimate studio is a combination of having state of the art equipment, a creative environment and people with the technical knowledge and ears to make an artists project a success.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves?
~ I still get nervous before every show. I don't have any specific rituals but a couple shots of tequilla always seems to help.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career?
~ Walking into Moondogs Pub in Blawnox, PA and meeting Izzy Stetar. It was the beginning ouf a musical journey that has allowed me to perform at festivals from Memphis to Kathmandu , record a top 20 blues cd, become an International Blues Competition finalist and a Seydel endorser.

Christopher Nacy

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Answers given on May 8, 2017