- Hans Olson | Exclusive interview on Bluesharp Info

Exclusive Interview with Hans Olson

Hans Olson How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ Just Googling harmonica on the internet.

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which bluesharp player would you invite for a jam session?
~ Sonny Terry, Paul Butterfield.

What is your favorite bluesharp brand / type and tell us why?
~ Lee Oskar. Excellent quality. Takes less air to play. Lasts a very long time.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Don't eat right before playing! Also, beer sticks up the reeds.. All sugar drinks stick up the reeds.
Get the Muddy Waters albums with Johnny Winter. These albums were all recorded with the band in tune.. Identify the key and then play along. Lots of great harp and repeated licks to play with.

Whisky wine beer or ...?
~ Whisky sticks up the reeds the least amount.

How do you clean your harps?
~ Run very hot water into both sides and dry with a hair dryer.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ "why do I play the harp upside down?"
The answer is I just didn't know which way it was supposed to be played.. I didn't take lessons of any kind. My first album was out before I actually realized I played upside down. Then I found out my two favorite harp players (Sonny Terry and Paul Butterfield) both played upside down so I didn't feel so bad.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I don't know enough about studio equipment to comment on gear. Line of sight with the engineer is very important. Having your own headphone controls is very important. Lighting control is great so it doesn't have to be so bright in the studio.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I've never been nervous about performing. I'm always excited to go up and play. Zero "stage fright".

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ The first time I opened a show for Muddy Waters and got to hang in the dressing room and talk to him for a long time.
It was like meeting Buddha.

Hans Olson

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Answers given on December 23, 2015