Exclusive Interview with Kat Baloun

Kat Baloun How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ I was 13 and it was 1969. Canned Heat, Taj Mahal & John Mayall were very popular and I started to pick it up.  Also, a lot of young boys had garage bands and I wanted to join in.

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

What is your favorite bluesharp brand / type and tell us why?
~ I am gladly endorsed by Hohner. It was my first harp and I like the feel and warm tones.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Practice on your own. Its like finding your own voice.

Whisky wine beer or ...?
~ How does it relate to the harp? In what context. I myself will drink most anything, but only in small amounts when I am working. At home, smoke pot, that might free you up a bit.

How do you clean your harps?
~ Rinse with warm water and rubbing alcohol

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Good question. .... how is it being a woman in a male dominated industry of harp players. My answer, sometimes difficult. I have to prove that I can and sometimes its an advantage as a woman, I have a certain niche and as a woman I think we endure more pain and it comes out raw and sexy.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ A clean bathroom, a well stocked kitchen, a nice area to chill between takes. A pleasant relaxed environment.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ Ha! I was told in the beginning its good to be nervous and that Eric Clapton said it shows you still care. Because I sing as well, I warm up my voice before performances and this helps me to relax. I am usually nervous when I follow a really great harp player, but once on stage and the lights hit and I start to sing it goes away. Even at some sessions I am nervous, but it quickly passes once I am on stage.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ I met Brownie McGee shortly before he died and I and my partner did Key to the Hiway for him.. that we could bring him a little joy while he was in pain. I have had many happy moments, but other than that at the moment I can't remember anything really momentous!

Kat Baloun

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Answers given on March 15, 2016