Exclusive Interview with Mat Walklate

Mat Walklate How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ I discovered the bluesharp around the age of 16. I heard a Sonny Boy Williamson II recording, liked it and asked for a harp for my birthday.

What is your favorite bluesharp brand / type and tell us why?
~ Seydel is my favourite brand. They are well made, very responsive and have an excellent tone. I am also endorsed by Seydel!

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Important tips? Listen to every harp player you can find. Practice a lot!

Tongue blocking or lip pursing, what do you prefer and tell us why.
~ I use lip pursing, tongue blocking and u-blocking, often in the same tune, for the different effects and character each technique achieves.

How do you clean your harps?
~ I tend to clean my harps only when I'm re-tuning. I just scrape off the bigger chunks of lip skin.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Ultimate recording studio: analogue/valve gear, good live room!

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves?
~ Definitely nervous sometimes. Whisky helps!

What was the most memorable day in your musical career?
~ The most memorable day was recording the new album with Paolo Fuschi in February. A great musician, a wonderful studio and contributed to the most enjoyable recording session of my career.

Mat Walklate

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Answers given on April 19, 2016