Exclusive Interview with Tim Gartland

Tim Gartland How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ A neighbor was playing on his porch and I thought it sounded so cool. I wanted to do that. I was 13 years old and I have been playing ever since.

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which bluesharp player would you invite for a jam session?
~ Little Walter. That would be the guy I would most want to hear live.

What is your favorite blues harp brand / type and tell us why?
~ Seydel 1847. To my ear is just a superior harp. It is more dynamic, the bends can be achieved easier and closer to the true pitch of the note. They last longer.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Make sure you have the passion for playing the harmonica. Have the time it takes everyday to play. Don't blow or dran to hard, you will have better results.

Tongue blocking or lip pursing, what do you prefer and tell us why.
~ I am not sure I have a preference. I do both, which to me allows you the best of both worlds.

Give us the 3 most important albums every (beginning) blues harp player must buy.
~ Junior Wells, "Hoo Doo Man Blues". Big Walter's "Fine Cuts". The "Best of Little Walter"

How do you clean your harps?
~ Hydrogine Peroxide and or water.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Describe your approach to soloing?
I take a vocalized, melodic approach to soloing. I also in thoughtful phrasing, what you don't play can be as important as what you do play.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Hammond B-3, Grand piano, isolation booths, high quality microphones, nice vibe and surrounded by pros.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves?
~ Yes I think it is normal. My ritual is preparation. The more I am prepared the less nervous I am.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career?
~ The last gig I played. Seriously, I love to play and I put everything into every gig I do!

Tim Gartland

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Answers given on May 1, 2017