Exclusive Interview with Wallace Coleman

Wallace Coleman How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ Listening to radio station WLAC out of Nashville, Tennessee, when I was about 13 years old.

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

What is your favorite blues harp brand / type and tell us why?
~ I like the Hohner Deluxe. I like the deep sound it has.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Get all the records you can by Little Walter and by Sonny Boy Williamson II for listening. Jimmy Reed records to listen and to begin to play his simple but unique style.

Tongue blocking or lip pursing, what do you prefer and tell us why.
~ I am a lip player. It lets me play all styles.

Give us the 3 most important albums every (beginning) blues harp player must buy.
~ Best of Little Walter; Best of Sonny Boy Williamson; Best of Jimmy Reed

How do you clean your harps?
~ Tap them on clean towel. Qtips. I never put them in water.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ What is missing in Blues music today? Answer: The feel is missing.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Small but not too small so that the band can play live in the room together. A good piano and a good set of drums.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves?
~ No.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career?
~ I have 2. The first was the first night I played with Robert Jr. Lockwood in a club. The second was Robert's band on stage at King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas and on stage playing with us was Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Rogers, James Cotton, Johnny Shines and Robert Jr. Lockwood.

Wallace Coleman

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Answers given on August 18, 2016