From: Winslow Yerxa <;>;
Date: 03 Nov 95 12:27:55 EST
Subject: Popper Harp-L reputation


Andrew Gallagher writes:

I see alot of players name mentioned but not John
Popper, am I the only one who thinks he is incredible?
And how realistic, or easy, is it to cover a Blues
Traveler song?

The widely-held sentiment on the list (at least among those who
voice an opinion; I can't speak for lurkers) is that Popper is an
arrogant noodler.

I happen not to be of that camp. Having met the guy on several
occasions and having transcribed every (groan!) note on the Four
album, I can say he's a much nicer and more interesting
individual than he comes off in print (although he does have a
definite arrogant streak - no point denying that) and that his
playing contains considerable inventive and interesting stuff. Do
I recommend that an advanced beginner or early intermediate
(which I gather you are from your self-description) try his stuff
note for note? Well, you could take a flying stab at it, and it
might be fun, but you're unlikely to get close to his finesse
right away. Most of what he does isn't hard at (extremely) slow
speeds, it's keeping up that's the hard part.

On the other hand, the *songs* aren't hard at all, in terms of
rhythms or playing over a chord progression. Get the FOUR
songbook and a guitar-playing friend (or band) and try mustering
up your own versions.

(By the way, any apparent promotion of that songbook is not
motivated by money. I was paid a flat fee for transcribing the
solos - just a hired hand who did his job and said goodbye).

Winslow Yerxa
Harmonica Information Press

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