From: "Thomas B. Colvin" <;tcolv~ail.asiandevbank.org>;
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 95 09:26:04 MNL
Subject: Popper plays blues...

The Popper thread has sent me into my CD collection to pull out a
blues album apparently unknown on this list. On it, Popper guests on
2 songs -- it's eye-opening. Perhaps the Popper nay-sayers should
give it a listen before passing final judgment.

The disc is titled: TINO -- TWO SIDES OF A HEART. It was put out in
1994 on the Remedy label, RR 6911-2. (Remedy Records, P. O. Box 307,
Paradise, PA 17562, FAX 717-442-8073) The leader is Tino Gonzales --
never heard of him before, but he's good -- I like the album and play
it with some frequency.

While Popper does a quick flight to the upper register, just to
identify himself to those who would recognize his sound and style, he
mostly sticks to the lower side of the harp and plays some nice
soulful stuff -- with some new licks worth stealing. It's not at all
like the standard BT style, but is much more in keeping with the blues
tradition.

Based on this album, I would advise harp-l'ers not to judge the book
by the cover. The four BT albums have established an identifiable
sound and style, but Popper apparently is quite capable of stepping
outside of this envelop.

A couple of thoughts about his reported arrogance. Frankly, I think
it's kind of neat to see an arrogant harp player who has the
capability of making younger fans, potential harp players and other
rock musicians believe him. In the long run, it will help lift the
harmonica a notch or two in the eyes of others. Secondly, I
personally don't find an antagonistic arrogance in his 1994 posting to
the harp-l list. Aside from his declaration that he won't ever attend
a harmonica convention (an understandable, if perhaps uninformed point
of view), what did he say that could be be interpreted as offensive to
other players? In fact, his tale about the old blues player struck me
as indicating that Popper himself has recognized that there's more to
successful music than blazing technique.

Last observation: on the Tino album, there's a second harp player,
Steve Guyger (anyone know about him?), who also appears on two songs
(unfortunately, he's lost in the mix on one of them). Guyger plays
quite creditably in the Chicago tradition, an interesting counterpoint
to Popper on the album.

Thomas "Tomcat" Colvin
Manila, Philippines


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