Modern blues

Can anyone point me in the direction of some modern blues… Stuff that’s not stick in the 50’s or early 60’s.

It’s there a more modern version of the blues harp music. All I seem to hear is regurgitated versions of old blues classics. For the blues to live on surely there must be newer stuff we need to be exposed to.


Hi Dai @Dai

I see your point, but I think one factor here is the difficulty mastering the ten hole Richter harp. My best guess is that Howard Levi and perhaps Filip Jers and Jason Ricci are the current leaders here.

If you move your aim into the area of jazz blues then chromatic players enter the picture as well (and Filip Jers again is a current master here, but there are others too).

Is this what you are looking to find?

– Slim :sunglasses:


Try the blues/rock group WSNB. Start with “Break My Chain”.


Will do

@Slim It could be I suppose what I’m looking for is new modern song writing within the Blues harmonica and Blues… I don’t see the Blues adapting. There again I could be looking in the wrong places.

I’m a big fan of Jason’s lessons not a big fan of his Blues.


Hello @Dai,
Why are you looking for more modern blues?
Write and play your own blues song!
This allows you to combine your basics / development with music theory.
Might not be perfect yet! But I tried it and it’s just fun!

Regards Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


@AstridHandbikebee63 I just don’t want to see an art form fade into oblivion.


A few harp players come to mind for blues that aren’t just 50’s and 60’s cover tunes.

Steve “West” Weston from your side of the pond. Probably the best Little Walter style player.

Rick Estrin - my old friend from teen years growing up in San Francisco. Creative song writer and one of the best Sonny Boy style players

Mátyás Pribojszki from Hungary - good blues, great playing, and Eastern European influences on the music

Flávio Guimarães and Thiago Cerveira, each from Brazil. Both have a very fresh and broad approach to music. They play traditional blues and way beyond.


familiar with most of those. Not heard of the Hungarian guy, will have to look up Wes’s more modern stuff. Only heard him do the covers on YouTube. @BnT cheers for the heads up.

Sorry I have heard of the Hungarian guy. He did the demo of the bluexlab peddle


kev I’ll down then later when I’m on the the computer

My wife did the booking for me. Many times she was told that my music doesn’t fit their series. My wife replied; “Corky has been working his whole life trying to come up with things that don’t fit your series.” LOL! All the players mentioned above are great.


@Corky_Music Nice one!


If you do find modern blues artists they most likely have been inspired by the old classics. A good way to update a blues sound is to create one of your own


We are all influenced by the musicians of the past. Being influenced is one thing. Just plain regurgitating the musicians of the past is another.

Paul Butterfield took the genre up a level back in the 60/70’s, John Popper is another harp player that’s taken the harp to modern a standard. No doubt there are others. Will Wilde is another.

The Blues needs to evolve otherwise it’s simply going to fade away. Which would be a shame.

I’m still a beginner and still learning and yes when my skill level increases I shall be making a conscious effort to be a more modern Blues player.

A good example is Bruce Willis and his cover of Robben/Robin Fords Tenth Avenue Tango. Where he takes a fairly modern guitar tune and adapts it to the harp. We need more of this instead of just regurgitating old classics.

Guitar player don’t seem to have a problem adapting the Blues to sound more modern, so why do harmonica players.


it’s a good practice to strive to improve by listening to the greats and using parts that fit your own musical approach. My all time favorite is Richard Salwitz ( Magic Dick) who was inspired by Little Walter, but even Pat Ramsey played a more modern rendition of Whammer jammer. As far as regurgitating the old stuff, it’s good to know how to play it when doing a gig. If the audience wants it and enjoys it who are we to keep them from something enjoyable?


Nothing wrong with the old classics. My personal favourite is Help Me by Sonny Boy. I wouldn’t want to say this was my ultimate achievement though.

IMHO the Blues (harmonica) needs to evolve or it will eventually just die, by getting smaller and smaller, and it would be our own fault for not evolving as players.


I agree, Astrid
Tired of what you are hearing? create what you want to hear…


personally I truly doubt blues harmonica is just going to whither up and die. Like other genres each new generation rediscovers it, gets interested, then researches the source of the original sound then a resurgence occurs, and new artists put their own creative and modern spin on what they know. Thus it evolves.


Your scenario sounds wonderful except it doesn’t reflect reality. That’s why organisations like
exist and harmonicauk. They both exist to promote harmonica to stop it from dieing out. I recently joined harmonica UK coffee morning and all the participants are in there 60/70’s no youngsters at all.

Youngsters aren’t picking up the harmonica as they did years ago.

Take hip hop as far as I know there is only one guy who uses harmonica in the whole genre.

Ask yourself this. How much of modern music uses the harmonica. Very little.

nice subtle harp from Gerry portnoi I think.

More subtle Harp from Texas. Mark Feltham on Harp (Nine Below Zero)


If my observations are not totally incorrect, youngsters are not picking up (fill-in-the-blank with a music instrument of your choice) as they did years ago! :face_with_monocle: :flushed:

There are many theories about why this is happening. For example:

  1. They give up too quickly, thinking that it is too much work
  2. Attention span is too short because of social media, etc.
  3. There are simply too many other “fun” activities available today that do not require any practice,work, perseverance, etc.

What is your theory? BTW, this question is directed to all forum members.

– Slim :sunglasses: