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Blowin' My Horn

Mark Hummel

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Album Review

Mark Hummel is a hell of a harmonica player, and a more than half-decent singer. This live outing, pulled from two Canadian dates in September 2003, shows him and his band in very tight form, but relaxed enough to enjoy the party. If you're looking for deep, hard blues, this isn't really the place, although he does dive down for some emotion on "Lost a Good Man." Mostly, however, Hummel keeps it light, as with "My Back Scratcher" or the audience-participation standard "Willie and the Hand Jive." When he's not singing, he gives plenty of room to his playing. He's a good instrumentalist, sometimes quite exceptional, with a strong command of the development of a solo, as on the opening "Rockin' All the Time" or the closer, "The Creeper," James Cotton's workout, where the boogie rolls smooth as silk and Hummel's harp is in overdrive. It's impossible not to enjoy this album — the band was obviously having a great deal of fun playing — but at the same time it won't change your life. Take it for what it is, a record to enliven any party, and you won't be disappointed.


Born: December 15, 1955 in New Haven, CT

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Harmonica player, songwriter, and singer Mark Hummel is a practitioner of the West Coast blues style, which typically includes elements of jazz and swing. A seasoned bandleader, Hummel achieved wider recognition through nearly constant touring. Hummel was born in New Haven, Connecticut but raised in Los Angeles, California. He became fascinated with the blues-rock of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Rolling Stones. After seeing songwriter credits on the albums, he...
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Blowin' My Horn, Mark Hummel
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