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Greg Smith's Interview
with Blin' Pinky Detroit - Part 2
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Blin': Nex' question: Is thair any notable (pardon the pun) difference b'tween a harmonica and a mouth organ?

Greg: Most definitely (waxing lyrical). A harmonica is called a harp and it's a brass reeded, wind instrument, related to an accordion, used for playing the Blues. On the contrary, a mouth organ is a tiny thing, one of a pair, at the rear of the buccal cavity that is commonly known as a tonsil, which is usually removed by means of a tonsillectomy during early childhood (Courtesy of Mrs Bidgood's Std 8 to 10 Biology class - I had a tonsillectomy too, so weh!!).

Blin': Whoopee-doo!!! Now tell me. Which great harp players influenced yo' playin' over the years while you was payin' yo' dues?

Greg: Mr Detroit, the bold, stark truth is that I never did learn any licks from a single harmonica player ever, even if they/ were ;he /was (delete as applicable) married ("Jy lieg jou bliksem!!").

Blin': Where d'you learn the blues then what with bein' in Africa an' all?

Greg: (South Afri-blimmin'-ca if you don't mind!) I spent years listening to guitarists, gospel groups, organ players and singers (I still do) and how they expressed the blues, must have influenced me.

Blin': So that's how you paid your dues?

Greg: Zig-zag-ly

Blin': What use is a blues harp player in a blues band if at all? (A fat cheek he's got!).

Greg: (I grab his nip and take a fat hit myself) It works like this: When the guitarist blows the audience away with his hot licks and mean chops, then I just suck them straight back!!!

Blin': (Staring at his hugely depleted harry) D'you think that he takes offence?

Greg: I couldn't care less, even if he takes the whole blimming wall!

Blin': Well I never did

Greg: Me neither and I don't even drink, 'cause I was brung up proper. But that ridiculous burning sensation all the way down my oesophagus sure makes me pray with fervour. (Biology class again). What's that stuff anyway, Methyl Ethyl Keytone? (Chemistry Class this time)

Blin': I sense that you have a moustache. What's with the facial hair Mister? (How'd he know that?)

Greg: It reminds me of my granny who always prayed for me on her knees, right up until the very day that she died. She had one too. Oh by the way, how did you know that I have a moustache?

Blin': I c'n smell it, I tell ya smells like rancid ratatouille. (It's actually butter nut soup, but anyway,   how's this oke's French - not bad, hey?)

Greg:  Thangzzz

Blin': Now tell me, since we've resolved the old fashioned, rancid, moustache issue. What's a harp player's worst nightmare at a regular Gig?

Greg: There are only three, really .

Blin': Is that all? Let's have 'em then.

Greg: Gyppo Guts, Marmite and Garlic.

Blin': What!!!? ('Pardon?")

Greg: I said, Gyppo Guts, Marmite and common or garden Garlic.

Blin': Okay, I hear ya (Adjusts his Panama and takes his shades off for effect) Start at number one, will ya?

Greg: Gyppo guts is a tough one in the middle of a long drawn out solo because it robs the solo of it's well deserved dynamics in that, I'm unable to apply any meaningful pressure to any particular solemn blues note for any length of time for fear of soiling my pants in public again.

Blin': Again? Hmmm Keep on

Greg: Marmite is the easiest way to tell any normal blues harp player apart from absolutely anyone else, including a fellow musician of any description or in any other genre. Y' see, this phenomenon is peculiar to the blues.

Blin': How's that then?

Greg: It just seems to have this rather nasty habit of showing up in the underpants in the unmistakeable form of a rear-panel, elongated, vertical, brown stain and so, for the very best results, we harp players always insist on doing our own washing in the short break between sets.

Blin': I'm dis-custard (takes a small reluctant virtual sip, with the lid on)



Interview: Part 1 / Part 3