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Mark Harrison Trio The Best Roots & Blues
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Mark Harrison Trio The Best Roots & Blues

I’ve been playing for ages and not very long.

A few years ago, I started listening to music again, after a lengthy layoff, and then I started playing again.

It was all about the Blues, in the loosest sense of the term. It was pretty much the only kind of music that had stood the test of time. I assembled something of a collection of the greats, from Charley Patton to Muddy via Blind Willie McTell and the first Sonny Boy Williamson.

I read a lot of books about their world and their music. It all spoke to me in mysterious ways.

I decided to buy a resonator. While trying out new ones in a London shop, I was directed to a recent arrival.

‘The way you play, you’ll like this one,’ I was told. It was still in its case. It was a 1934 National Trojan, a wood-body resonator. ‘It’s got a sweet sound but it’ll bite if you want it to,’ the man said. He was right. Eric Bibb had just brought it in. Fate. Of living blues artists, he was the one I’d most cottoned on to.

Naturally, I bought the guitar.

I kicked off trying to play some of the songs I liked by the greats. But they always turned out sounding totally different. I had no real idea what those guys were doing. I’d never had a lesson, knew nothing about tabs and video tutorials.

I just played what came into my head and fingers. Pretty soon I realised I was writing new songs, not doing versions of old ones.

I started going out and playing the songs around London. It all seemed to go down very well, both with audiences and other musicians. I was encouraged.

I built up a repertoire of songs and I was up and running.

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