The gear

So what equipment do I use?

Harps:

  • Lee Oskar harmonicas. Early adopter; discovered them in 1986 and never looked back.
  • Nady VHM-7 harmonica mic. Won’t work if you want that overdriven Little-Walter-from-Hell sound, though. The sound is closer to a Shure SM58 than a Green Bullet.
  • VOX Valvetronix VT20+. Has several baked-in effects. Will occasionally use an octave setting for depth, and may spot in other effects just for the halibut.
  • Often will just plug directly into the board. Ain’t skeered.
  • Mute: Bandanna wrapped around the head of the mic.

Sax:

When I was just just coming up in music, I met Kathe. She was the most amazing vocalist. A powerful voice, tons of soul, and always wanting to learn more. We used to have dinner together, pick on some songs in her living room, and talk about almost everything else between songs. We encouraged each other to grow musically, and she helped me find my sound. It was my fault that a romance never developed. But Kathe’s influence remains, and I’ve named my tenor sax for her.


Playing a Yamaha YTS-62iii tenor sax. Such an amazing sound. Liked it so much that when it came time to upgrade my alto, I went with Yamaha again. A YAS62iii, expressive sound, and I can really fly on it.

At a jam once, a buddy chided this guitarist for not having an instrument in his trunk. I meanm can you imagine the horror when you’re visiting other musicians or a jam, everything sounds great, it’s in your wheelhouse, everybody’s looking for you to jump in, and you came to class unprepared? So of course I have a trunk horn. It’s the Jean-Paul tenor I learned on. Got it as a 60th birthday present to myself and made my first tentative skronks on it. It rides in my trunk, ready to go when the music breaks out.

Most of the time I use a Rico Metalite M7 (inexpensive and loud) mouthpiece, with Vandoren JAVA reeds.

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