This is what Max says about the planned book which is due for completion in late 2013.
The intention is to present personal interviews and photos from each of those players who have had a significant impact on harmonica playing downunder. Blues players, both diatonic and chromatic, will be a central theme though the publication will also incorporate a wide range of styles including country, folk, world, ‘legit’ music and other genres.
As the sixties were the springboard for the blues to move from their African-American roots and enter the world stage, the main timeline will commence from there, yet will also include several items on earlier players such as The Yarraville Mouth Organ Band established in 1933 and The Horrie Dargie Quintet.
My background encompasses the jazz and blues worlds of Melbourne and some of the Sydney and Brisbane blues scenes having jammed at various gigs while travelling. I’ve been a part of Bob Sedergreen’s ‘Blues on the Boil’, Tommy McEwan’s ‘Bop Deluxe’, Steve Purcell’s Pearly Shells, and played tenor sax and harp in various jazz / blues bands, including quite a few sit-ins with Dutch Tilders and others. My first harp lesson was from Sonny Terry in the mid 60s.
Sonny Terry’s “Harmonica Blues”
Each player’s interview will be recorded, if agreeable, and the text will be available for final checking and approval before publishing. Photos may be taken during the interview or a stock publicity print can be supplied, whichever best suits each situation.
Artists will be encouraged to share their interests both musically plus any other relevant experiences and relationships that have helped form their approach to music in general.
A discography will be included plus an ‘Up and Coming’ section for those players yet to be recorded, plus a listing of Australian blues organisations.Blues icon and PBS radio presenter Helen Jennings will provide the book’s Foreword and will also assist by sharing her vast knowledge of players, venues, bands and relevant information.
And here Max gives a brief history of the harmonica, and a much briefer lesson in how to play it on Melbourne’s Community TV station C31 on the youth-driven music program, 1700, which is screened weekdays at 5pm.
PS: Here’s Max wearing his other hat (or rather no hat) at the Victorian Jazz Archive with fellow musicians Peter Uppman and John Cox.