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Since 1991, Mark Hummel has been both producing & performing at his annual Blues Harmonica Blowout series. These shows have grown to be a much heralded event & continue to draw sellout crowds wherever they appear. The list of participants is a who's who of Blues harp history, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Norton Buffalo, Kim Wilson, Huey Lewis, Carey Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin, Paul deLay, Snooky Pryor, James Harman, Gary Primich, Sam Myers, Magic Dick in just the last three years of this 11 year event.

Tonight's event will feature not only Mark, but also harp legends Rick Estrin and Magic Dick. Each harp master will blow on their own and then together, in a one-upsmanship festival. Hence, the Blowout!

Mark Hummel is a road warrior - a true Blues Survivor. Along the way, he has crafted his own trademark harmonica sound - a subtle combination of tone, phrasing and attack combined with a strong sense of swing. His albums, constant touring and appearances at the major blues festivals have firmly established his solid reputation around the US and Europe.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Mark absorbed the music of such Chicago based harp blowers as Little Walter, James Cotton, and Sonny Boy Williamson, before settling in Berkeley, California in 1972. There he played with local bluesmen such as Cool Papa, Boogie Jake, Mississippi Johnny Waters and Sonny Lane. In 1980, he took the helm to lead the popular Blues Survivors Band.

In 1985, the Blues Survivors released Playing in Your Town, on Rockinitus Records, and immediately went out on the road. Earning their name, they toured virtually non-stop throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

In 1988 Mark teamed with Canadian guitarist and vocalist Sue Foley to relase Up & Jumpin'. He followed that with Blues Survivors recordings, Hard Lovin' in 1990, Feel Like Rockin' in 1994 and Married to the Blues in 1995. For Heart of Chicago, Mark's sixth release and first on Tone-Cool, he traveled to the Windy City to record with some of the city's most legendary players like former Muddy Waters sidemen Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Bob Stroger, guitarist Dave Myers from Little Walter's band, and others. In 1998 Mark released Lowdown To Uptown, a mix of Chicago blues & uptown jazz. This cd featues great guests such as Jr. Watson, Mike Welch, Brenda Boykin & the last piano recording of the late, great Charles Brown. Mark's most current CD is called "Ain't Easy No More" on the Electro Fi label featuring a mixture of Hummel's originals and choice arrangements of previously recorded blues.

Mark has performed at numerous festivals across the country, including the San Francisco Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Waterfront Blues Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and has performed and judged at the Hohner Harmonica World Championship, held annualy in Germany.

Born on May 13, 1945 in New London, Connecticut, Magic Dick arrived in post-war America to the Atomic Bomb, World Peace, Bebop and Rhythm & Blues. By the time he was eight, the trumpet would be Dick's constant companion and would serve as a springboard to the harmonica his sophomore year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts where he met J. Geils and Danny Klein and became a founding member of the J. Geils Blues Band in 1968.

By 1969 the band had moved to Boston and joined forces with Peter Wolf, Stephen Jo Bladd and Seth Justman. In 1970 the J. Geils Band recorded their first of nine albums for Atlantic Records and toured incessantly, jamming with many of the blues greats including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells and James Cotton. The band developed a reputation for 'getting crazy' and devastated audiences for fifteen years with their high-energy style of Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll.

These recordings showcase Magic Dick's innovative harmonica playing, which served as a strong distinguishing sound for the band. Chart-toppers like "FreezeFrame", "Centerfold", "First I Look At The Purse", "Must a Got Lost", "Give It To Me" and Magic Dick's own "Wammer Jammer" were in the Top Ten off and on for 20 years and made them one of the few top bands(other then WAR) that featured a harmonica prominently in the frontline.

Subsequent to The J. Geils Band, Magic Dick performed as a guest artist harmonica soloist for Patty Smyth, Debbi Harri, Full Circle, The Del Fuegos and Ryuici Sakamota, among others. In 1992, Magic Dick and J. Geils formed the band Bluestime featuring Magic Dick on harmonica and vocals and J. Geils on guitar.

One day back in 1970, a 20-year old Rick Estrin had the opportunity to play harmonica with Muddy Waters and his band at the Sutherland Hotel on 47th and Drexel in Chicago’s South Side. During the break, Muddy called Estrin over, shook his finger in his face, and shouted, "You outta sight boy! You got that sound boy, I KNOW that sound when I hear it, that’s MY sound!"

Today, singer/harmonica player/songwriter Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harp players in the blues world. His work on the reeds is at once deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs while at the same time pushing that tradition forward. The Associated Press called his harp playing, "endlessly impressive."

For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted the jumping, swinging Little Charlie & The Nightcats, featuring guitarist Little Charlie Baty. Estrin's effortless command of the harmonica is matched only by his soulful vocals and remarkable original songs. His quick wit, coifed hair, pencil-thin mustache and sharp attire inform his songs in a way Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Willie Dixon and Elvis Presley would all be proud of. Blues Revue declared, "Estrin sits on one of the finest blues catalogs of any band on the planet. His carefully wrought lyrics penetrate human weakness with the precision of a boxer, though more often than not, he chooses to leave you laughing after the blow’s been struck."

Besides Estrin’s songwriting and musical skills, he is among the greatest live showmen around. "People don’t go out to see people who look like them," says Rick. "They want to see something special. I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that’s what you get when you come to see me perform."

Mark Hummel's Harmonica Blowout starts at 8 PM and cover is $20 at the door. Limited reservations will be taken at 360-588-1720.

For more artist information, visit
320 Commercial Ave. | Anacortes, Washington
360-588-1720 | MAP
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