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Mark Hummel

Harmonica player, songwriter, and singer Mark Hummel is a practitioner of the West Coast blues style, which typically includes elements of jazz and swing. A seasoned bandleader, Hummel achieved wider recognition through nearly constant touring. Hummel was born in New Haven, Connecticut but raised in Los Angeles, California. He became fascinated with the blues-rock of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Rolling Stones. After seeing songwriter credits on the albums, he began to dig further back into those bands' blues roots. He began playing harmonica in his teens in order to be different from the huge pack of guitar players in his high school. Hummel studied the styles of the Chicago-based players, including James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter "Shakey" Horton, and Little Walter Jacobs. Hummel moved to Berkeley, California in 1972 and played with local bluesmen there, including Boogie Jake, Cool Papa, Johnny Waters, and Sonny Lane. After graduating high school, he hitchhiked around the country for three years, making stops in New Orleans, Boston, and Chicago to learn from those cities' top players.

In 1980, he formed the Blues Survivors, subsequently performed at numerous blues festivals around the U.S., including the Chicago Blues Festival and the San Francisco Blues Festival. Hummel has released a number of self-produced albums around his Oakland, California home, including Playing in Your Town (1985, Rockinitis Records), Up & Jumpin' (with Canadian guitarist Sue Foley, 1989-1990), and Hard Lovin' (1992, Double Trouble Records). His widely available albums include Feel Like Rockin' (1994, Flying Fish Records), Married to the Blues (1995, Flying Fish), and Heart of Chicago (1997, Tone-Cool/Rounder), an album recorded in Chicago on which Hummel was accompanied by some veteran Chicago sidemen, including drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, guitarist Dave Myers, and producer/guitarist Steve Freund. Considered one of the top harmonica players in the U.S., Hummel has also judged and played in the Hohner Harmonica World Championships, held in Germany; he issued Low Down to Uptown in 1998. Golden State Blues was next, released on new label Electro-Fi with support from Hummel's usual backing band, the Blues Survivors. Retro-Active followed early in 2010. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

christophers u l l i v a n 0
charlie musselwhite rules
Attended a concert in Yakima, WA-Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowout @ the Seasons-fant a s t i c ! ! ! ! 0 1 - 1 6 - 1 3
GaryJJ
bthorsen1
sounds like John Nemeth a bit ... awesome
ronpaterik
Hummel is truly one of the best!
williamcaubl e
December 6th 2012 at Anthology in downtown San Diego! Gonna be there or be square!
Love Mark and the music he puts down ! Inspired me to start playing again. One of my Heros !
Just Damn good BLUES
go mark hummel all god,s children got blues
pwj123
I played with Mark in early 70's, (when his day job was at the CIL), and he was great then. He is the man.
saracorbett
I LOVE Mark Hummel!
One of those few harp players at the very peak of the mountain. I really dig the harmonica blowout shows he produces, too.
What a nice fat tone. He's a classic.
I love his style ! And the tunes and his band! Very tight
The note he holds on 100 years is sick! Great stuff.
If you get a chance to go to one of his Harmonica Blowouts, don't miss it! :-)
this is cool
srcharmaine1
Glad to see Mark is doing so well! He has come a long way. Good Job Mark
zekeatthebea c h
I saw Mark and the band play to about 15 people one night a few years ago on Fort Myers Beach. He was fabulous under what must have been very trying circumstance s . Do not miss him live if given the opportunity.
smokehousebe a r
reminds me a little bit of the late great william clarke
This is the first time I have heard him and I love the sound!
Saw/heard Mark Hummel's Harmonica Blowout in Spokane, WA w/James Harmon, Lee Oskar & James Cotton. Each harpist, diverse from the others, was uniquely great on their own and backed by Hummel's band put on a great show. Excellent "show case" Mark!

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