ADAM GUSSOW SAYS SOME VERY NICE THINGS ABOUT LAUREN'S HARP TONE ON HIS HARP FORUM

THE FOLLOWING IS A POST BY ADAM FROM HIS DIRTY-SOUTH BLUES HARP FORUM UNDER THE THREAD "BEST TONE I'VE HEARD FROM A WOMAN PLAYER":

I was hanging out on Beale Street last night, jamming at Mr. Handy's Place. A woman came up to me as I was getting down and said, "You probably don't remember me, but I once took a lesson from you." Her name was Lauren Williams and, to be honest, I couldn't quite place her, at least at first. She'd taken a one-off lesson about five years ago when she was visiting her mother in Memphis. (She lives in Maine.) Later yesterday evening, I came back to Handy's and she was on the bandstand. She was playing, as I had, directly through the PA, and she had the loudest mic, and it was clearly set up right for harp. The band was playing "Hoochie Coochie Man." She was playing first position. She had the best tone on that song of any female player I've ever heard. Ever. Period. Better than Annie Raines. Better than Cheryl Arena. Better than me. As big and juicy as Ronnie Shellist. She did nothing fancy. She's not a fast player. But she was smack in the pocket, she had the right tone, and she understood the power of repetition. I listened for about five minutes, then went around the corner and found Deak Harp, who is a tone monster. I dragged him back to the club and we sat down and she hit a note and Deak looked at me like "Whaaaaaaa?" Nothing that I've found on YouTube does her justice, but I'm telling you: she had it. Here's one clip. She's in a band called the Blood Orange Martinis. They didn't make it out of the quarterfinal round at the Handys, so she was hanging out and having fun. Deak got up after her, BTW, and blew hell out of a low F through the same rig. Again, this video doesn't begin to do justice to what I heard. But you'll also hear a player who effortlessly complements what's going on onstage. So there's something to be learned here, too. Lauren Williams Last Edited by kudzurunner on Jan 24, 2015 4:02 PM

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