Harp Accesories

pinegrove-logoHigh quality leather accessories for harp players

For the past two summers, I have had the great pleasure of leading the beginner’s harmonica workshops at Blues Saturday in High Wycombe (UK). Organised by the utterly wonderful Aron Woodall’s (Big Azza to his mates), Blues Saturday is a great day, and night, out. 8-pack-leather-harmonica-case-iIn 2015, Azza adopted ideas from our annual Harpin’ By The Sea festival, and now produces his own programme for folks closer to the Central Southern UK. It’s a fabulous event, which we highly recommend. This year it takes place just before the May half-term break and you can find out more by clicking the red text in our workshop link to the right of the screen.

single-harmonica-pouchBack on message. Last year, half way through the day, Azza gathered his attendees for the prize draw. And as he announced the list of sponsors, heads turned involuntarily at the mention of Pinegrove Leather. Was this a secret fun day for harp swingers, as well as slingers? Was there cheap furniture up for grabs? The attendees shuffled their feet and avoided eye contact.

We needn’t have worried. Pinegrove is synonymous with top-of-the-range, hand made, leather accoutrements for musicians. Their portfolio includes shoulder straps and plectrum cases for guitarists, stick holders for drummers, and a host of well-designed bags and pouches for harmonica players. Everything is made in England from high quality leather, which is beautifully hand stitched and expertly finished. Proper craftsmanship, with highly desirable results.

ever-ready-case-iI contacted Rod Boyes at Pinegrove’s Yorkshire headquarters in Hebden Bridge for a chat, and his knowledge about the professional needs of harp enthusiasts was immediately apparent. He ran through his range of harmonica carriers, all of which are illustrated on Pinegrove’s website, and we talked about new ideas he’s developing. Pinegrove’s products are now sought after, and being shipped, right around the globe. And we can proudly announce that Pinegrove has also agreed to sponsor this year’s Harpin’ By The Sea festival.

Happy New Year in Lydian Mode!

New Year 5Should old acquaintance be forgot..

The Harp Surgery team would like to wish all our fans a very Happy New Year 2017, whatever your goals may be!

From The Good Doctor, Otis The Mailman, Our Monica (the saucy cleaning lady from up north), Little Phil, Fat Tone, Greasey Rob, Shagpile Jim, DJ JJ, Stomping Stu from the local allotments, Murray the former apprentice, Jimmy the Chef, the Rear Admiral and the Riverboat Captain, we hope the new year brings you hours of musical fun and some totally top tooting.

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We do thank you from the bottom of our hearts for dropping by this year and hope you have enjoyed our news, reviews and nonsense. As ever, we leave you with a final offering of the season.. Auld Lang Syne. To mark the twelfth month, we play this in the twelfth position- that’s Lydian Mode to the posh players out there. Grab a glass of bubbly and let’s go..! (more…)

O Holy Night

Holy FamilyO Holy night, the stars are brightly shining

Here’s a beautiful Christmas song for you to play as a solo on the 10 hole harmonica. It was written in the South of France in 1847, combining the words of a poem with a new melody to celebrate the repair of the the local church organ.

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In those days, a church organ was an imMagi and Oxportant source of music for everyone. The French name for the song is Cantique de Noël, or Song of Christmas literally translated. It is now a well-known and popular tune all round the world, having been performed and recorded by countless famous artists.

It is the night of our dear saviour’s birth
Our 10 tab is in Orange below, to be played on the 10 hole harmonica (practise sound clips are on a C major 10 hole diatonc). The number tells you which hole to play, D is draw (breathe in) and B is blow (breathe out). You can download and print our ARROW TAB here. Once you’ve learnt the song in  sections, there is a complete backing track in C major at the foot of the page. Here’s how the whole piece sounds on a C major harmonica:

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Twenty Questions with Carlos del Junco

carlos-del-junco-1iDown the road, came a Junco partner

The Harp Surgery was nearly ready for Christmas. Our Monica was vacuuming loose pine needles from under the Christmas Tree, while Shag-pile Jim clung to the step ladder, trying to unhitch himself from the top branches. ‘Looks like you’ve caught your ding-dong merrily on high Jimbo‘, the Doc chuckled. ‘Another comment like that Doc, and you’ll be replacing the Christmas Fairy,‘ Jim muttered.

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Now, now Jim, ’tis the season to be jolly,‘ the Doc reminded him, ‘let me top up your Glühwein old boy…it’ll bring some colour to your cheeks.‘ The Doc nudged Monica and pointed at Jim’s builder’s cleavage. ‘Well how do you expect me to get the bloody Fairy up there?’ Jim moaned. ‘Have you tried bending?’ the Doc asked. ‘How’s that gonna help?’ Jim wailed. ‘Not you old boy, the tree.‘ The Doc was biting his lip.

Talking of bending, the Doc added, ‘I’ve just been chatting with Carlos del Junco. That man must eat soda crystals every time he plays harmonica.’ ‘What are you taking about?’ quizzed Monica. ‘Well he gets clean round every bend,‘ the Doc replied. His gag shot over Monica’s head like the Red Arrows at Farnborough Airshow.

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Santa Lucia on Harmonica [with tab..]

Christmas GreetingsSe, på vår tröskel står, vitklädd med ljus i hår, Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

This sentimental melody originated in 19th Century Naples as a barcarolle or ‘boatman’s song’ and was popularised in the 20th Century by the great Neapolitan Tenor, Caruso. For our Scandinavian, Baltic and Mediterranean neighbours (as well as Scandinavian communities around the world), it has become the anthem for the annual festival of light, marking the shortest day, which has taken place for many centuries.

The highlight of the modern Santa Lucia celebration is the procession of candle-bearing choristers, clad in white robes. Traditionally, the girl chosen to represent Santa Lucia leads the procession with a crown of burning candles (or lights) in her hair. Officially, Santa Lucia day is the 13th December and church services take place on the nearest Sunday.

For many Santa Lucia has become an integral part of the Christmas Season. In Sweden it is accompanied by delicious saffron buns (lussekatter), sweets for children (godis), pepper-cookies (peppar kakar), dancing and traditional folk songs. Anyone who has witnessed the Sankta Lucia procession and festivities will know what a magical time this is. (more…)

Acoustic Blues Weekend – 3-5.March 2017

web-header-pic-1All levels of harmonica
The Beacon, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 9BX, UK
Information: Euro Blues Promotions
Tickets/Contact: Euroblues Promotions Ltd
P. O. BOX 478, Cheltenham GL52 2XW
United Kingdom+ 44 (0) 1242 701 765
Info: Euro Blues Promotions

A weekend of tuition and blues fun
Michael Roach 2iEuroblues Promotions Limited and The Beacon, Wantage, presents an ‘Acoustic Blues Weekend’ of workshops, jams and performance.  Mark your calendar for Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th March 2016. The programme will offer classes starting Friday from 1pm to 5pm and an evening jam session from 8pm to midnight for ‘participants only’.  On Saturday, classes will run from 10am to 5pm followed by a public staff concert at 8pm.  On Sunday, classes will run from 10am to 3pm.  The classes will cater for all levels.  The tutors for the ‘Acoustic Blues Weekend’ are Richard Taylor (harmonica), Homesick Mac (bottleneck slide guitar) and Michael Roach (country blues guitar). (more…)

Blues Saturday in Bucks – Sat 20th May 2017

Harp Surgery is delighted to announce that the Good Doctor is once again leading the Beginners’ Workshop at Blues Saturday in High Wycombe 2017. Please note that the event’s date has been brought forward to take some pressure off the summer rush. It’s now scheduled into the run up to May half term week (Whitsun). We’re much looking forward to enjoying  the amazing talents of Johnny Hewitt and Paul Gillings too.

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Harpin’ By The Sea 7 – Sat 4th Feb 2017

HBTS 2017 iBrace yourselves  – Jerome Godboo is coming to the UK!

img_7191-iTickets are now on sale for our winter harmonica festival and learn to play day. HBTS7 will take place on Saturday 4th February at The Brunswick in Hove, UK. Tickets can be bought through The Brunswick website here.

We also have a brand new HBTS website, where you can preview our programme of workshops, master class, list of special guests, and find answers to all your logistical needs.

Our theme for 2017 is Cajun, Zydeco and Swamp Blues harmonica. We are proud to welcome special guests Jerome Godboo from Toronto, Aidan Sheehan from South Wales and Lee Sankey from London. Visit the HBTS website for further details and book early, as tickets are sure to go fast!

Mitt Gamon Interview – Part 2

Welcome to the second instalment of our interview with Mitt Gamon. In this half, Mitt talks about the London Punk scene and his involvement with the Gang of Four, Ruts DC and Ian Dury. We ask him about the rig he uses, his latest album Harmonica Electronica and get a hint of an exciting new project in that’s in the pipeline. 

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What precipitated your move into the 1970’s/1980’s punk scene?

Mitt & The ModulesIn the middle of the 70’s, Jazz Fusion had happened. I used to frequent a pub down at the Oval called The Cricketers. One of the resident bands there was S.F.X. and they used to let me jam one song every week. Alan Murphy (RIP) played guitar with them, as well as Kate Bush and a few others. Anyway, I got fronted enough by a friend to make a single, and so I asked S.F.X. if they’d be my studio band. Lucky old me. Mitt and the Modules was born, and the first single (and last) was called Ha-Money-Ka. It tanked. But not surprisingly, as on the cover, I have short died blonde hair. Yes, that whole ‘punk’ thing was occurring. I followed that single closely with Chairman Youth, a band formed around the Archway area. It tanked too! (more…)

Mitt Gamon Interview – Part 1

Strawberrieds and Cream iIt was a humid summer’s day. Beyond the duck pond, the Rear Admiral’s mower muttered to itself and occasionally spat stones at his prizewinning parade of pink floribunda. Next to the Tickled Trout, a canopy of elder flowers floated in the warm breeze, while hover flies patrolled the cow parsley below, pretending to be bees. In the harp surgery kitchen, the Good Doctor was preparing cordials and halving strawberries for afternoon tea. He flourished sugar across the fruit from a shallow silver spoon. ‘How many songbirds fly to and fro, in an English country ga-ar… what the?’ A manilla envelope boomeranged through the window, clipped his ear and skidded to a halt on the kitchen table. The sugar spoon fell to the floor.

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