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Gary Smith Blues Band
April 8 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Join us at PHB for a harmonica playing, local legend, Gary Smith and his Blues Band.
Gary Smith started playing harmonica in his hometown of San Jose in the late 1960s. Charlie Musselwhite, who was by then living in the San Francisco Bay Area, was an early teacher and mentor. In 1969, Smith joined his first blues group. The early ’70s marked the beginning years of the Gary Smith Blues Band. Not only has Gary Smith become a master of the harmonica, but he has also become a legend both locally and throughout the blues world, where record collectors covet his 1974 EP as a quintessential harp classic.
“I started playing music when I was in junior high school; I played drums. I continued to play drums in little garage bands in San Jose multi-ethnic bands, some white guys and some Mexican guys. We played Richie Valens and Buddy Holly stuff. Jimmy Reed kind of snuck in there too. But I actually switched to the harmonica in 1968 because blues was having the “blues revival”, what they called it at that time. I was actually playing in blues bands at that point, playing drums. There were no harp players. There was nobody that could even do it. I just got more and more into it. The day I threw away the drumsticks and picked up the harmonica was (when) I went to see the Monterey Jazz Festival Blues Day in 1968. I saw Muddy (Waters) and George Smith was the harmonica player. And that was it!”
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