Thu 12/27 @ 8PM
The harmonica — or harp, as it’s also called — has been a signature blues instrument from the time the genre first surfaced. Its portability and low cost, and ability to create a lonely, mournful sound, made it ideal for poor, itinerant musicians. Later on, it became part of the identifiable Chicago or electric blues, played with a forceful, aggressive drive with players such as Sonny Williamson II and Little Walter.
Of course, Cleveland has its share of blues harmonica players, and a couple of local bands featuring them will be meeting at the Beachland Ballroom for a post-Christmas “Collinwood Holiday Harmonica Summit.”
Squaring off will be two long-running ensembles led by harmonica player/vocalists. MoKo BoVo were a major player in the local music scene back in the late ’80s and early-mid ’90s, with Dan Bode up front on vocals and harmonica; they reformed with original members, guitarist Al Moses and bassist Rick Kodramaz, plus drummer John Stebal, about eight years ago.
“Crazy Marvin” Braxton has been known for his over-the-top shows since he performed in local black circuit clubs in the 60s, the harmonica giving him the freedom to dance on tables and bartops as he performed. He’s now 75 and has a pacemaker, but don’t count him and his band, the Blues Express, out of this competition, in which the audience will be the winners.
Tickets to this primarily seated show are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.