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Friday, December 17, 2010

A very Bad Day For the Harmonica Community

Robin Rogers and Chris Michalek both passed away within a 24 hour period. I never met either of them, but I admired them greatly. Since I sing a bit and play harmonica, I can recognize great singers and harmonica players. Robin Rogers was a marvelous, traditional blues harp player with a gorgeous voice - a true blues singer. She has been fighting cancer for a long while and was told that her time on this earth was soon to end. She faced that truth bravely. Listen to this interview, if you dare. My heart broke when I heard it.

Chris Michalek did not have advance notice. He collapsed and died yesterday. I assume that he was a victim of heart failure. Chris was one of the top diatonic harmonica players on the planet. He was a master of blues, jazz, rock, funk -- you name it. He had nailed the overblows and overdraws that frustrate lesser players (like me). He knew how to properly amplify the instrument to turn it into a massive musical presence, driving the band. Here is a YouTube Video of Chris playing some awesome jazz.

Chris hadn't reached his 40th year. Robin hadn't reached her 54th year. Those of us who love harmonica blues and jazz are bereft. It hurts to lose hugely talented people.

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