The Mississippi Sax, also known as the blues harmonica is still alive and well - but you seldom hear it utilised in mainstream music these days. Perhaps that's a good thing really - using it for today's so called chart topping hits would probably only serve to tarnish the instrument's good name.
Anyhow, if you're into your Chicago blues music, you're curious about just how powerful the Mississippi Sax really is, or you're just looking for a small break from the Christmas tunes currently blaring out on the radio, may I suggest listening to Junior Wells? Born in Memphis (as Amos Blackmore), Junior Wells learned his first ever blues riffs from Little Junior Parker, before moving to Chicago at the tender age of 12.
There's so much to say about the life and times of this stage strutting harp virtuoso that I could sit here typing all day, so to keep it short and sweet, all I will say is: watch Junior Wells' performance of Little By Little alongside blues guitar slinger Buddy Guy...
If you liked that, listen to more tunes influenced by the Mississippi Sax; check out some of the other greats like Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson or Jimmy Reed and get lost in the majesty of one of the world's most expressive musical instruments. Hey, why don't you pick up a C harp from your local music shop and have a go yourself?
Junior Wells could really play that Mississippi Sax - and he meant every single note he drew or blew from those harps of his, as did many of his contemporaries. Whatever musical instrument you play, whether it's the drums, guitar, kazoo or ukulele, we could all learn a thing or two from the likes of Junior Wells.
Long may his legacy reign.Suggest a correction