Walter Daniels has just released an album that he'll soon be telling us all about. But first, it seemed to us that he was the best person to talk about the instrument we love so much: the harmonica.
Thank you, Walter, for sharing these words with us.

Walter Daniels' harmonicas

I got a harmonica when I was a kid- maybe 5 years old. I was living outside of Chicago in Homewood, Illinois. I played with it some- but it sat in a drawer for many years.
I moved to Woodlands, Texas in 1978. I remember seeing the Midnight Special, a tv show, they had an episode with Paul Butterfield and John Mayall. Great harmonica players, and this made me interested in the instrument. However, I saw a blues documentary which had Johnny Woods on it, his harmonica playing and singing really made me want to reach for the instrument. I had an interest in the saxophone, but I did not own one. 
I got a fever for the harmonica and really started playing it and listening for it in songs. Once that harmonica grabbed me, I couldn't let go and always had one. They were cheap - only ten dollars. Now they are really expensive - which means it could scare kids off.
Walter Daniels
I started listening to Paul Butterfield, the Fabulous Thunderbirds (I saw them live) Kim Wilson was the first harp player I saw in person.
I wound up seeing him a bunch during the 80's when I moved to Austin for school. And seeing punk bands at the Beach Cabaret, the punk club I worked at in the mid-80's.

The harmonica is a humble instrument, perhaps the closest to the human voice that exists. 
Most of all the classic rock singers played harmonica, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osborne, Steven Tyler and many more.
I was inspired by the blues, so I listened to a lot of the classics. Muddy Waters always had a harmonica player in his band, and Little Walter Jacobs was maybe the greatest ever - the Jimi Hendrix of the harmonica. Little Walter inspired so many players, many blues players today strive to sound exactly like him. Check out "Mellow Down Easy".

Sonny Boy Williamson - great lyrics - Sonny Boy lived a hard life and made lot of records with british rock stars like Jimmy Page, the Animals toward the end of his career. The New York Dolls covered this one "
Don't Start Me Talkin' - David Johanson plays some harp.

James Cotton played with Muddy Waters for many years before going out on his own. He became a favorite of concert-goers in the late 60's and 70's. "The Creeper" is his big instrumental showcase. 

Howlin Wolf was a huge inspiration for me. I channeled the Wolf in Jack O'Fire and Big Foot Chester. "
I'll Be Around" is one of my favorites, he plays harp - is not a virtuoso - but certainly plays well. 

Charlie McCoy had been one more records playing harmonica than anyone, lotta country, Bob Dylan, etc ... this was our set closer with "Harpoon Man".

Lastly- I have a new ep- this just came out with my buddy, Jack Oblivian- check it out:

Also, I play harp and sax on a Gun Club tribute with Alejandro Escovedo- it just came out on Glitterhouse Records!

Walter Daniels