New Heathens
9Aug/100

Freaky Harp

Was psyched to get this text message yesterday from my good friend Charlene McPherson, who'd been in Brooklyn's Cowboy Technical Studios all weekend working on what will be  Spanking Charlene's next record:

3:58 p.m. Can u come right away w an E harmonica and your best playing skills???

Could I!? I walked the four blocks and six flights to the studio and laid down some blues harp on a tune called, "Where Are The Freaks?" It's a sneering, grindy little ditty with fun lyrics, (as is Charlene's specialty). I'd played it onstage with Spanx C. bunches of times as a guest.

The really cool thing about blowing harp the studio was the awesome sound Roscoe got, (as is his specialty). He rigged a 1950s Supro amp with a bullet mic and what came out of the speaker was dirty, raw and exciting. I ripped the solo as best I could and since both the producer and the artist seemed happy, I guess I did my job. (You know me, freak for hire. [Actually, I put the "free" in "freak."] Dial a freak - that's it.)

I love playing harmonica. Especially as a guest - it's so easy to carry!  Any talent I may display on the instrument is attributable to one simple fact, which I've mentioned here before. Harmonica is the only instrument where the more you suck, the better you sound.

I'm very excited for Spanking Charlene. This is a big week for the band . In addition to waxing a heap of new tracks with Roscoe, they're going into the studio at the end of the week with Little Steven Van Zandt, of Springsteen's E Street Band, The Sopranos and Wicked Cool Records

New Heathens fans know Charlene's voice from the songs "I Thought You Were My Friend," and "Don't Think I Can't Stop (Just Because I Don't)" on Hello Disaster. 

A couple years ago Spanking Charlene slugged their way to the top of a battle of the bands contest sponsored by Wicked Cool Records. They've been waiting a long time to see the fruits of their labors. 

As I know how hard they work for the fun they make, and I'm a fan and a friend, I wish 'em all the best. 

Especially if they ever need a harmonica player again.Bandleaders Charlene & Mo

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