Monday, August 15, 2016

SPAH

I’ve been to the SPAH harmonica convention. About half the people in the hallways at the SPAH convention are selling something: Their own playing, CDs, lessons, custom harps, cases, amps, mics, effects, etc. They are hustling their goods… That is why they go to SPAH. Yet some shitty little ass-hat from SPAH accosted a customer of mine who offered to show his own MM Harpman pedal to other attendees. No one else got molested by the weasel, just my customer.

It comes from a very old beef with the weasel years ago in Colorado. Shit, let it go, Gomer. Too bad if I hurt your feelings 10 years ago. It’s a shame that SPAH allows petty petulant cry-babies to speak for them and to accost harp players minding their own business and discussing gear with other attendees.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Nice Fat Masco Tone


A few weeks ago JD Taylor asked me to send him a couple of the custom speakers we use in Memphis Mini amps. He mounted one of them in a 2x8 cab with a vintage Jensen P8Q to use with his Masco amp. He played the rig at Rum Boogie in Memphis last weekend and sent this video. His phone was mounted on his mic stand and was pointed at the floor monitors, so there's not much visual appeal here, but the tone is FAT! Check this out.

video


Friday, July 29, 2016

MM Harpman vs. LW Mojo Pad


This is a photo of the inside of the Mojo Pad pedal from Lone Wolf, their version of a feedback pedal.  It is a common, simple T-pad circuit with fixed attenuation.  The working parts are only three resistors, which cost about a dime each.  They sell the pedal for $49.  It is a no-adjustment, one-size-fits-all kluge, and a very expensive one at that.   Hell, I couldn't live with myself if I overcharged customers like that.


This is the MM Harpman pedal: Anti-Feedback + Active Tone Control.  It is getting fantastic reviews from users.  On-Off button, adjustable Gain, Volume, Bass, and Treble.  It will calm your amp and warm it up.  Trust me, it ain't just three cheap resistors inside.  We sell it now for $49.  Later it will go up to $69.  (If we marked it up like the other guys it would probably sell for around $500)  We are very proud of the performance and value the MM Harpman brings to the blues harp community.   Check the website for details and customer videos.

 http://www.memphisbluesamps.com/harpman

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The New “MM HARPMAN” Pedal




The MM Harpman pedal was designed to help working harp players solve the problems we face when confronted with an amp that may not be ideal. Guitar amps often suffer from issues that make them bad for blues harp: screaming feedback, icepick tone, no break-up, and not enough range in the tone controls to make it sound good for harp.

The MM Harpman is way more than just a feedback solution. It has controls that allow you to sculpt your amp’s sound: you can boost or cut Volume, Gain, Treble, and Bass. It will reduce the feedback, cut the harsh highs, boost the warm lows, and get you closer to that nice break-up point.

Using this pedal you can get decent usable blues harp tone from a bad amp. It may not get perfect vintage tone from a bad amp, but it will calm the amp enough that you can do your job and play the blues. You can use the MM Harpman to calm down and warm up nearly any amp, including your good harp amps.

$49 is a very nice price point for such a versatile tool for working harp players. The price will go up later, but not by much. I can think of two feedback pedals that sell for many times as much. I can think of another that sells for about the same but all it does is cut your mic volume by a set amount and offers zero adjustments.

Remember, all amps are different and they all will require a different “dialing in” on the MM Harpman pedal to get to that sweet spot. There is an easy pattern of adjustments you will need to make while using your ears to fine tune it for whatever amp you are using. It ain’t “just Plug ‘n’ Play,” but the improved tone is worth it.

We will begin shipping these pedals in about three weeks.  Visit our website HERE.



Monday, April 18, 2016

The Lamest Way to Promote your Amp

Now, ain't this some shit? Another amp maker includes "memphis mini" and "rick davis" in his search metadata, trying to get more hits for his website. LOL
His metadata string also includes "Harp King" and "Brian Purdy." Are you kidding me? He's robbing hits from Harp King and Harp Gear?
Here is his page source.  Click on the image and check the last three lines:

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stolen Honor - The Phony Blues Hall of Famers


There is only one Blues Hall of Fame. It is in Memphis Tennessee, and has been curated by The Blues Foundation since 1980. The Blues Foundation also awards the annual Blues Music Awards and Keeping the Blues Alive awards, as well as managing the International Blues Challenge.

In the Blues Hall of Fame there are only a few harp players. They are the true greats such as Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, Big Walter Horton, Charlie Musselwhite, Sonny Terry, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Howlin’ Wolf, and others. Induction into the Hall is reserved only for those who have made the blues timeless. It is an honor that recognizes true greatness.

If you see a certificate resembling the one above you can be almost certain the person named on it is NOT in the hall, and is committing a fraud. He wants you to believe he has earned a great award he in fact does not deserve. It is Stolen Honor. These phony certificates come from a guy with website, not from the Blues Foundation or any Blues Society. I see these all over the Internet and it seems any person can nominate himself and acquire one. They hand ‘em out like Halloween candy.

It is hard for me to believe any harp player who has even a bit of self-respect and respect for the instrument, the music, and history of the blues would display one of these phony certificates or falsely claim to have been “inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.” It is a monstrous lie.

Here is a statement from the front page of the phony blues hall of fame website: "We are big enough to hold every Blues Artist that you think should be inducted." Did ya get that? They include ANYBODY. It's like getting a participation trophy. That's not a hall of fame, it's kindergarten. Anybody who claims they were "inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame" based on one of these phony certificates is a fraud.

I encourage the blues harp community to help police this. If you revere and admire the greats who are in the Hall, you owe it to them to shame the posers who falsely claim to be their equals.

List of Performers in the Blues Hall of Fame: http://blues.org/hall-of-fame/performers-in-the-blues-hall-of-fame/

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An email to me from Jay Sieleman, president and CEO of the Blues Foundation:

Since September 2011, The Blues Foundation has been working to establish the bricks and mortar Blues Hall of Fame, the physical complement to the induction ceremonies that have been held every year since 1980. (It is now finished – Rick)

In the process, we have been asked about another individual who purports to have his own blues "hall of fame" using the “www.blueshalloffame.org” domain. The short answer is that there is absolutely no connection between us and that individual or website. 

The Blues Foundation's use of the term "Blues Hall of Fame" predates that individual's use by almost 20 years. The Blues Foundation is working with legal counsel to protect its intellectual property rights related to our "Blues Hall of Fame," considered in the industry and worldwide as the ultimate recognition in blues music. As part of our efforts to protect our intellectual property, The Blues Foundation is working to challenge the third party individual's registration of "Blues Hall of Fame" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and to secure our own registration of that mark based on our prior use. 

We ask that our members, including performers and affiliates, support us in our efforts to protect and preserve the honor, legitimacy and worldwide recognition that so deservedly accompanies an induction into the Blues Hall of Fame by The Blues Foundation.


Jay Sieleman
President & Chief Executive Officer
The Blues Foundation
421 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

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UPDATE:  The Battle of the Blues Hall of Fames

Monday, March 28, 2016

Feedback Fighter


Hidden in this photo is a very effective feedback fighter. It does the same thing as some pedals, only better since it is fully adjustable. In fact, you probably already have it!
It's the volume control on your harp microphone. Try turning your mic down and your amp up. It works best with high gain guitar amps.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Step Away From the Pedal!

Lately I’ve been hearing this sales pitch from effects pedal makers:  “Change things up!  Give your audience a little variety!”

Blues harp players have been doing exactly that for at least the last 65 years without the need for any trick pedals that make you sound like a kazoo or a kaliope.  

      Loosen up, baby!  Don’t play with a tight cup all the time.  That big tone is best used for effect, not for your constant sound.  Open up on the bullet mic.  Don’t squeeze it in a death grip every time you blow.

      Dynamic Duo!  Change up your volume and attack on the mic.  Use dynamics to be expressive.   Try this on a typical 24 bar solo:  In the first 12 bars play low and slow, staying on the low end of the harp.  Leave lots of space.  As you get to the turn-around move up to the 4 draw, and then the 5 draw to build tension as a transition to the second 12.  Ramp up the intensity for the second 12 bars, playing more of the second octave of the blues scale using the reeds in the middle of the harp.  Finish with a flourish.  Smile and wave at the outburst of applause. 

      Drop the Mic!  Put your bullet mic away and step up to the vocal mic.  Play a few songs acoustically, using all the cool hand effects.   Just get all Sonny Boy with it.

      It’s all about the Chrome!  Pull out that big chromatic harp for a couple songs and blow those big chords, either through your rig or into the vocal mic.  Show it off.

Mix it up.  The audience will love it and you will come off as a harmonica master, not just a pedal user.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The MM amp wins blind tone challenge on Facebook



Recently an independent blind comparison test on the “Harmonica Gear” page in Facebook compared the Memphis Mini amp to the sound of a cheap imitator amp. 80 percent preferred the sound the Memphis Mini.

Without knowing which amp was which, the words used to describe the Memphis Mini tone included:

- better
- best
- pitched better
- more versatile
- nicer
- better break up
- easier to listen to
- more bottom end
- full round trumpet-like tone
- satisfying honk and bark when pushed
- less fizzy/fuzzy
- less grainy and biting
- smoother on attack and not as bright
- more pleasant on the ears

ACCEPT NO SUBSITUTES!