One of the world's greatest harp players is coming to town on Saturday March 9 2019 at the Blue Frog Studios. He is a master triple threat. Plays, writes and sings and keeps the blues fresh, relevant and alive.
It's probably a good thing Carlos del Junco wasn't there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harmonica players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols...
To say that Carlos is just a harmonica player is like saying Jimi Hendrix was just a guitar player. He blows the blues harp through a prism -- suddenly it seems he's holding every colour in the musical rainbow right there in his hands.
Considered one of the world's greatest harmonica players, he is a pioneer of the "overblow" technique, allowing him to play a diatonic harmonica chromatically. The result is stunning: a sophisticated blues/jazz fusion from sublime to raw to quirky.
Carlos is one of those players whose music is so advanced that when it comes to awards, it's either retire the category or rephrase the question "Best Harmonica Player Not Named Carlos". This includes two Gold Medals from the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Trossingen, Germany, as well as multiple national awards in Canada and several JUNO Award nominations.
Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues, jazz and "roots" music (hence the name for his band The Blues Mongrels). The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band (Eric St. Laurent on guitar, Henry Heillig on upright bass) are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, ska, rocking blues, to singer/songwriter themes.
“…a model of focus and urgency..a true virtuoso..
Brad Wheeler - The Globe and Mail
“One listen to the man who bent his first notes on the harmonica at the age of fourteen and it's obvious he's in a class with such greats as Toots Theilemans, Paul Butterfield, and Howard Levy…
Peter North - The Edmonton Journal