Chan Chan - collab with Harmonicas

Chan Chan at Karin’s Kulturkafe, Woelfersheim

Just a brief cover on this. My harmonica playing friends were rather taken by Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club’s collaboration with Charlie Musselwhite. I got this totally sinking feeling, because of the up-tempo bits, the rather difficult time signature, and the hailstorm of 16th notes.

It took me some time to decide which guitarpart to play (there are two parts the lead, played with a capo at 5, and the rhythm, played without capo). I had hoped to get away with the rhythm part, but the ukelele had to do the singing as well as playing, so I opted for the rhythm part of the lead guitar (no solo’s, I am happy to leave those to the harmonicaplayers)

We usually play together with 2 harmonica wielding guys, a ukelele and a guitar, so some of the rhythm heavy lifting would have to be borne by the guitar, absent a bass player and a percussionist. When the time came, we did find a bass player to keep us on the straight and narrow of this wonderful groove. As luck would have it, the second time we played it we got the support of a drummer as well.

Also I convinced one of the harmonica wielding guys, the simultaneous singing and playing of this particular song was not for me, and that he would need to do the Charlie Musselwhite lyrics himself. He raised to the challenge, and the linked video was the 2nd time we performed it in front of an audience, this time lovingly recorded by his wife. I am the guy hiding at the opposite end of the stage…


That was a cool collaboration, Tjeerd!

Never heard this tune before, but I get why your harmonica players were taken by this one. What a nice groove, get it was quite a challenge to get it under all of your fingers. :slight_smile:

You all worked well together and it was quite laid back to follow and just enjoy. As that’s way beyond my playgrade, I can’t offer any substantial feedback. Just a pleasure to listen to you and your mates on stage! :smiley:

Thanks for sharing.

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I skipped around a bit as the song is a tad long. But mainly I was after the harp play. It is hard to find good harp players these days and I could sure use one now and then in the stuff I do. I found your harp play to be very good! The band seemed pretty tight, but the harp was the best part for me.

Keep it up and be well,

Hi LB,

Our “Bluesharmonicatreff-Wetterau” is a club specially for Harp players, and we attract quite an interest regionally (and sometimes nationally), even for such a small club. We organise several Workshops a year for Harp players that are open to non-members. So where I am at there is no shortage of Harp players. Rather, guitarists and singers. There are several formations that trace their origins to the club.

Thanks for the encouragement