When Joanna and I lived in a bus, we didn’t have much money. For Christmas that year, we allowed ourselves to buy each other one small gift. I can’t remember what I gave Joanna (and she probably can’t, either), but I know that she gave me a “pocket full of soul.” Though I never learned to play it very well, that harmonica may have been my favorite gift of all time; I played it for hours, undoubtedly torturing Joanna with it.
My favorite harmonica player may be Mickey Raphael, whom I’ve seen perform with Willie Nelson but who also has helped out the likes of Elton John, U2, Mötley Crüe. Neil Young, the Grateful Dead and Paul Simon. For this post, however, I’ve chosen a performance by Larry Adler, who performed with Itzhak Perlman, left the United States after being blacklisted for his political views (another reason I’m a fan), and may have been the best harmonica player of all time.
“Our Love is Here to Stay” is a classic sung by many artists, and of course it has lyrics. But this version demonstrates Adler’s “mouth organ” wizardry: