Solo “Mad Dog” does a range of poetry/blues/and other music. As part of Papa Juke they do Blues/Juke/Jam.
So I asked him a few questions and got some information about Papa Juke to share with all of you.
How did you get started, little history bio basically?
I was 16 years old when I first heard Jack Bruce of the Cream playing “Train Time.” This was what inspired me to take up the harmonica, and I have never put it down. It is part of who I am and how I see the world.
What or who inspired you?
My early influences include John Mayall , Son Boy Williamson, Sonny Terry, Big Walter Horton, Big Mama Thorton, James Cotton, Mark Wenner , Norton Buffalo and Taj Mahal. More recently Sugar Blue, Jason Ricci , Carlos del Junco, Harper and Howard Levy never cease to amaze me.
What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
My favorite harmonicas right now are the Marine Band Crossovers from Hohner. Generally, I prefer sealed wood comb diatonic harmonicas with good durability. The Crossover has all this and a great tuning as well. I play on Shaker harmonica mics and like the Mad Dog model for most situations. My amp is a Fender Princeton Recording Amp.
What do you listen too?
I listen to all types of music but always come back to Sugar Blue and Son Boy Williamson for inspiration. Trampled Under Foot and Treasa Levasseur are big on my current play list.
What makes you happy? sad?
Playing music, writing songs and poetry, making art and love is what makes me ecstatic. If I start to feel sad, I just play a little blues until everything is alright again.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like hiking in the mountains, being in nature, listening to music, sleeping in and doing nothing.
If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
I don’t hide much from anyone interested. My personal website, www.mdfriedman.com, is the best place to go to find out more about me.
Have you got another album in the works and/or music videos?
The new Papa Juke CD, Out of the Blues, is starting to get significant international airplay and national acclaim. That has taken up most of my creative energy until quite recently. I am currently working on a digital poem (like a music video for poetry) called “Never Ask a Poet Directions.” I am also learning to play Theremin for live sound sculpting with my performance poetry.
How hard has it been managing your own label and yourself?
Managing our own label is time and energy consuming and sometimes tedious, but definitely worth the expense and effort. Managing myself has always been difficult. (You know how those musicians are!)
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Thanks for the interview and good luck.