Peter Harper

09.08.2013

Biography

Part harmonica wizard, part rhythmic explorer, Harper is a fiery artist who blurs the lines between rock, blues, soul and world music. His latest CD “Live a the Blues Museum” (Pd Harp), April 16, 2012 displays his trademark virtuoso harp performances, distinctive instrumentation, deeply soulful grooves and instantly memorable songs and provides another prime example of why his unique roots music style occupies a category of its own. Harper has been described as "a singer with the deep soul of Motown, a harmonica player who can graft Sonny Boy II and Little Walter with Sugar Blue , a songwriter who tells his own compelling stories in an unhurried, J.J. Cale-like manner, and a musical visionary who is unafraid to mix the didgeridoo, an important part of the Australian indigenous culture of his homeland, with infectious modern percussive rhythms" (Hartford Advocate, Blues Revue, USA). His skill lies in the fact that he is able to tap into the kindred spirits running through his traditional and modern influences, borrowing from western and world music to develop a highly original take on the roots genre. He also takes the harmonica beyond its assigned place.  Harper’s innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects.

Born in the United Kingdom, raised in Perth, Western Australia and now a resident of the USA, Peter D. Harper is the only Australian harmonica player to be signed to a major US Blues label (Blind Pig Records).  Harper is considered to be one of Australia’s leading session harmonica musicians having performed with the Legendary Muddy Waters and performing on over 2000 major commercials for film, radio and television. His harmonica playing has been featured on major film sound tracks such as Paul Hogan’s  “Lightening Jack”, Japanese film “Kuta”, English film, “Elephant Boy”, Canadian mini series  “Mckenna”, Australian mini series  “Tracks of Glory”, the ABC’s  “Once in a Blue Moon”,  the ABC’s “A River Somewhere” and several American films such as “Fast Getaway”, “New Day” and “The Hit”.  Harper and his band were also featured on the ABC Television series “Harper Live at The Basement”. Harper also played harmonica on the ABC signature tune.  Harper’s “Down To The Rhythm” CD and “Day By Day” CD was recently featured on the US hit Television series “Dog The Bounty Hunter” which is seen by over 2 million viewers per episode.  Harper has performed with the world renowned Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on several occasions for various film sound tracks. Harper also performed with The Beijing Orchestra for the Chinese musical “Chinois”. Harper received a gold record for his performance of “Sailing Australia” for the America’s Cup Theme. He also performed for the Queen of England at a Royal Command Performance at Forest Place in Western Australia.  Harper’s 2003 CD release “Way Down Deep Inside” was awarded “Best Album of the Year”, and two harmonica awards “The Sweet Harmonica” and The Nasty Harmonica award” by US Harmonica Ezine “Guide to the Best of the Blues Harmonicas & Beyond”. Harper received “Best Male Vocalist” and “Best Song” of 2004  by The Australian Blues Music Awards”. Harper also received a TREV award for “Best Acoustic Act” of the year.  Harper is the exclusive endorsee of Hohner Harmonicas, USA.   US super group “Journey” recently invited Harper to tour with them on their 30 year anniversary tour as guest harmonica player.  Harper performed to capacity audiences of 20 000 to 60 000 per show.  Recently a Harper live session was aired  world wide on the “Paul Jones Show”, BBC , London, England.   Harper was inducted into the Blues Museum, Hall of Fame in Windsor, Canada in December, 2011.

Harper has performed with renowned harpists such as Charlie Musselwhite, Sugar Blue, Magic Dick, Snooky Prior,  Billy Branch, Wild Child Butler, Brendan Powers, Kim Wilson, Gary Primich,  Rick Estrin, Rod Piazza, Mark Hummel, Harmonica Red, Jason Ricci, Billy Gibson plus many more and performed with Australian harpists: Jim Conway, Chris Wilson, Broderick Smith and Ian Collard, plus many more. As a music educator , Harper has participated in his own version of introducing harmonica and didgeridoo  to “The Blues in The Schools” program through out the USA.  Harper & his band regularly perform to up to 1000 school children per session. Harper regularly tours the USA, Canada, Europe, the UK and Australia. He conducts harmonica workshops & head lines major festivals all over the world.

 

 

Testimonials

I have always preferred the Marine Band Harps, I love the tone and robust feel of them and with the MS system you can reuse the plates and comb which means less landfill. The quality of these harps has never diminished and as the old saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Albums

2012 – Live at the Blues Museum  (PdHarp Records)
2010 – Stand Together (Blind Pig Records)
2007 – Day By Day  (Blind Pig Records)
2005 – Down To The Rhythm (Blind Pig Records)
2003 – Way Down Deep Inside  ( On Core Records)
2002 – Live at St Andrews  (On Core Records)
2000 – Glass On The Stepping Stone ( On Core Records)
1997 – Live at the Soup Kitchen  (Independent)
1996 – Blue Devil - Yesterday is Over  (Independent)
1994 – Blue Devil - Tears of Ice (Newmarket)

 

 

Peter Harper PLAYS