Welcome to my brand new blog!
My name is Dov Hammer,and my main passion in life is Blues music. I have been singing, playing the harmonica and generally delving as deep as I can in to the Blues for well over 30 years. In this blog I will be sharing my love for the Blues with you, and telling tales from my personal journey ...hope you enjoy it!
How did I get on this road in the first place? There are many beginnings, with stops, false starts and detours. Sometimes you don’t know you’re on a path until you’ve been on it for a while…. But today I’ll tell you how I became a Blues harmonica player in Israel, of all places. At the age of 18, like everyone in Israel, I was drafted into military service. I had been playing bass guitar for a few years in high school, and was already quite passionate about music. But army life made playing the bass nearly impossible, as I couldn’t haul the bass and an amp to all the various out-of the way places I was serving in. Not playing music regularly was quite frustrating for me. One day I was on leave with Rami, a friend from my unit, and as we were wandering the streets we stopped to listen to a man busking in the street. He was playing guitar, and harmonica on a rack. It was Ted Cooper, a Canadian Blues musician who had moved to Israel in the 1970s. I had seen Ted play many times, as he was one of the few people in Israel who played exactly what I wanted to hear. As we watched, Rami said to me “we should buy some harmonicas, it looks pretty easy to play. It would be a good way to pass the time”. Rami was both right and wrong: in the army we had lots of long boring hours, and learning the harmonica would be a perfect way to pass the time. But it was not nearly as easy as Ted made it look….
Sure enough, the next day we went out and bought a couple of harmonicas. As far as I can recall Rami gave it up pretty quickly, but I was hooked for life - the cheap, pocket-sized instrument, that you can take anywhere, demands no manual dexterity, just breathing - it was perfect for me. I used my time in the military to start to learn it, and a few years later I was playing regularly in the Ted Cooper band! But that’s another story…
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