“Music always seemed to be a big part of my life, from the age of around eight years old, I can remember singing and dancing along with my sister and brothers to my dad’s Louis Jordan records, songs like Caldonia, Beans and Cornbread and Saturday Night Fish Fry as well as all the latest pop, blue beat (ska) and reggae sounds of the early ’70s.
“My Christmas present one year was a small radio with mono headphones which got taken to bed with me nightly. I never thought I would have ever become a musician; I loved music but we never had instruments. An opportunity to play a flute in school nearly happened, there was one flute available to take home and learn, the teacher had to choose between me and another guy. We had to try and make a note by blowing across the hole of the flute; he won.
“As a young teenager in school the size of the music classes were quite big and we mainly did music theory, which I never understood or chose not too, I found it very boring at the time. It was not until I was 19 years old when a friend of mine sold me a harmonica; I started playing and instantly fell in love with it, although I was making a big racket.
“Then I started to find harmonica on tunes in my record and tape collection, realising I had always liked the sound of this instrument. I would sit at home playing along to various styles of music even if I was out of tune.
“I heard the beautiful harmonica playing of Stevie Wonder, a bit on dub reggae records, Bob Marley, the Staple Singers etc, but when I heard the blues harmonica playing of Sonny Boy Williamson II, ‘Rice Miller’, that just blew my mind, I thought, ‘How the hell does he make that sound?’
“It took me about six months before I finally bent a bluesy note on my harmonica. It was such a great feeling I got from one note, from then I was hooked on the blues.”
Thanks to Errol Linton for the latest in our series of artist blogs. Errol’s new album, Mama Gone, is released on Ruby Records on 20th June. See below for Errol’s upcoming tour dates.
No shows booked at the moment.