Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

RJ Mischo interview

February 19, 2022 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 56
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
RJ Mischo interview
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Show Notes Chapter Markers

RJ Mischo joins me on episode 56.
RJ hails from the twin cities of Minneapolis-St Paul, where he developed his craft with a little help from local player Slim Lynwood. He then teamed up with Mojo Buford to perform around the cities, including recording an album with Mojo.
With numerous albums out under his own name, RJ has also made a career out of performing gigs with ‘pick-up’ bands when he goes on tour, giving his live shows the freshness and spontaneity that he likes to bring out.
One thing that really stands out is the plentiful fine harmonica instrumentals across his album releases.
RJ is back to work so look out for one his gigs and be sure to check out this great player.



Song from Mojo Buford Harpslinger album:

Song from Blues Deluxe album:

Song from I Hope You’re Satisfied album:

Playing harmonica on a rack using RackIt:

RJ teaching at Harmonica Collective:

Playing with Junior Watson in 2021:

Podcast website:

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Spotify Playlist:
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RJ is based on the west coast of America, although originally from the twin cities of Minneapolis-St Paul
Started playing at the young age of 10 and professionally by age 19
Started playing harmonica when picked up his brother’s harmonica
Johnny Winter with Walter Horton was some of the first blues RJ heard
First started learning harmonica by playing along with records and difference of learning with vast resources available today
Hearing a Muddy Waters concert really turned RJ onto the blues, with Jerry Portnoy and Mojo Buford on the bill
Moved to the twin cities and met Lynwood Slim, where RJ made his first appearance with a blues band
Had appeared with Country and Western songs prior to this
RJ plays a lot of blues chromatic, which he initially heard from Lynwood Slim
RJ’s association with Mojo Buford, including recording the album Harpslinger with him
Where Mojo Buford got the stage name ‘Mojo’, and he was a harp player with Muddy Waters
RJ’s Ready To Go album from 1992, and before that had some albums with Blues Deluxe
Had some success with the Kid Morgan Blues band which led on to some touring in Europe for RJ with another band
Has used ‘pick-up’ bands extensively when touring
How RJ approaches playing with a pick-up band
Picked up by a German label, releasing several albums through them
Lot of instrumentals recorded by RJ
He Came To Play album
Always like to include a spontaneous recording on an album
Moved to California in 1998 and blues scene on west coast of US
Techniques he’s asked other players about
Started playing with Rusty Zinn when first moved to California
The advantage to being the singer as well as harmonica player
Knowledge You Don’t Get In School album
Make It Good album
How RJ comes up with his harmonica instrumentals
I Hope You’re Satisfied is RJ’s latest album
Everything I Need is a self-produced album
Working on a new album of mostly solo material
Playing harmonica on a rack including using the RackIt by Greg Heumann
RJ was shot at one time
Played with Trickbag in Sweden and on Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Meltdowns
Recorded some parts for Dave Barrett’s Mel Bay harmonica tuition books
Listed in the Encyclopaedia of the Harmonica
Taught at several of Jon Gindick’s harmonica camps
10 minute question
Tongue blocking
RJ is a Hohner endorsee
Plays custom Marine Bands
Favourite key of diatonic
Different tunings
Chromatics of choice
Different positions
Amps of choice
Doesn’t use effects pedals and travelling light
Small amps
Recording set-up
What has RJ been doing over pandemic and future plans