Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Juzzie Smith interview

October 14, 2022 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 71
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Juzzie Smith interview
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Juzzie Smith joins me on episode 71.

Juzzie is an Australian who has a one-man band act with the harmonica pivotal to the sound. He has had over 200 million views of his online videos, starting out when a passer-by recorded him busking at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. 

Juzzie started his one-man band after playing as the harp player in a blues band, and then teaching guitar and harmonica. This gave him a great foundation to lay down the rhythms for his self-penned laid-back bluesy folk. He plays up to six instruments at a time, including percussion juggling balls. Juzzie has been a regular at music festivals around the world and has produced his own music and video content in his home in Ocean Shore.

Juzzie’s website:

Percussion juggling balls;

Press Play and Blow Away tuition course:

Grolsch Festival YouTube with 11 million views at time of writing:

Edinburgh Fringe Festival appearance:

Juggling percussion:

Keep Life Simple Beatbox harmonica:

Jamming video:

Juzzie’s ‘My Coolest Harmonica Solo’:

Taking Time Out:

Podcast website:

If you want to make a voluntary donation to help support the running costs of the podcast then please use this link (or visit the podcast website link above):

Spotify Playlist:
Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains most of the songs discussed in the podcast:

Podcast sponsors:
This podcast is sponsored by SEYDEL harmonicas - visit the oldest harmonica factory in the world at www.seydel1847.com  or on Facebook or Instagram at SEYDEL HARMONICAS
and Blows Me Away Productions: http://www.blowsmeaway.com/

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Juzzie lives on the east coast of Australia, in Ocean Shores, and the inspiring artistic scene around there
Has a one-man band act and has had over 200 million views on Social Media
Started out by street performing in 2003 and how he put together his one man band
Attached a green bullet mic to a rack when starting out
Lots of people captured videos of Juzzie as he performed in the streets
Got signed up to appear at the Broadbeach festival in Australia after busking there
His first big success on YouTube was a recording from the Edinburgh Fringe festival
Played in lots of countries around the world
The instruments Juzzie plays in his one man band
First heard harmonica age 13 on a commercial and the sound grabbed him and he bought a harp the next day
Brother taught him a little guitar
Started playing harmonica on a rack later, learning harp from an instructional book
Was teaching harmonica and guitar from age 16
Played in band as a harmonica player before starting one man band and learnt from the older guys in the band
Listened to a lot of different instruments for influences, not just harmonica
Learnt horn lines with saxophone player in the band, as well as keyboards and guitar
Juzzie started his one man band when he deciding to go busking to make some money, with a lot of CD sales back then
Used a Pignose amp when started out busking
Moby’s ‘Play’ album was an influence to Juzzie’s spacious form of blues
How Juzzie started layering up the sound
Juzzie busked for 19 years as he preferred that to playing in pubs and the great lifestyle it brought him
The markets Juzzie busked at and the big crowds it drew
Not selling so many CDs and why stopped busking
Percussive juggling balls with harmonica act
Plays harmonica on a rack while using juggling percussion balls
What role does the harmonica play in Juzzie’s act
Interaction with audience when playing live
Plays bluesy-folk music
Juzzie plays lots of laid back instrumentals
How does Juzzie maintain interest with big festival audiences with a one-man band act, and importance of connecting with people when performing
Taking Time Out album from 2010 and his children singing on La La song
Live at the Zamia Theatre album in 2012 and Sonny Terry (& Rory McLeod) influence in Harmonica Jam song
Harmonica Belt song where he changes key of diatonic several times
Rise & Shine is the next studio album from 2015
Keep Life Simple is beatbox harmonica
How being an multi-instrumentalist has advanced Juzzie’s harmonica playing
Doesn’t always play harmonica in a rack
Superhero instrumental song from album, and single version has lyrics
Another live album released in 2020
Waltzing Matilda is only cover song Juzzie plays
How Juzzie has used Social Media to great effect
Jamming song and video with six Juzzie’s on-screen
My Coolest Harmonica solo video from a festival in Germany has got lots of hits
How Juzzie uses video to keep connected to people around the world and monetise
Released some harmonica tuition material which was popular with Aussie truck drivers
10 minute question
Juzzie learnt the very challenging Rhapsody In Blue by Larry Adler on chromatic as one of the first songs he learnt, but now only really plays diatonic
Uses low tuned diatonic harmonicas a lot
Uses TC Helicon Voicelive 3 Extreme effects pedal for all instruments, including harmonica
Spends more time getting a quality sound with the set-up as he does practising his instruments
Is Seydel endorser and 1847 is harmonica of choice
Sells a harmonica along with his tuition material
Doesn’t use different tunings, uses different positions instead
Low F is favourite key of harmonica
Uses minimal overblows
Mainly a pucker player, apart from octaves
Uses the RackIt from Blows Me Away Productions with Bulletini mic and Ultimate 57s for singing
Gecko rack from Seydel
Doesn’t use amps now, just the TC Helicon pedal
Currently working in the studio for online projects. Might tour in two years time