Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Will Galison interview

May 08, 2021 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 38
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Will Galison interview
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Will Galison joins me on episode 38.

Will first picked up the chromatic harmonica when studying guitar at the Berklee College of Music.  He quickly realised he had an affinity with the instrument, and after spending a day with Toots Thielemans he knew the chromatic instrument was what he wanted to do.

Will went on to record numerous albums under his own name, including a successful collaboration with Madeleine Peyroux. He has been an in-demand session player for numerous years, with credits performing with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Carly Simon, Donald Fagen and many others. On top of all this he has recorded a version of the Sesame Street theme tune used on the TV show. With interests ranging from jazz, to pop and classical, as well as playing some mean diatonic,

Will really delivers a pocketful of soul.


Will's website:

Takin It Back With Barack:

Odysseus Fantasy:

Beethoven Spring Sonata:

Will's Soundcloud:

Cremona harmonica company:

Wills-make Harmonica company:

Hal Leonard Jazz Standards tutorial:

Hal Leonard Pop Songs tutorial:

HarmonicaUK Virtual Chromatic Weekend:



Beethoven Spring Sonata:

Toots Thielemans playing Undecided:

Pocketful of Soul:

Skylark with Sean Harness:

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 sponsor:

This podcast is sponsored by SEYDEL harmonicas - visit the oldest harmonica factory in the world a

A native New Yorker but has been in Costa Rica over the last year
Piano was first instrument played as a youngster
Started playing guitar next
Been playing soprano saxophone over last year, which is much easier to play than chromatic harmonica
When playing diatonic harmonica always thinks in key of C
Fluidity playing on diatonic compared to chromatic
Will started out playing on diatonic
Picked up chromatic when attending Berklee School of Music at age 17
Discovered Toots Thielemans
Got first gig after only two months of playing chromatic
The young Will accompanied Toots Thielemans in New York as he played recording sessions
Toots described Will as the “most original and individual of the new generation of harmonica players”
Stevie Wonder was another big influence on Will
Will was shown the music scene in New York by a clarinet player
Eivetz Rednow album by Stevie Wonder is one of Will’s favourites
Will’s first album ‘Overjoyed’
Bagdad Cafe film soundtrack and hit song ‘Calling You’
Also recorded Calling You with Barbara Streisand
Will’s album ‘Calling You’
‘Midnight Sun’ album with a German jazz group
‘Love Letters’ album with Australian singer
‘Got You On My Mind’ album with Madeleine Peyroux
Will’s approach to accompanying a singer
Song for Barack Obama 2008 election campaign
Will did all production for his 2011 album ‘Line Open’
‘Odysseus Fantasy’ album sees Will playing classical music
Beethoven Spring Sonata and classical chromatic harmonica
Intrigued by new harmonicas companies which are springing up
Will has played on Sesame Street, including a version of the theme tune
Two tuition books with Hal Leonard
Value of transcribing
Did some recordings for karaoke tracks
Toots used different keyed chromatics on some songs
Appeared at UK NHL festival in 2008 where immigration hold-up led to a visit to The House of Commons
Will is appearing at the 2021 Virtual Chromatic Weekend festival
Pocketful of Soul song
Ten minute question
Will’s harmonicas of choice
New models of chromatic being manufactured
Amps and mics
Future plans