Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Mat Walklate interview

May 22, 2021 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 39
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Mat Walklate interview
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Mat Walklate joins me on episode 39. 

Mat is based in Manchester and has worked as a professional musician throughout his life, playing mainly blues and traditional music using a variety of harmonicas. He started out with a love for Sonny Boy Williamson II, and was soon touring Europe in a blues band. His interest in traditional music came from learning the tin whistle, and he also picked up other instruments for this genre, including the flute and pipes.

Mat supplements his playing income through teaching, with one-on-one, group and online teaching. 

Devoted to laying down some tracks, he has plenty of albums and online material available, including various efforts at recording songs with a multitude of harmonicas to accompany his deep vocals. Something that he’s really developed over the last year during lockdown.

Mat's website: http://matwalklate.co.uk

For lessons, contact Mat here:



Traditional harmonica album:

Mat's Music Guru courses:

Irish Ceilidh Band:


With Tom Attah:

With Alex Haynes:

With Paolo Fuschi:

Promo video for Seydel Lightning harmonica:

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 at www.seydel1847.com  or on Facebook or Instagram at SEYDEL HARMONICAS

Mat is from Stoke-on-Trent, but now based out of Manchester
Sonny Boy II was Mat’s first harmonica influence
Also plays flute, pipes, tin whistle and some guitar
What got Mat into playing traditional music, and different types of harmonicas he uses on that
Vibrant Irish and Blues scenes in Manchester
Mat won a blues harmonica competition at Burnley Blues festival
How Mat learned to play harmonica
Resources available on internet to learn nowadays
Mat teaches harmonica and advantages of one-on-one tuition
First recordings of Mat in the 1990s and touring Europe
Irish music albums made with The House Devils
Album combining flute and harmonica and another album of traditional music
Album with Dick Farrelly
Plays in a Ceili band for dances
How Mat approaches playing jazz songs on diatonic
Plays some jaw harp
Blues album with Paolo Fuschi
Now plays in a duo either with Alex Haynes or Tom Attah
Sea of Blues album in 2018
Dub song on Sea of Blues album played on chromatic
Playing trad music on the chromatic
Rivers of Jordan song
Mat has recorded some songs with multiple harmonicas
Chromatica harmonica: with continuous chromatic scale
Mat has been releasing various songs recorded at home over the last year, and the basic set-up he uses
Mics used in Mat’s home recordings and putting his amp on the toilet
Has always made sure he lays down some tracks to release, including over last year
The value of recording to really nail a song
Mat has had a lot of his songs played on radio, and tips on how to do that
Played on a Sky TV sci-fi TV show
Appeared playing on UK TV show 8 of 10 Cats Does Countdown
10 minute question
Mat is a Seydel endorser and prefers 1847 classic with wooden comb
Seydel Symphony chromatic and it’s heated case
Harmonicas used with traditional music
Playing Bluegrass on diatonic
Tunings and overblows
Effects pedals
Future plans