Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Tony Eyers interview

September 01, 2021 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 45
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Tony Eyers interview
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Tony Eyers joins me on episode 45.
Tony is an Australian who first picked up the harmonica while studying at Yale in the US. Returning from America he started a successful blues band in Adelaide.
He also plays baroque recorder, and has been part of an ensemble for 25 years, which has helped shape his sound on harmonica.
In the mid-90s he became interested in playing fiddle music and developed the Major Cross tuning for the diatonic, now available through Seydel.
Tony has several successful harmonica teaching websites, including the Harmonica Academy.
And also has his own harmonica trio for which he has released numerous YouTube videos, where he maintains the great tradition of comedy in the harmonica ensemble.


Links:

Teaching website:
https://www.harmonicaacademy.com

Spanish version:
https://armonica.com.es

Harmonica Tunes website:
http://harmonicatunes.com/

Recorder teaching site:
https://learnrecorder.com

Major Cross Harp Tuning:
https://www.seydel1847.de/major-cross

Taiwan tour in 2010:
http://harmonicatunes.com/tony-eyers-taiwan-harmonica-tour/

Tony Eyers trio formation story:
http://harmonicatunes.com/tony-eyers-harmonica-trio/


Videos:
Jim Fitting:
https://youtu.be/sGpBxepQx7Q

Tony Eyers Trio - Jerusalem Ridge:
https://youtu.be/cEWJtrPAtLw

Tremolo playing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWr2qusnfu8

Tony Eyers Trio with button accordions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYhG5FnjRGA

Tony’s Fifties Busking trio:
http://thefifties.com.au/watch/

Tony explains Major Cross tuning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fn6nfMAbuA


Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains many of the songs discussed in the podcast:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5QC6RF2VTfs4iPuasJBqwT?si=M-j3IkiISeefhR7ybm9qIQ

Donations:
If you want to make a voluntary donation to help support the running costs of the podcast then please use this link:
https://paypal.me/harmonicahappyhour?locale.x=en_GB

Tony is Australian, and the harmonica scene there, including Jim Conway
First time when heard harmonicas was going to see Sonny Terry play in the 1970s
Was a competitive swimmer, which took up his time as a teenager
Tony started playing harmonica when he met Jim Flitting at Yale in the US
First started learning playing at a festival after someone explained how to play in different keys
Formed a blues band when returned to Australia, inspired by Al Smith playing with Hollywood Fats
Tony started out as a blues player and was influenced by the classic players
Also plays baroque recorder, inspired by classical guitarist Andres Segovia playing Bach
Has played in a baroque ensemble for 25 years
How recorder playing has influenced approach to harmonica
Doesn’t play any chromatic harmonica but plays the baroque pieces on recorder as duets with chromatic players
In the 1990s took a break from music while completing PhD
Picked up the harmonica again to learn fiddle tunes after going to a Bluegrass festival
Brendan Power provided inspiration that fiddle tunes can be played on harmonica
Tony developed the Major Cross tuning
How he uses the Major Cross tuning for tunes and comparison with Paddy Richter tuning
How Major Cross tuning was taken on by Seydel as part of their Session Steel range, with Tony’s name on it
Tony also plays some tremolo harmonica
Releases regular videos of the Tony Eyers trio (consisting of three Tony Eyers!), including a comedy element in the great tradition of harmonica bands
Ran a teaching website in China which led on to Tony becoming a judge at Asia Pacific Harmonica festival
Black Mountain Harmonica album
Another album is in the pipeline
Played in an Australian Bluegrass band called The Lawnmowers
Likes to get out onto the street busking with a trio that he is in
Plays some harmonica on a rack with guitar and button accordion
Some good racks to use with the harmonica
Tony’s harmonica teaching websites, starting in China, then English Harmonica Academy
Also has a Spanish, Portuguese and German language version of his teaching websites
Runs a playing recorder website teaching site too
Put a lot of effort into creating his harmonica teaching websites
10 minute question
Approach to learning tunes
Playing with fantastic overblow players at SPAH who can read baroque scores on diatonic
Overblows
What harmonicas Tony plays
Favourite keys of diatonic to play tunes
Mic of choice is the Audix Fireball
RackIt harmonica holder and mic from Blows Me Away
Tony builds his own amps
AER amp used for clean sound
Mics used for recording
Future plans