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Carlos del Junco|
(Northern Blues Music NBM0026)
Review Date: October 2007
by Arthur Shuey
Yes, there are famous harmonica players. Among them is Carlos del Junco. These days, he's perfecting application of Howard Levy's overblow technique, which gets the chromatic scale out of diatonic harmonicas, thus allowing one to play in every key on a C harp, usually a Hohner Golden Melody, ideal for the task by virtue of being tuned equal rather than just. Blues Mongrel is, in some ways, a demo disc for the overblow technique. He extends a thoughtful kindness to harp players by giving detailed liner note information about keys and gear used on all twelve cuts here.
Del Junco has always been known as a flexible, open minded harmonica player. One should never expect one of his releases to focus on some narrow stylistic definition like “Chicago blues” or “Toronto jazz.” At the same time, variety is a double-edged factor in creative product, detracting from continuity exactly as much as it adds to impact. The one loving tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson II on Blues Mongrel leaves this reviewer hungry for more, but then, so do the several other styles del Junco shares so adeptly on the release. “Let's Mambo” is a great party instrumental, as is the unlikely movie theme, “Our Man Flint.”
This is a strong, honest, loving album, in keeping with this label's standards and those of the artist.
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