The past two decades has seen the emergence of young harmonica-led blues bands. In California, groups that draw their inspiration from the Chicago school but add elements of jump blues and rock 'n' roll into the mix have come up with an exciting new style of West Coast blues. In Oakland, the northern capital of California blues, resides the incredibly powerful harmonica player and vocalist Mark Hummel, leader of The Blues Survivors, who has been a major force in shaping and defining this musical genre.
Mark Hummel is a road warrior - a true Blues Survivor. Along the way, he has crafted his own trademark harmonica sound - a subtle combination of tone, phrasing and attack combined with a strong sense of swing. While Mark is new to Electro Fi Records, his earlier albums, constant touring and appearances at the major blues festivals have firmly established his solid reputation around the US and Europe.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut and raised in Los Angeles, California, Mark absorbed the music of such Chicago based harp blowers as Little Walter, James Cotton, and Sonny Boy Williamson, before settling in Berkeley, California in 1972. There he played with local bluesmen such as Cool Papa, Boogie Jake, Mississippi Johnny Waters and Sonny Lane. In 1980, he took the helm to lead the popular Blues Survivors Band.
Since 1991 Mark has been both producing & performing at his annual Blues Harmonica Blowout™ series. These shows have grown to be a much heralded event & continue to draw sellout crowds wherever they appear. The list of participents is a who's who of Blues harp history, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Norton Buffalo, Kim Wilson, Huey Lewis, Carey Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin, Paul deLay, Snooky Pryor, James Harman, Gary Primich, Sam Myers, in just the last three years of this 11 year event.