I recently bought a harmonica because I used to play many instruments when I was young, all strings (guitar, violin, cello, piano), however since I grew up into a
professional hobo I never had room or money to travel/move frequently with a big expensive instrument. I had considered the harmonica for years but never pulled the trigger on it despite being small and inexpensive until now.
It wasn’t until it arrived in the mail until I realised: I only really listen to one song with harmonica in it.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Bob Dylan and Blues traveler but they’re not in my usual roster of music and so I had no imagination for what I wanted to really play. I had faith though because if the The Creepshow can kill it, then there had to be other punk/rockabilly/ska bands to love on the Tin Sandwich.
The first band I found in my search was Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains and what a treat their album “Love Songs for the Apocalypse” turned out to be. To fully appreciate theses guys, think of them less as punk purists and more like “hobo punk blues”.
New Mexico song opens up with a nice harmonica which plays as a part of the hook.
“We aren’t revolutionaries,
But we are the revolution.
And sometimes I think that the whole movement is just me and you
And then maybe we’d all be better off, if that were true
Cuz then at least we’d know where we stand
And we could tell our comrades apart from the man
But if the world isn’t that simple
Maybe this town is at least
And if I’m not marching with them for war
I’m sure not marching with you for peace”
“Well if I found god anywhere, it would be by the tracks
Face down in a box car, forty in both hands
And when I find god there, we’ll just sit and roll some top
Cause he’ll be just as confused as anyone else on this rock”
The next one I found was by an more traditional punk band, Pinhead Gunpowder (don’t you just love these names? It’s like a part of the appeal for me), with their song “Kathleen”
The harmonica kicks in around 20s.
The last song today comes from an old-school punk band from Germany called Die Toten Hosen (which hilariously translates to “The Dead Pants”, see aren’t the names fun?) with their song Grossalarm.
The harmonica comes in at the climax around 2m40s.
If you have any more harmonica songs that are not blues (I like the blues but boy do I have to be in a mood for them), feel free to leave a comment below.