When I was five years old,
my dad gave me my first chromatic harmonica (aka 'slide
harmonica') and taught me how to play it.
Around the same time my mom started giving me piano
lessons. There was always a wealth of music around the house,
including records by harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler whose
incredible tone on the instrument still haunts me to this
By the time I was eight years old, I'd lost
interest in just about everything (musically speaking) except for
my older brother's guitar, which I taught myself how to play.
I focused exclusively on the guitar until
some time in my late teens when a chance encounter with a legendary recording of
Larry Adler playing harmonica with gypsy swing guitar great Django Reinhardt
rekindled my interest in the harmonica. In the years that
followed I was heavily influenced by the great chromatic players in
various styles including Mr. Adler, Stevie Wonder, Toots Thielemans and many more.
I've enjoyed both a long career as a working musician
as well as a second and ongoing career as a software engineer.
The software thing started with the advent of MIDI and my desire to write
my own sequencing software. Over the years I've been involved in
the development of MIDI, audio, and synthesis software as
well as non-music-related endeavors such as C++ IDEs and
corporate web sites.
However, my enthusiasm for slide harmonica is still growing and I play
and record regularly.
During the course of my musical life I've played and/or
recorded with some interesting lesser known bands including The Oso
Family, The Reynolds Sisters and the New Oso Band, Deuce,
Dan Del Santo and his Professors of Pleasure, and others.
And through all of this I've had the distinct pleasure of playing and recording with my
life partner, the wonderful singer and instrumentalist
I've just released my first slide harmonica single called "Sneak Attack".
You can download it free of charge here, just click on the 'Music' link below...
- Slim Heilpern (aka "Slide Man Slim")