More with the Harmonicowboy

More with the Harmonicowboy

More with the Harmonicowboy. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Gary Allegretto is known in the entertainment world as the Harmonicowboy and performs at cowboy gatherings all across the U.S. His harmonica playing has netted him a number of awards and nominations including a 5 time Western Music Association Award nominee including Best Entertainer and Best Instrumentalist. He can play a mean blues harp but says his music roots go back to the cowboy.

ALLEGRETTO: I started playing cowboy first probably. I was playing “Home on the Range” and songs like that long before I was playing the blues and not knowing that it all came from the blues. The blues is the root of all American music including cowboy music . Without knowing it I was playing the roots of the blues, cowboy music before I learned to pay the blues. Just like most folks I was teaching myself to play “Home on the Range” and “Red River Valley,” those were some of the first songs I played on the harmonica.

He talks about the progression of the roots of cowboy music.

ALLEGRETTO: The birth of the blues well of course came from Africa. The birth of the blues actually came as we all know, the slaves when they were emancipated at the turn of the century, slaves were free and now playing musical instruments at dances and bands and that music was being dispersed across America and particularly into the west because a lot of those fellas were looking for work as cowboys because they were handy with livestock already so a lot of the cowboys were playing blues. It’s been documented.

One instrument that I have never been able to play well was a harmonica.

ALLEGRETTO: Well Greg, I can have you playing a song and everybody else who’s listening, I can have you playing a song in under 30 seconds. And I promise you that, money back. If you come to my workshop I’ll have you playing a song in under 30 seconds and I time it during my class.

The Harmonicowboy will be one of the featured performers at this years Spirit of the West cowboy gathering in Ellensburg, Washington.

ALLEGRETTO: You know I’m an artist first so I’m honored to be invited to perform there and also talk about myself as an artist here, I might as well give myself a plug since I’m on the radio. I have a few albums out, the Harmonicowboy my cowboy album that was released most recently got Grammy consideration and I won the Best of the West award so I am a cowboy performer first and then I also offer my cowboy workshop too for harmonica. You’ll learn 4 harmonica cowboy songs and receive a brand new, professional grade Hohner harmonica all for $20 bucks.

Check out the Spirit of the West website for times of the Harmonicowboy’s performance and workshop.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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