Back in 2010 (y’know, the olden days) Joe Filisko, David Barrett and others put together a concert charting the evolution of blues harmonica form the twenties to the naughties.
I’m not sure why it’s not occurred to me before to recommend this to people who want to learn to play – and especially if the historical aspect is attractive.
Each track is a painstaking recreation of the original. As David says on the CD “Note for note, technique by technique”. It’s fascinating to hear the evolution of country blues to urban, amplified Chicago blues in this format, and also to hear some of those older tunes recorded with the benefit of modern equipment. You won’t find two more ardent or meticulous scholars of the harmonica than Barrett and Filisko.
The CD was released on Bluebeat Music. It’s also available from Amazon in digital and physical format and on iTunes and (probably) Google music. For the serious student of harmonica it’s priceless.