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Mark Hummel - Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends is a remarkable look back at Mark Hummel’s considerable back catalogue from 1982, with some cool stuff from as late as 2006. Most of the 19 cuts on this CD are from a number of releases from the 1980’s, including Up & Jumpin, Sunny Day Blues, High-Steppin, and Feel Like Rockin, and to a disc, they are sadly all out of print. Fortunately for fans of harmonica-led blues, Mark’s hand-picked some gems from early Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors’ line-ups that featured Frank Goldwasser (“Paris Slim”) on guitar, Carl Severeid on bass, Kenny Dale Johnson on drums, and Jimmy Pugh on piano.

Carl and Jimmy were in Robert Cray’s band, and the constellation of performers on this CD gave me many “a-ha” moments. Like Mike Judge playing bass behind Charles Brown on an inspired “Summertime.” Yes, you read that right: Mike Judge, as in Beavis and Butt-head, and the offbeat, cult film classics, Office Space and Idiocracy. Of all the 19 cuts on this CD, I keep coming back to the high-energy rockabilly-tinged “Keep A-Knockin’” powered by Jimi Bott on drums and Tim Wager on bass, with Kevin Zuffi’s piano and Pat Chase’s guitar all turning in a first-class romp worthy of comparisons to some of the best sub-three minute rockers ever to grace a long-playing, vinyl record or compact disc. Odds & Ends is definitely worth a spot on blues harmonica fans’ CD shelves, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Mark Hummel for the way Mark’s sampled some exceptional line-ups of the Blues Survivors over the years.

Odds and Ends is more than a collection of blues harmonica history: it complements Mark Hummel’s other recent recordings, most notably his newest Blues Harmonica Blowout compilation on Electro-Fi, Still Here and Gone, and his series of Blues Harp Meltdown CDs on Mountain Top.

Hey Mark: When can we expect the second volume of Odds & Ends?

Reviewer Eric Steiner is the President of the Washington Blues Society, a proud recipient of a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation. Please contact Eric at  or visit for more information on the Washington Blues Society

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