Hohner Easy Reeding Magazine
Geneva Red's Got A Lot Of People In Her Corner
By Toni Radler
Just as her guitar player
Jackie 5 & Dime warned, people don't forget Geneva Red once they've seen her perform.
Part of the reason is that Red is six feet tall and has flaming red hair. The rest of the
reason is her killer harmonica playing.
When it comes to playing the Special 20, Red is a standout. Red learned how to play
harmonica by listening to old recordings of blues legends like Sonny Boy Williamson, Sonny
Terry, Little Walter and James Cotton. Then she gradually moved to more contemporary
blues. "I really enjoy listening to the old guys. But I think now the contemporary
players have more of an influence on me. I find Jerry Portnoy absolutely outstanding. I
love James Harman too. These guys are my favorites, their tone and phrasing and everything
about them is just great. In the beginning I was drawn to Little Walter and Sonny Terry
because I had heard about them. But as you grow, you look for ways to make what you do
better. Guys like James Harman and Jerry Portnoy represent what is happening with the
Progress for Red and the Roadsters is measured by better and better gigs and more
mainstream festivals coming their way. Red's next CD, which she plans to cut early in
1999, will include mostly originals. "Generally as a performer, I'm much deeper into
the blues now. I've learned more about the harmonica, I've had more experience, and I feel
the vocals are getting stronger and I'm more secure with it."