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Paul Oscher & Steve Guyger

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Oscher & Guyger

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Paul Oscher

Paul Oscher, award-winning blues singer, songwriter, recording artist, and multi-instrumentalist, (harmonica, guitar, piano, melodica, and bass harp), first came to national attention as Muddy Waters’ harmonica player, 1967-1972 following in the footsteps of Little Walter, Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Big Walter Horton. Paul Oscher was the first white musician in the world to become a full-time member of a black blues band of this stature.

Paul started playing the blues at the age of twelve when his uncle gave him a marine band harmonica and was taught the rudiments of blues harmonica by Jimmy Johnson, a southern medicine show harp player. By the time Paul was fifteen he had hooked up with guitarist/singer Little Jimmy Mae and was playing professionally in soul revues at black clubs like the Baby Grand, The 521 Cub, Seville Lounge and the Nitecap.

In the mid-l960s Paul met Muddy Waters back stage at the Apollo Theatre and in 1967, when Muddy came to New York without a harp player, Paul sat in with the band. He played two numbers: “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Blow Winds Blow.” Muddy hired him on the spot. Working alongside blues greats like Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Sammy Lawhorn, Pee Wee Madison and S.P. Leary, Paul learned the deep Blues phrasing and timing characteristic of his music today. Paul lived on the Southside of Chicago in Muddy Waters’ house along with Otis Spann. Spann taught Paul the piano. Paul learned the guitar by looking over the shoulders of Muddy and Sammy Lawhorn.

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