Ronnie Shellist began learning, performing and teaching harmonica over 20 years ago. Almost as quickly as he picked it up, he began performing out regularly with local bands in Austin. At the time, Gary Primich was living and performing in Austin,Texas; as well as Guy Forsythe, who were both stellar blues harmonica players who heavily influenced Ronnie’s playing.
Over the years he has traveled all across the U.S. and Canada performing and hosting harmonica teaching events. He’s had the opportunity to open up for BB King twice, Robert Cray, The Neville Brothers and many other big names in the business. His approach is straight ahead, focused on technique and easy to understand conceptual approaches to learning the harmonica. In 2006, Ronnie launched his current website, Harmonica123.com which offers fresh blues focused content for learning the harmonica. The demand for his instruction grew organically from his popular YouTube channel with 25K subscribers and almost 10 million video views. He was the first person to use the now popular social media platform to share harmonica tips.
Currently, Ronnie is a Hohner Music endorser, and clinician for the company. He has spent over 3 years traveling the U.S. with the Hohner Roadshow teaching others how to get started on the instrument, covering in detail all of the popular models of harmonicas sold by Hohner and performing for crowds everywhere.
A celebrated harmonica player and teacher, New York native Adam Gussow has been “kicking and stomping” out of Oxford, Mississippi for more than a decade now. He is best known for his long partnership with guitarist/one-man-band Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee, a Mississippi native with whom Gussow teamed up in 1986. The pair worked the streets of Harlem for five years before renaming themselves “Satan and Adam,” releasing their W. C. Handy Award nominated debut CD, Harlem Blues, and becoming a national touring act through the 1990s.
In 2010 Gussow reinvented himself as a harmonica-powered one-man band, releasing a pair of solo CDs, Kick and Stomp (2010) and Southbound (2011). “Think James Cotton’s warbling excitement and R.L. Burnside’s grifter stomp, tied up with Lightnin’ Hopkins’ dustbowl charm,” wrote a reviewer for Living Blues, “and you’ve got the Adam Gussow sound.” Gussow’s debut music video, a solo cover of “Crossroads Blues,” has more than one million hits on YouTube. Gussow’s current duo, The Blues Doctors, puts a down-home spin on blues, jazz, funk, and honky-tonk music.
Gussow is known to blues harp students around the world thanks to his instructional website, ModernBluesHarmonica.com, and his more than three hundred video tutorials uploaded to YouTube.
David Barrett is the world’s leading expert in blues harmonica education… blazing the way in every facet of its education for 25 years.
The Early Years
Having played saxophone and trumpet as a youth, David already had a solid musical foundation before playing the harmonica at age fourteen. At age sixteen local harmonica legend Gary Smith took David under his wing as a private student. Gary also introduced David to the local blues jam scene and invited him to participate in harmonica blowouts. By age eighteen David was studying music theory in college and started teaching harmonica at local music stores and institutes.
By age twenty David had released his first book, Building Harmonica Technique, with one of the world’s largest publishers, Mel Bay Publications. This book was the first serious blues harmonica method to be released in the market. David Barrett is now the world’s most published author of blues harmonica lesson material, with almost 70 book/CD sets and videos published.
Before BluesHarmonica.com, David was an active writer for various publications. For ten years he wrote a featured column for Blues Revue Magazine and was the editor and a writer for www.HarmonicaSessions.com. The only publication he still dedicates time to is the popular UK harmonica magazine published by the National Harmonica League.
David is the founder and head instructor of the Harmonica Masterclass Workshop. Founded in 1994, the focus of these workshops has been to make quality hands-on instruction available to the masses. Classes range in size from 20 participants to 250 participants, depending on program type and location. David also employs the top educators in the world for these workshops, such as Joe Filisko and Dennis Gruenling, as well as top artists in today’s blues harmonica music scene.
David also teaches, judges and performs at other prestigious events, such as Hohner’s World Harmonica Festival, Steve Baker’s Harmonica Masters Workshops in Trossingen, Germany and SPAH’s annual harmonica convention.
Tomlin started playing blues harmonica when he was forced to give up guitar due to a wrist injury in 2005. He quickly and unexpectedly fell in love with the instrument and all of its idiosyncrasies. This led to him teaching locally in Edinburgh, Scotland and then eventually worldwide via Skype and YouTube – his channel is one of the fastest growing harmonica education channels on YouTube with over 19,000 subscribers.
In 2015, Tomlin launched tomlinharmonicalessons.com where he provides free and premium lessons and courses on the instrument. Since then, he has gone on to found the Edinburgh Harmonica Workshop which is an annual event featuring a weekend of workshops and performances from internationally renowned harmonica players in Scotland’s capital city.
Teaching is Tomlin’s ‘raison d’être’ which is why he divides his time evenly between teaching groups, individuals and online via video lessons.