Adam Gussow and Charlie Hilbert

Adam Gussow and Charlie Hilbert are one of the most dynamic harmonica-guitar blues duos on the scene today, mixing traditional Mississippi and Chicago blues with Latin jazz ("Watermelon Man"), New Orleans funk ("Cissy Strut"), and Stevie Ray Vaughan ("Cold Shot").  Each man brings a long track-record to the collaboration--Gussow as half of the legendary Harlem blues duo Satan & Adam, Hilbert as a veteran of the New York City blues scene and a sideman with Nat Riddles, Lorraine LaRocka, the Skyla Burrell Band, Mike Dugan, and others.

Gussow and Hilbert first met 25 years ago when Hilbert was working the streets of New York with Riddles and Gussow was taking lessons from the harmonica master.  In the late 1990s, after Riddles' death, the two teamed up and worked clubs in the Tri-State region, becoming regulars at NYC's Chicago Blues.  In the last several years, although separated by 1500 miles, they have toured the Northeast in support of Gussow's book, Journeyman's Road and traveled to Klingenthal, Germany, where they headlined the 2008 Mundharmonika-live Festival.  They have also released two albums on the Modern Blues Harmonica label:  Blues Classics (2007) and Live in Klingenthal (2009).

As a blues harmonica player and teacher, Adam Gussow has few peers in the business.  Currently an Associate Professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi with a specialty in blues literature and culture, Gussow has for many years performed and recorded with Mississippi-born guitarist and one-man-band Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee as the duo Satan and Adam.  After working the streets of Harlem from 1986 to 1991, Gussow and Magee duo toured internationally between 1991 and 1998.  They played the Chicago Blues Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, the Kansas City Jazz & Blues Festival, the Philadelphia Folk Festival and RiverBlues Festival, and more, along with hundreds of club gigs.  They released two albums on Flying Fish Records, including the W. C. Handy-nominated Harlem Blues (1991) and Mother Mojo (1993).  Later releases include Living on the River (1996) and, on the Modern Blues Harmonica label, Word on the Street:  Harlem Street Recordings, 1989 (2008).

In his recent incarnation as a one-man band, Gussow takes a cue from Magee and does it all-singing, blowing amplified harp, and stomping out some thump-and-metal grooves.  Gussow's first solo album, Kick and Stomp (2010), spent many weeks at #1 in the "Hot New Releases in Acoustic Blues" chart at Amazon mp3's.  It also received extensive airplay on Bluesville (SiriusXM), America's premier satellite radio blues show, and rose to the #2 position in the "picks to click" category.  His second solo album, Southbound (2011), expands the one-man band sound with the help of Mississippi's finest session musicians, including bassists Jerry Jemmott and Dave Woolworth; it takes Gussow's distinctive mix of blues, jazz, and down-home funk to the next level.  Southbound spent most of March and April 2012 at the #1 position on the Mississippi Roots Rado Airplay Chart.

Gussow is known to harmonica students around the world as a result of his "dirty-South blues harp channel" at YouTube and his pioneering offerings in the field of digital-download video tutorials at his website, Modern Blues Harmonica.  He is also the author of three blues-themed books:  Mister Satan's Apprentice:  A Blues Memoir (1998; reissued in 2009); Seems Like Murder Here:  Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition (2002); and Journeyman's Road:  Modern Blues Lives From Faulkner's Mississippi to Post-9/11 New York (2007).

 

ADAM GUSSOW AND CHARLIE HILBERT, "SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE" (2011)

 

Adam Gussow and Charlie Hilbert - "She Moves Me" (2008)