Paul Butterfield blowing harp on Muddy Waters Fathers
and Sons LP caused thirteen year old Jim Mcclaren to quit
learning the guitar and start in on the harmonica. In 1969,
Jim went to work as a mechanic in his fathers bowling
alley and for the next ten years he spent a lot of time alone
with the pin-setting machines. Thats where he learned
to play the harp.
With no record player or radio around, he had to learn his musical
licks from memory. And it didnt matter if it was the memory
of a guitar, clarinet, piano -- whatever, he tried it on the
harmonica. That was his approach to the instrument and explains
his unique style.
After twenty-three years with St. Louiss Soulard Blues
Band Jim threw in the towel to form the Baker-McClaren Band
with local legend Max Baker on guitar and vocals. McClaren can
also be found around town doing a singles gig with the guitar/harp
in a rack thang.
Jim was Mr. November on the 1986 Hohner Harmonica poster calendar;
and plays Hohner Marine Band harmonicas.
Contact: Ph. (314) 352-8299, or by email
at the Grizzly Bear