Roadhouse Joe
Gig Seeker Pro

Roadhouse Joe

Band Blues Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Meet Roadhouse Joe Harp Player Rick Davis"

Q: When did you start playing harmonica?

A: It’s blues harp, not harmonica. The instrument is the same but the sound is different. When I was 20 years old I was hitchhiking around the Pacific Northwest and ran into a guy who played harp. We were walking down a dusty highway trying to thumb a ride with no luck at all, and he pulled out a harp and started playing a train rhythm. I was blown away by how cool it sounded. Then he played some blues riffs and I was hooked.

Q: Was that your first exposure to the blues?

A: No. For years I had been into the blues without knowing what it was. When I was a teenager I listened to bands like Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and Savoy Brown. I knew I loved the slow songs with the driving beat, but I didn’t really know it was a genre called the blues. My sister had a Howlin’ Wolf album that I stole from her, and that got me started.

Q: When did you get serious about playing blues harp?

A: After meeting the harp player out on the road I went to a music store and bought my first harp, a Hohner Blues Harp in the key of E. I knew I wanted to play the blues, and I thought guitars played in the key of E. I was an idiot about music. But I worked on it like a mad man and three years later I had my first pro gig.

Q: What kind of harps do you play now?

A: I still play Hohner diatonic harmonicas, but not their Blues Harp. I prefer the Marine Band harps. I play through a bullet-style microphone into a tube amplifier from the 1950s. I like an old-school Urban Blues tone.

Q: Speaking of old school tone, who were your early influences on blues harp?

A: The first was Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. He played a killer lick on “Bring It On Home” on their second album that I still hear in my head whenever I play. Charlie McCoy, a country harp player, was big. I stole a lotta licks from him. Don Brooks played harp for Waylon Jennings, he was great. Magic Dick from J Geils Band. Mark Wenner from the Nighthawks. After I’d been playing a few years I really got into the Chicago sound, like Big Walter Horton and Little Walter Jacobs. Also James Cotton, Charlie Musslewhite, Sonny Terry, Junior Wells, and others. Now I listen to a lot of Paul Butterfield.

Q: How does a kid from Wyoming get the blues?

A: I grew up pretty poor, my parents died when I was young, I knocked around a lot; all over the country; scuffled my way through my 20s. I drank way too much and ruined my music career, among other things. Now I’m back, been clean and sober for a few years. I’ve played in a lot of bands over the years… country, rock, but mostly blues. This band, Roadhouse Joe, is the best. These guys can tear it up, and they know the blues.

Q: What’s next?

A: Just you wait, baby. Just you wait. - Interview by Richard Gilmore for Davis Blues Project


Roadhouse Joe - CD released February 2009



Please allow me to introduce the Roadhouse Joe Blues Band. Our music is Urban and Delta blues in the tradition of Muddy Waters, Albert King and Paul Butterfield, and our intent is to stay true to the style, instrumentation, and spirit of the genre while infusing it with our own vibe: smokin’ guitar, soaring vocals, and growling blues harp. We play blues that people love.

The members of Roadhouse Joe are mature and committed musicians; veterans of blues who have honed their chops in blues rooms in Denver and the region, and beyond.

Roadhouse Joe considers itself a partner with the venue in any gig. We aggressively promote our shows with our extensive email list, our associations with blues societies and organizations, and our relationships with local and regional press. To ensure a successful show we will distribute flyers, network online, and do whatever it takes to drive people to our shows.

-Rick Davis