Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


With the Alan Greene Band, featuring Mr. Stress. Saturday, January 7, at Wilbert's.

Well, if a guy who's a blues-harmonica whiz wants to get by with just one name, "Harper" is a better fit than most. And if Perth, Australia doesn't automatically evoke the blues the way Memphis or the South Side of Chicago does, at least it's a place where the records of the masters could be found, and the young British transplant apparently made the most of this discovery from the age of 10, when his family relocated there.

While his primary influences are predictable -- harp deities Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson II -- Harper's own voice hardly is. Sonny Boy's gutbucket rhythm remains at the root of his style, but Harper is capable of quick-time, sure-footed stratospherics that have drawn well-deserved comparisons to harmonica monster Sugar Blue of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" fame. Less predictable yet are the sly jazz and funk components and the traces of indigenous Australian music that populate the man's originals. The engaging mix of uptown and back-home elements topped by dynamite harp work found on 2005's Down to the Rhythm sends the message that this Aussie is not your average didgeridude.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Duane Verh

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Lil Rel @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation