Added Dec 2004
WALTER HARPMAN BAND
Originally formed in the early 90's, in Lincolnshire. Following founder member's move to France in 2004, a French based Walter Harpman Band emerged in December 2004, their first gig scheduled to take place in Agen in Dec 2004.
The latest incarnation of the Walter Harpman Band is still led by Ken Mayle, but he is now joined by three French musicians, Xavier, Jerome and drummer Elvis whose use of brushes gives the band an authentic old time feel.
Walter Harpman Band ~ A History
Original members Ken Mayle (vocals & harmonica), Egly Lucas (guitar), Lindsey Coulson (bass) & Paul Barrett (drums).
Over the years Ken and Egly formed the backbone of the Chicago style blues band, with various other Lincolnshire based musicians passing through the band's ranks. These included drummer Mark Barratt (no relation to Paul) who later joined The Hoax, then The Nimmo Brothers. Mark now plays in the Slim Line Papas alongside Egly Lucas.
The band added a second guitarist Eddie Tatton to their line up soon after their formation. With Egly, who plays heavier blues, including slide guitar and Eddie whose style was jazzier, the band made a name for themselves on the UK blues scene, with festival appearances at Colne, and as far afield as France, as well as blues clubs and venues up and down the country. A session by the band was broadcast on BBC Radio 2's Paul Jones programme with this line up, before Eddie joined another Midlands based blues band Out Of The Blue.
Following Eddie's departure, Peter Lee Farina who was a well known singer / guitarist on the Lincoln scene in the 1990's joined the band, giving them a slightly rockier sound. Pete had fronted his own band Peter Lee Farina's Nightcrawlers which featured hamonica player Rob Law, as well as Mark Barrett and Lindsey Coulson. Pete later fronted Texas style blues trio Peter Lee Farina's Triple Threat.
The Walter Harpman Band continued to perform both locally and further afield, another show was broadcast, this time a concert at Spilsby Theatre featured on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. Their semi professional status coupled with the contracting of the UK blues scene in the later years of the 90's resulted in the band's initial demise. News of the band's breakup filtered out as they made their appearance on the British Stage at the Colne Blues Festival, a year after the band played on the International stage at the same festival.
After a break, the band reformed with original members Ken, Egly and Paul being joined by Gary Rudd (bass) & Pete Wallis whose piano gave a new dimension to the bands sound. Pete toured Britain with blues legends Jimmy Reed & John Lee Hooker in the 60's. The band's later repertoire retained the Chicago harp led sound, & included a great version of Commander Cody's 'Going To Tennessee'!
The band finally disappeared from the Lincolnshire blues scene around 2002, though the band's members regularly turned up in other guises! Ken working in the blues duo, Cootie & Harpman (Dick Appleton / Ken Mayle), and on occasions with rock'n'roll / boogie outfit Three Parts Cut. Egly with Monkeys With Clothes On with Gary Rudd, who also did some solo stuff, including the single about David Beckham 'Golden Balls' which resulted in a TV appearance. Paul Barrett is the drummer with ceilidh band Def Sheppard.
Over the years the band released several tapes (including a live concert 'Chicken On Me Baby!' recorded at the Lincoln Imp in Scunthorpe). Two tapes were later transferred to CD and the band played a special Millenium concert at Grafton House in Dec 1999, with several former members playing.