Harmonica player Carlos del Junco and his band, the Blues Mongrels, are headed to Errington hall with a feast full of music on March 24. — Courtesy Carlos del Junco

A ‘real meal’ of harmonica-based music coming to Errington

Carlos del Junco and the Blues Mongrels bring music from brand-new album

For anyone who thinks the harmonica is just the sprinkles on a sweet song, Carlos del Junco says he makes it the “creamy cheese icing” instead.

He and his band, the Blues Mongrels, are coming to Errington with a “real meal” of music on Saturday, March 24.

“There are many different courses to the meal,” he said in an interview ahead of the show. “You’ve got everything from in your face, upbeat blues to these sort of beautiful, melodic ballads that melt over you.”

del Junco’s extended food metaphor might suggest he was a former chef, but sculpture was actually his thing before turning hard into harmonica playing at the age of about 30.

Having taken a four-year course in the visual arts in his 20s at the Ontario College of Art, del Junco even traveled to Italy on a grant to learn from traditional stone carvers for nine months.

It was an amazing experience, he said. But, years later, del Junco would play harmonica in a theatre production, which launched him into his music career as a harmonica player.

His love for the instrument, specifically the 10-hole diatonic harmonica, however, began much earlier.

At about 14 years old, a friend introduced him to the instrument. “He could bend a few notes, but just the sound of him bending a note really did it for me.”

Addicted to the sound from then on, del Junco began buying records and imitating what he heard.

Now, he said, he’s gone well beyond the short and middling harmonica solos from popular songs by Bob Dylan and Neil Young, which, del Junco said, tends to define people’s expectations for the harmonica.

“(Dylan and Young) do a sort of journeyman’s job on (the harmonica) to accompany their amazing songwriting,” he said.

“They throw it on a little neck brace, but that’s people’s association with the instrument.”

Del Junco goes to many other places with the instrument, he said, coaxing the sounds of a saxophone, trumpet, violin, guitar or bagpipes out of it.

He’s also learned to play the ten-hole diatonic harmonica chromatically, using the overblow technique taught to him by musician Howard Levy.

Like the sounds of his instrument, the Blues Mongrels keep their songs varied, from blues to roots, rock, folk and world music styles.

Del Junco and the band’s brand new album, Hang On, will be for sale at his shows, where he, Eric St. Laurent on acoustic guitar and Henry Heillig on upright bass will dish up their musical meal.

Their performance at Errington War Memorial Hall (1390 Errington Rd. in Errington) takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.

Tickets are $20 at ErringtonHall.tickit.ca plus a $2.50 cover charge, or at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Heaven on Earth Natural Foods in Qualicum Beach, and the Errington General Store. Admission for those 12 and under is $5 at the door.

Just Posted

Offenders work to repair harm through restoratice justice process

The Arrowsmith Community Justice Society says process is alternative to court system

‘Dramatic undersupply’ of workers in Parksville Qualicum Beach: new labour report

Analysis supports what many already know, reinforces need for action: Burden

Outreach group ordered to stop feeding homeless on City of Parksville property

City issued Manna Homeless Society cease and desist order after complaints from public

Christmas lights installed on Alberni Highway

The City of Parksville will put up lights on Nov. 21 and 22

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Car centric roads and infrastructure invite cyclist-motorist incidents, says cycling coalition

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Most Read