BUNDLE: Blowin' Like Hell: The William Clarke Story By Paul Barry & No, Seriously, I Play Harmonica By Roly Platt Books. Includes Free USA Shipping


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1x Blowin' Like Hell: The William Clarke Story By Paul Barry

1x No, Seriously, I Play Harmonica By Roly Platt

The incredible true story, told for the first time.

“William Clarke should be remembered as one of the great blues players. In my mind,
there is no doubt about it. … He understood the feeling, and the spirit and he lived it.”

– Charlie Musselwhite, blues harmonica legend

The biography of harmonica legend William Clarke is told in the new book BLOWIN' LIKE HELL: THE WILLIAM CLARKE STORY by Paul Barry.

From the ghetto clubs of South Central L.A. to international fame, William Clarke became known as one of the most innovative blues harmonica players of the 1980s and 1990s.


Clarke battled through a tough childhood to find family among a cast of blues characters, including Smokey Wilson, Shakey Jake Harris, and George “Harmonica” Smith. As he built a family of his own, he put immense pressure on himself and his band members, pushing them to unimaginable heights – fueled in part by Clarke’s own powerful alcohol addiction.

 141 pages.

Readers will be captivated by this larger-than-life star’s humble origins, family-first attitude, and life-or-death battle against addiction. BLOWIN' LIKE HELL will take readers to Clarke’s final moments, and beyond.

BLOWIN' LIKE HELL is told by those who were there with William Clarke, including new interviews with harmonica giant Charlie Musselwhite, Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer, musicians that toured and recorded with him and Clarke’s own family members.

Author Paul Barry discusses his 13-year friendship with William Clarke and his motivation to write Clarke’s life story:


“I met William (Bill) Clarke in 1983 in St. Paul, Minnesota when he was on tour with George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, and my band opened for them. Bill and I became fast friends, and I ended up studying harmonica and living with him and his family in L.A. in 1985. We remained close friends throughout his lifetime.  I am deeply honored to have written this book on this great musician, friend, and family man.”

A wonderful mix of great harmonica advice, stories from the road and recording studios and some general life observations. Roly’s writing style is engaging and interesting from the first page. I couldn’t wait to keep reading it and read it in about 3 sessions.
-Lynn Marie


Highly entertaining stuff!
-Steve Baker

… a very enjoyable book of entertaining reminiscences mixed with words of wisdom about musicianship, gleaned from his long experience playing all over Canada and beyond with legendary names like Ronnie Hawkins and Jeff Healey.
-Brendan Power

“No, Seriously, I Play Harmonica”
  — Brand new book by Roly Platt

This is an entertaining blend that includes deep dives into my approach to playing, pivotal moments and playing insights, along with a slew of funny, sometimes bizarre tales from my decades of working in the studio and on the road.

Roly’s book is much like a lively conversation; it is humorous, entertaining, and packed with insights into his unique approach to playing. Beyond technique, it also shares pivotal moments of his career, served up with a collection of delightfully comical and often bizarre stories from his time in the studio and touring the world. A must-read for musicians and enthusiasts eager to learn from a seasoned pro!

Key themes include:

Early Career: Insights into my initial steps in the music industry, including my decision to drop out of school to pursue music and the early challenges I faced.
Practice and Performance: Detailed discussions on the importance of practice, the development of a musician’s ear, and finding one’s unique sound.
Tours and Gigs: Entertaining, often bizarre tales from the road, illustrating the life of a touring musician with all its highs and lows.
Musical Influences and Inspirations: How various artists and genres influenced my style and technique.
Lessons Learned: The wisdom gleaned from years of performing and interacting with other musicians.


  1. Seriously…
  2. First Verse – The early days
  3. Practice
  4. Honourable Sideman (working in a band)
  5. On The Road
  6. Find Your Own Voice
  7. Turning Points
  8. (Take it to) The Bridge
  9. I Play In a Band
  10. Funny You Should Ask
  11. Improvising
  12. The “Right” Way
  13. Sounding Dirty?
  14. On The Road…Again
  15. Encore!
  16. “…And Another Thing”
  17. Musical Inspirations

This will be my forty-eighth year working as a professional harmonica player. I spent the first fifteen years of my career trying to become a great harp player. I’ve spent the balance of those years trying to become a decent musician. This is an candid, unvarnished, look inside my life as a musician, and how all these experiences have led me closer to that most worthy musical combination.

— Roly Platt

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