Lee Oskar is the Les Paul of harmonica players. Like Paul was, Oskar is a virtuoso player of his instrument. Also like Les Paul, Lee Oskar today may be better known for the musical instruments that carry his name than for the great music he’s created, including with War. While touring in Japan, Oskar discovered Tombo’s line of harmonicas, hooked up with that company and now their harps are marketed around the world under the Lee Oskar brand. To my knowledge, War is one of only two major rock/R&B bands that use harmonica as a lead instrument, the other being the incomparable J. Geils Band, with Magic Dick (aka Richard Salwitz) fronting the band on harp. For Car Tunes this week, we’re featuring War’s Low Rider, and a rocking version of Geils Band’s Hard Drivin’ Man from their recent tour.
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