Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Mickey Raphael, Willie Nelson's Harmonica Man: Twitter Interview
Mickey Raphael, longtime harmonica man for legendary country outlaw Willie Nelson, plays a major role in the new documentary film Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis Play the Music of Ray Charles.
The movie, capturing those artists plus guest Norah Jones in concert last February at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, is benefiting from an unusual rollout.
Tomorrow, it will be available at select theaters; on Oct. 18, it airs on HDNet and Sirius XM's "Real Jazz" channel; and on Oct. 20 it will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
A CD of the concert will be released on Blue Note Records in 2010.
In support of the film's release, Raphael did an interview today on Twitter (a Twitterview?) Below are his responses, in approximate reverse order, to questions from folks all over the Twitter universe, including me:
Thanks for all your great Qs. The letter limits on Twitter answers felt like "Scrabble from hell". #MickeyRaphael11 minutes ago from Tweetie
MR: @jphilipbooth Solo record? I’ve been talking to Joey Burns from Calexico. I would do something with them in the future. #MickeyRaphael16 minutes ago from Tweetie
kmaverick Hey @AEHomeEnt if you could perform with any popular artist, who would it be and why? #MickeyRaphael about 1 hour ago from Seesmic
MR: @kmaverick Would have loved to play w/ Frank Sinatra. Could just see him looking back, saying, "What the hell was that?" #MickeyRaphael19 minutes ago from Tweetie
MR: @AnnaCBee “How did you meet Willie?” Met in Texas in 1972 through Coach Darrell Royal (Willie’s friend and big music fan) #MickeyRaphael21 minutes ago from Tweetie
MR: @jphilipbooth “Do harmonica players get the respect they deserve?” / Yes and no – someday we’ll play a “real” instrument. #MickeyRaphael24 minutes ago from Tweetie
TwangNation @AEHomeEnt will you be a part of Willie's new bluegrass album with T. Bone Burnett? #MickeyRaphael 35 minutes ago from web
MR: @TwangNation "Will you be a part of Willie's new bluegrass album with T. Bone Burnett?" Yes. I’m really excited about it. #MickeyRaphael27 minutes ago from Tweetie
AnnaCBee @AEHomeEnt #MickeyRaphael: How old were you when you first started playing the harmonica? Was it your first instrument? about 2 hours ago from web
MR: @annacbee I was a teenager when I first started playing the harmonica. Felt natural to me. Also played guitar, but wasn't very good.31 minutes ago from Tweetie
jphilipbooth @AEHomeEnt What makes your instrumental "voice" work so well with Willie's sound? #MickeyRaphael about 1 hour ago from web
MR: @jphilipbooth Willie's music is heartfelt and to the point. The personality of the harmonica helps to carry that message #MickeyRaphael37 minutes ago from Tweetie
StillisStill @AEHomeEnt #MickeyRaphael Mickey is it challenging to perform with other bands, like jazz? Do you have favorite music 2 play? about 2 hours ago from web
MR: @StillisStill "Favorite music to play?” I like to play all kinds of music, and I enjoy the challenge. #MickeyRaphaelabout 1 hour ago from Tweetie
MR: @StillisStill "Performing jazz?"/ Playing with Wynton Marsalis was one of the highlights of my musical career #MickeyRaphaelabout 1 hour ago from Tweetie
AmalphiDesign @AEHomeEnt #MickeyRaphael Hi, How many harmonicas do you have with you for a concert? What's the difference between them? (Tnx, Monique, NL) about 2 hours ago from web
MR: RT @AmalphiDesign "how many harmonicas do u have at concert"? // 20 and they're tuned to different keys about 1 hour ago from web
asilentflute @AEHomeEnt Top five harmonica players of all time? #MickeyRaphael about 5 hours ago from web
MR: RT @asilentflute "Top5 harmonica players" Hard 2 pick, but Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Slim Harpo, Paul Butterfield, Kim Wilson about 1 hour ago from web
jojosev @AEHomeEnt #mickeyraphael what one moment in his career really stands out,you know goosebumps up the spine? about 5 hours ago from web MR: RT
@jojosev "Moment in his career really stands out" - playing "Georgia" with Willie at Ray Charles' funeral about 1 hour ago from web
CelebStoner @AEHomeEnt Question for Mickey: Do you smoke Willie Weed? Are you a big stoner like Willie? #MickeyRaphael about 21 hours ago from web
MR: @CelebStoner to your question - I think I once was, but I forget. about 1 hour ago from web