Seiji "WABI" Yuguchi Profile
Seiji Yuguchi aka Wabi (Born December 1966 Osaka, Japan). Singer, song writer, Blues harp player. Living Chicago since 1989.
At the age of 20, while listening to the records of Howlin' Wolf, Wabi's first inspiration for playing harmonica began.
His first real blues influence, Sonny Blake (Vo & Harp), introduced him to how to play blues harp in Memphis 1989. He learned about rhythm and blues basics from musician Phineas Newborn (played piano on Big Walter "Mouth Harp Maestro" album) who at that time was the organ player in Sonny Blake's band.
Since Wabi moved to Chicago in 1989, he sat-in and played with many Blues musicians like the Aces (Louis & Dave Myers on Chicago's south side) and Billy Branch & Sons of Blues band. As a result, he was influenced by musicians such as Junior Wells, Lefty Dizz, James Cotton and Billy Branch.
Wabi joined Professor Eddie Lusk's band (Delmark Records) in 1991, and started his career as a harp player. His first recording session was on Black Lone Ranger's "Truth Unmasked" album in 1995 (Roctober Records).
He participated as a full-time harmonica player in Larry Garner Blues Band based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Billy Branch's recommendation and they recorded "Once Upon The Blues" in 2000 (Ruf Records). The Larry Garner Blues Band toured on a regular basis in the United States, Canada, and Europe between 1995 and 2001. During that time, the Larry Garner Blues Band was selected as one of the most hard working blues band in the United States by "Blues Revue Magazine."
Wabi recorded his debut album "The Best Things In Life Are Still Made By Hand" (Asian Improv) in 2000 and "Introducing Wabi" (Southside Records) in 2002.
"Samurai Harmonica Collection" and "You Got Me" are original songs by Wabi and were introduced in 2007 (P-Vine).
1. Chicago Blues Festival
2. New Orleans Jazz Festival
3. Texas Blues Festival
4. Pocono Blues Festival
5. Montreux Jazz Festival
6. Jazz Festival in Cannes
7. London Blues Festival
8. Guinness Blues Festival
9. Cambridge Folk Festival
Co-star, Guest Appearances:
Junior Wells, Hubert Sumlin, Henry Gray, Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy Mays, Louis Myers, Dave Myers, Louisiana Red, Sam Ray, Tail Dragger, Jimmy Rogers, John Brim, Lurie Bell, Kenny Neil, Larry Garner, Tabby Thomas, Billy Branch, Sugar Blue, John McDonald, Nick Moss, Donald Kinsey, Luther Allison, Buddy Scott, Paul Orta, Paul Oscher , Mary Lane, Jody Williams.
"Japanese harp player, Wabi, was a real joy for those of us who have become tired of all those hyperactive Walter imitators." Juke Blues Magazine, No.35 Summer 1996.
According to the article about Wabi, "He was blown into the air and a new talent for sure. We were fed up with the excessive mimicking of Little Walter by others. Praises fly." Black Music Review No.220. December Issue 1996
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