And no I’m not talking about something I might have brought back from Hershey, PA, but about an amplifier I bought today. It’s a Fender Champ 600, circa 1955 or so. It’s small — about five watts of power, and maybe 18″ across (a standard diatonic harmonica would just about fit under the handle) and sounds … amazing.
Tube amps sound best when you drive them hard, but even mid-size amps are just too loud to play at top volume. This little guy, though, can be opened up to 8 or 9 without blowing anyone out of the room, and sounds hot, with just that level of tube-distortion crunch that makes for that blues harp sound.
I rarely play amplified, but this will make its stage debut early next month at the Greenwich Village Bistro, with Saboteur Tiger. I’ll be playing harp for two sets with them on April 3, and before that I’ll be playing the Barrington Coffeehouse in Barrington, NJ, on March 29. More details to come on both shows.