Brendan Power & Tim Edey
Brothers of the Free Reed - that's what we are! The Harmonica and Irish
Button-box share much in common: their sound is made by air passing
through metal free-reeds, they both use an in-out air direction to
activate the reeds, and their tuning layout is quite similar. But it's in the
differences that the beauty of this unique combination lies. The box's
large steel reeds make it considerably louder, and instead of the lungs
Brendan uses to puff air through his mouth-harp, Tim employs a powerful
bellows action. He can also generate bass and chord accompaniment,
which is very limited on the moothie. But where the harmonica loses out
in sheer power it gains in expression - notably the ability to bend notes,
that 'blues harp' wailing sound adored by all. Tim and Brendan's special
blend of these two types of free-reed instrument is a perfect vindication
of the old adage: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts.
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