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Blues harpist Dennis Gruenling to offer free show at Gino's Pub

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 11:20 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Jersey boy Dennis Gruenling has been making a name for himself as one of the best new blues harp players while working with Doug Deming, with whom he has cut five records.

Gruenling, who is also a radio DJ and the host of "Blues & the Beat" WFDU 89.1 FM Teaneck, N.J., is on tour across the country and making a pit stop tonight, Feb. 4, at Gino's Pub, at 5th Avenue and 25th Street.

Gruenling, who just played for a couple nights with Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross in Memphis, is doing a free one-hour concert at 9 p.m. at the Pub.

Starting at 7 p.m., Gruenling will teach a 90-minute-long harmonica workshop in the office located two doors east of Gino's Pub. It is next to the Taco Bell. The intimate workshop cost is $20. The event is presented by The Harmonica Club of Huntington, which has a free jam every Tuesday at Gino's.

In addition to studying the classic harmonica and Chicago Blues records (Little Walter, Big Walter, James Cotton, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, etc...), Gruenling also cut his teeth on some classic blues/R&B/swing saxophone records from the likes of Illinois Jacquet, Willis Jackson, Red Prysock and Gene Ammons.

In 1998 he started to form his own local all-star band, using members pulled from other regional bands (including saxophonist Joel Frahm).

Ever since his self-titled debut with that band, "Dennis Gruenling & Jump Time!," hit the streets in 1999, Gruenling has pulled in countless fans and numerous accolades from critics and musicians around the world for his swinging, highly original harmonica sound and style. Taking equal parts from the harmonica and swing/saxophone traditions and styles, he has pushed the boundaries further for the sound of blues harmonica, while in the meantime pioneering a new sound and direction for the harmonica.

Through the years, Gruenling has shared the stage with many top names in the blues and roots world, such as Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Homesick James, Nappy Brown, John Mayall, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Little Sammy Davis, A.C. Reed, Mick Taylor and Jimmy Dawkins, as well as contemporary blues masters such as Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Rick Estrin/Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Kim Wilson, Rusty Zinn, Steve Guyger, Greg Piccolo, and Mark Hummel.

He has signed with the VizzTone label group to release his fifth album, along with his touring and recording partner Doug Deming, who also released a brand new disc featuring Gruenling in late 2012. They are both in the Top Ten of the Living Blues Radio Charts. The duo is touring the country in 2013.

Teaching blues harmonica has also been an interest and passion, and he is in demand as a private instructor and as part of numerous harmonica workshops and conventions that appear across the country and around the globe. Some of the workshops he's been part of include Jon Gindick's Harmonica Jam Camps, David Barrett's Harmonica Masterclass, Guitarrentage-Schorndorf (Germany), Euro BluesWeek (UK), SPAH Harmonica Festival, Buckeye Harmonica Festival, Turtle Bay Music School (New York City), and Joe Filisko's class at the Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago).

For more information, go online at http://dennisgruenling.com and http://www.hhcwv.com/.

For questions about the Huntington event or the Harmonica Club of Huntington, contact Jim Rumbaugh via e-mail at jrumbaug@live.marshall.edu.