Harmonica

John Barrutia

John Barrutia began playing the harmonica in the late 1950s.  He was self-taught and would listen to music and then would try to play the songs by ear.  He remembers playing with a group that he used to chum around with – Ray Mansisidor, Simon Achabal, and Al Erquiaga.  John recalls traveling up to Sun Valley with this group of friends and sleeping in a tent overnight and then playing music as the entertainment for a gathering up there in the 1950s or 60s.

Juan Urrutia

Juan Urrutia came to Idaho in the late 1960s from the town of Gizaburuaga in Bizkaia to herd sheep and was working for Bill Jones, of Hagerman, at the time of this recording.  Juan is playing the chromatic harmonica in these three songs.  His detail to notes and rhythms is impressive and you can tell that Juan spent time practicing songs that he recalled from memory while after fulfilling his job responsibilities as a camp tender for the Jones sheep outfit.  He never had any formal training in music, but enjoyed practicing songs by ear and also enjoyed sing

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