Jeffrey Carp

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Jeffrey M Carp
Also known asJeffery Carp, Jeff Carp, Jeff Karp
BornJuly 6, 1948
OriginUnited States
DiedJanuary 1, 1973(1973-01-01) (aged 24)
Instrument(s)Harmonica, vocals
Years active1960s-1973

Jeffrey M. Carp (July 6, 1948 – January 1, 1973) was an American blues harmonica player, He is best known for his work with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Howlin' Wolf. He played harmonica on numerous charting blues albums. He was also for a period of time, a side man in Earl Hooker's band.


Among the artists recorded with were Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. He played on albums If You Miss 'Im ... I Got 'Im by John Lee Hooker and The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions by Howlin' Wolf.[1][2] A prodigy, he was said to have played beyond his years.[3][4]

He was a student at the University of Chicago and played with many blues bands in the area, being exposed to the music of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Earl Hooker.[citation needed]

As a teenager, Carp had his own band, The Jeff Carp Blues Band, a group that included violinist Joel Smirnoff.[5][6]

He also recorded with Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker,[7] John Lee Hooker,[8] The Soulful Strings,[9] Patti Drew, and Marlena Shaw.[citation needed]

He appeared on the 1969 Muddy Waters album, Fathers and Sons.[2][10]


He joined Sam Lay's band[7][11] with guitarist Paul Asbell and the group recorded three songs for the LP Goin' To Chicago, released in 1966 on Testament Records.[12]

In April, 1969, he was at the recording session for Fathers and Sons by Muddy Waters. Other musicians present were Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Asbell, Otis Spann and Donald "Duck" Dunn.[13][11] In May, 1969, he played on the Lightnin' album by Lightnin' Hopkins which was produced by Chris Strachwitz.[14][15] Also that month, he played on Earl Hooker's Funk album. Carp also contributed vocals to the album.[16] Carp had actually been sitting in with Hooker for while from late 1968 to early 1969. After some of Hooker's side men left, Carp and guitarist Paul Asbell were brought in as band members. Carp filled in the missing ingredient for the group that had come about due to Carey Bell's departure.[17]

In May 1970, along with Howlin' Wolf, Hubert Sumlin and Chess Records producer Norman Dayron, Carp travelled to London for a recording session.[18] He was playing at London's Olympic Studio, in the recording session that took place between the 2nd and 7th of that month which would result in Howlin' Wolf's London Sessions.[2][19]

Critics and producers described him in superlative terms. A reviewer of the reissued London Howlin' Wolf Sessions said "the late Jeffrey Carp provided fireballs of musical punctuation via his blistering shots on harmonica."[2] Norman Dayron described him as "the most important talent I've worked with".[20] Writing about a live concert by Earl Hooker in San Francisco in 1969, a reviewer said, "Mouth harpist Jeff Carp ... is magnificent - for my money better than Paul Butterfield (more musical, more inventive)".[7] Rolling Stone wrote of Fathers and Sons "talking about harmonica playing, there’s superlative chromatic work by Jeff Carp ... he does a hell of a job".[11]

Carp is also credited as the composer of "Bring Me Home", sung by Tracy Nelson as the title track of the 1971 Mother Earth, Bring Me Home album, on Reprise Records.[21][22]


Carp died by accidental drowning on January 1, 1973 while on vacation in the Caribbean with his girlfriend Scarlet Grey after jumping from a boat. He was 24.[23][24][25] [20]


(as a sideman)


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Harmonica, By Peter Krampert - Page 33 Carp, Jeff
  2. ^ a b c d e North, Peter (22 March 2003). "Reissued London sessions something to howl about". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta. p. E3. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  3. ^ The OC Weekly, March 12, 2013 - How Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf Gave England the Blues
  4. ^ 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of the Rolling Stones, By Peter Fornatale - Page 137
  5. ^ The Library of Congress Presents a Season of Chamber Music at the National Academy of Sciences - Page 5 JOEL SMIRNOFF
  6. ^ The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music, Volume 1 - Page 86
  7. ^ a b c Elwood, Philip (15 May 1969). "Blues on Hooker's Guitar". San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. p. 30. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. ^ Bush, Ricky (February 5, 2010). "Back In The Day: Don't Mess With The Hookers".
  9. ^ a b Macaulay, Allen (25 January 1970). "Record Roundup - The Soulful Strings". The Record. Hackensack, New Jersey. p. 24. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Howlin' Wolf: The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions". January 24, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d Rolling Stone, May 24, 2001 - Album Reviews, Fathers and Sons By Pete Welding
  12. ^ Thoughts on the Blues, Tuesday, 22 August 2017 - Jeff Carp, the harmonica maestro - Part 2
  13. ^ Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero, By Ed Ward, Billy Gibbons - Date: April 22, 1969
  14. ^ Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues, By Alan B. Govenar - Page 281 Discography
  15. ^ Mojo Hand: The Life and Music of Lightnin' Hopkins, By Timothy J. O'Brien, David Ensminger - Page 207
  16. ^ Earl Hooker, Blues Master, By Sebastian Danchin - Page 361
  17. ^ Earl Hooker, Blues Master, By Sebastian Danchin - Page 270
  18. ^ Sun Records - Howlin’ Wolf, Biography
  19. ^ Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf, James Segrest, Mark Hoffman - Page 373
  20. ^ a b c d Selvin, Joel (22 August 1976). "A Producer Recalls Recording in An 'Intense, Frightening Scene'". San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. p. 39. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Bring Me Home - Mother Earth | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Vinyl Album: Mother Earth - Bring Me Home (1971)". Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  23. ^ Black, Johnny (July 16, 2020). "What happened when Howlin' Wolf hooked up with rock royalty to make an album". Louder Sound. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  24. ^ "Bring Me Home - Mother Earth | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  25. ^ "Vinyl Album: Mother Earth - Bring Me Home (1971)". Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  26. ^ Wagner, David F (14 September 1969). "Idea great, album just very good". The Post-Crescent. Appleton, Wisconsin. p. S4. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  27. ^ Rudis, Al (29 May 1970). "Where You Been So Long, Earl Hooker?". Press and Sun-Bulletin. Binghamton, New York. The Press-Chicago Sun-Times. p. 44. Retrieved 27 March 2019.

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