Welcome Lazy Lester

Bad? Yeah, he’s bad—one of the baddest. Lazy Lester is bad on multiple levels. He was bad enough to be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012.

He is still going strong after eight decades. That qualifies as bad in itself! If you speak with Lazy Lester, you will understand just how bad he really is. This is the type of “bad” label that many of us hope to wear, but that few of us may truly understand. When asked about advice he would give to up and coming blues artists, Lazy Lester stated his belief that too many players focus on developing a “bad” image.  

He revealed a simple, yet complex truth that applies to all musicians when he said, “You have to be real good to sound that bad.”

Lazy Lester is one of the baddest sounding players you will find. His first hits in 1958, “Sugar Coated Love” and “I’m a Lover, Not a Fighter” launched a stellar career that continues on today. Perhaps his greatest attribute is his sense of humility. Humility is where the blues begins, especially with the unassuming harmonica.

Lazy Lester is passionate about the harmonica, pouring his heart and soul across the reeds every time he plays, reminding us to do the same when he says, “Always play the best and never play too much of anything. Play for the music, not yourself.” He speaks of playing the best in a dual sense, both musically and in terms of equipment.

Musically, the best dates back to the greats, the blues harmonica players that walked a hard road to forge a path for the rest of us. Lazy Lester listened to those pioneers as a boy and still listens to them today, actively listening, absorbing every nuance in music that tells the story of the blues.

In terms of equipment, his choice is also deeply rooted in tradition—the SEYDEL 1847. He was astounded when he first played it. To Lazy Lester, playing an 1847 is like “riding with the wind.” The bends are easy, the tone is rich and full, and the quality exceeds that of harps he has played in the past. It was time for the big question.

“If Seydel would have been available back in 1958, would this have been your choice?” His answer was immediately, “Oh yeah!”

According to Lazy Lester, had the SEYDEL 1847 been available at his favorite five and dime store, Woolworth’s back in the day, they would have been his choice from the start.

One thing that he really loves about the 1847 is the name itself, because it reflects a long history of the blues dating back to the time when SEYDEL made their first harmonica, carrying on to the present, where they still honor tradition and craftsmanship, hand-making each harmonica at the original factory in Klingenthal, Germany.

By playing the SEYDEL 1847, Lazy Lester honors the musicians of the past who influenced him. He is part of the proud Seydel tradition as one of the masters who has played the rest and now plays the best. Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Mark Hummel, Lazy Lester, and many more made the choice to play the best music with the best instruments SEYDEL has to offer. Thank you, Lazy Lester, for sharing your passion through the music you play and thank you for teaching us all to think about how to be good before trying to be bad.

by Don Wuethrick

> Sound examples can be found on Lazy Lester's artist page


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