Harmonica Shah has been a fixture on the Detroit blues circuit since the 1970's. Harmonica Shah’s roots are planted firmly in three pivotal blues regions. The West Coast, where he was born Thaddeus Louis Hall, in Oakland, California on March 31, 1946. Shah also spent time in Somerville, Texas, where he spent time in his youth with with his blues harmonica and guitar playing grandfather, Sam Dawson. Shah told Living Blues magazine that his grandfather's passion for the blues inspired him and his adopted hometown of the Motor City.
His mother, a beautician, encouraged him to be a salesman for Jet magazine in the latter part of the 1950s. This allowed Shah access to Oakland's bars and clubs, where he heard musicians such as Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Juke Boy Bonner and Big Mama Thornton.
He moved to Detroit in 1967, and worked for Ford Motors for fifteen years. Shah bought himself a cheap harmonica in 1976 and, while operating as a taxicab driver, Shah was introduced to local blues jam sessions. "Hell, that was it, no turning back then", Shah recalled.
He has toured across the United States, as well as in Europe, Russia, Japan and Australia. Closer to his roots, Shah still occasionally performs for free at John's Carpet House on the eastside of Detroit. He legally changed his birth name to Seward Shah.
CD's & Digital Downloads:
- Motor City Mojo (2000) – Blue Suit Records #114
- Deep Detroit (2001) – South Side Records #4
- Tell It to Your Landlord (2003) – Electro-Fi Records #3373
- Listen at Me Good (2006) – Electro-Fi Records #3393
- If All You Have Is a Hammer (2009) – Electro-Fi Records #3413
- Live at the Cove (2011) - Electro-Fi Records #3422
- Havin' Nothin' Don't Bother Me (2013) - Electro-Fi Records #3436
- If You Live To Get Old, You Will Understand (2015) - Electro-Fi Records #3447
- Hastings Street Grease Vol. 1 Stubborn as a Mule & My Old Time Used to Be (1998) – Blue Suit Records
- Hastings Street Grease Vol. 2 Have Mercy, Mr. Reed & Bring Me My Shotgun(1999) – Blue Suit Record