Annie Raines



Annie Raines has earned a reputation as one of the best female harmonica players in the world and has been hailed by her peers as one of the top blues harpists, regardless of gender. She was born in 1969 in Boston.  She picked up a Hohner "Pocket Pal" at 17 and made her stage debut a few months before her high school graduation. Enthralled by the recordings of Muddy Waters, Little Walter Jacobs, Big Walter Horton and Sonny Boy Williamson, she became a fixture at Boston area blues jams. She briefly attended Antioch College and in 1988 interned with Washington, DC homeless rights activist Mitch Snyder, who persuaded her to drop out of school to pursue her musical career. She started out playing the New England club circuit with local bands, and traveled to Chicago where she met and played with many of her musical idols including Pinetop Perkins, Louis Myers, and James Cotton.

She paired up with country blues guitar master Paul Rishell in 1992, and together they have earned loyal fans around the globe. They have released six albums together, including MOVING TO THE COUNTRY (2000), the W.C.Handy Award winner for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year,” and have performed on diverse radio and TV shows including A Prairie Home Companion, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and PBS’s Arthur. They have performed and recorded with Susan Tedeschi, John Sebastian, Pinetop Perkins, and Rory Block.   She is the only female player to appear on the new Smithsonian Folkways release "Classic Harmonica Blues" and will be featured on an upcoming all-women harmonica album called "Hermonicas" on Ruf Records in 2013.  Annie has been teaching harmonica for almost 25 years, and recently released an instructional video, Blues Harmonica Blueprint (Truefire).



Annie Raines PLAYS