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Blowing Reeds

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He may be 65 years old, but no one is going to pull a fast one on L.J. Atkinson. The vice president of the Harmonica Club of Greater Kansas City isn't fooled by the popular image of campfire cowboys strumming lonely chords on guitars. "They were actually playing harmonicas," Atkinson says. "The guitar couldn't survive the bouncing around in a chuck wagon." Like those cowboys of yore, Atkinson and his wife, Elizabeth, were sucked in by the portability and playability of the harmonica. But the couple was downright blown away by the effect their mouth harps had on their friends. "The harmonica is so uplifting," says Elizabeth, who teaches the instrument at the Northland Career Center. "I've seen Alzheimer's patients just come to life when they hear it." The Atkinsons and other local harmonica enthusiasts gather tonight (and the second Thursday of every month) at the Stafford Room at Wexford Place (6500 North Crosby, 816-790-3724). For more information, see har monicaclubkc.org.
Thu., Jan. 10, 2008

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