Nick Reynolds, The Alabama 3 via The Sopranos to The Simpsons

I love to hear the harmonica adding some atmosphere to a film or TV show. Unfortunately the musician who plays the music is rarely credited.

The Alabama 3

I was watching an episode of a series on Channel 5 (British TV) called Finders Keepers and there in the background was that harmonica sound. I checked the website and wrote to the producer and he told me the music was by the Alabama 3, a group from Brixton, in London. Feeling pleased with myself, I watched the program again and saw that their name was on the opening credits…

I visited the Alabama 3 website and found out more about their harmonica player, Nick Reynolds.

Nick Reynolds

Nick was born in London in 1962 and his first band was in the Royal Navy in1979. In 1983, whilst serving in Navy Intelligence in Whitehall, he played with the reformed 60’s group The Pretty Things until 1985 when he went to Australia. On his return to London in 1989 he played in a series of groups – Les Grandes Branleurs, Backstreet Band, the Brit-pop band Octopus, and the experimental electro jazz band Blowpipe before becoming part of the Alabama 3 in 2001. There are more than 3 members and they don’t come from Alabama.

Woke up this morning

Alabama 3 were a new band to me and we don’t have any TV subscription channels. This may explain why when I started looking at their recordings I was unaware of the world wide fame they had achieved when their recording of Woke up this morning was used for the opening credits of The Sopranos. The bluesy rap song with influences from Howlin’ Wolf, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Muddy Waters.

From The Sopranos to The Simpsons

I went off in search of news of The Sopranos and found some great videos and parodies of the opening credits to the TV show.

The Sopranos opening credits
The Simpsons Parody

Alabama 3 in concert

Here are two performances of Woke up this morning by Alabama 3. The first one live in concert and a second small group acoustic one with more of Nick on harmonica.

Woke up this morning – Belladrum 2023
Work up this morning – Cigar Box Sessions 2015

More on Nick Reynolds, harmonica player, writer, sculptor, artist, composer and producer here.