Peter “Mad Cat” Ruth
Mad Dog Freedman
Walkin’ Cane Mark
Shakey Joe @ NAMM show w/Luthor
Gus’ leg tat
Shakey Joe & Gus on stage
Peter Mad Cat Ruth
Shakey & Dawn
Shakey Joe & son Gus
Walkin’ Cane Mark & Shakey
Peter Mad Cat Ruth
The Shaker Guys
Mad Cat & his Mad Cat
“I think the Shaker Madcat is the best harp mic in the world.” – Peter Madcat Ruth
Shakey and Dawn,
Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy and “thank you” for the new Retro Rocket you sent me.
I have played your Shaker Dynamic 1/4″ input for years and thought it to be the best mic I had played in my 40 odd years of playing. However, the new Retro Rocket, WOW! It has sweet tone for playing Blues or Rock melody lines, yet when you need to GET ON IT, for leads, it is as dynamic as I have ever heard. It is a pleasure to play and I can use my wireless with it as well.
My nephew who is in Iraq heard my bands new CD and said the harp was so clean and clear! Good news: some of the troops in his unit have a band and their harp player is now using the Shaker Dynamic and love it. Can’t wait until he hears the Retro Rocket! Thanks and all the best in the future. – Johnny Bledsaw aka Johnny B
“Shaker mics are real cool. Worth checking out across the board.” – Norton Buffalo
“This thing does some funky stuff.” – Carey Bell
“Shakers are the best live mic out there. Thanks a lot.” – Jack Wessel – Hot Brown Boys
“My Shaker hits hard, man! Feels so good. Hit me again.” – Big Tank Taylor
“…Who’da thunk it?!” – Shakey Joe Harless – Director – Shaker Microphones and Promotions Inc.
I have a Shaker Mad Dog and love it. It has great feedback resistance and can be held directly up against the harp or held with a large gap from the harp down off my pinky which is actually my preferred position as it gives me the most flexibility of sound. It is capable of producing more sound textures than any other mic I have ever tried, and is extremely versatile in application. I like it particularly because, like the Mad Cat, it does in excellent job producing a rich, full rhythm harp sound when I open my cup, while also allowing me to cup down tight for some gritty, almost bullet fat leads. I find it sounds great on any my tube amps (my screaming Vibrolux, my fat Blues Jr. or my nasty black face Princeton) even though before I bought the Mad Dog, I felt I needed to use a different mic with each amp to maximize its sound. I have no idea about solid state amps as I am tube head, but the Mad Dog is sweet straight into the PA as well.
The Mad Dog also opens up some incredible depth of sound in the studio, as it can be played through an amp and up to a ribbon mic at the same time leaving the sound engineer a full range of sound to blend together. (See http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/papajuke2 for the results.) I also occasionally use this “hybrid acoustic” technique playing up the vocal mic on stage while still blowing through my amp with the Mad Dog. It’s not a bullet so if that is what you like, I agree with Harper that the Shaker Retro Rocket model is both the loudest and nastiest bullet on market. If you need to cut through the mix, the Shaker Retro Rocket will definitely launch you. I have been playing Shaker Cyrstals & Dynamics for years. I love the size and feedback resistance of the whole Shaker line, but the Mad Dog totally fits my style, and is all I use anymore. Also I have to love the name!
My testimony on the Shaker Retro Rocket is as follows:
My name is Matt Campos and I play using the Shaker Retro Rocket.
This harp mic is hands down “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, period!!!” My band Pure Heat is a rock/blues band similar to Blues Traveler and the late great William Clarke-God rest his soul! John Popper and Bill Clarke are my two heroes of the harp. The sound of the Rocket is powerful, yet eliminates the feedback of a bigger bullet mic. I commend Shakey Joe Harless for his craftsmanship and detail into making these small but powerful blues tools for a harp player like me who demands great tone and overdriven sound! If you want a good quality bullet style mic, purchase the Retro Rocket!
Yours truly, Matt “Pure Heat” Campos
I first met Joe at the Fort Smith Blues Festival, Arkansas in 2007. My Shaker Retro Rocket has been going strong from 2007, all over the world – Australia, USA, Canada, Europe, The United Kingdom, the Caribbean and China. My Retro Rocket is the one piece of equipment that I can rely on. Only one major repair in over 12 years of very hard touring. This microphone is a testament to Shakey Joe’s skill as an engineer and designer of brilliant harmonica microphones. The Shaker Retro Rocket has created my sound and I just Love it!!!! I can’t thank Joe, Dawn and Shaker Microphones enough.
Peace, Peter D. Harper
Hello Joe & Dawn,
Thankyou for the Shaker microphones. I have 3 Madcats, 2 wood custom build, and 1 traditional black, new mold. They’re all I ever play. Everywhere I go people will ask me what I play, and I always rave about my Madcats. Recently, I have been fully endorsed by Hohner who also asked what microphone I use. The answer’s always the same.
You will find this picture in Vero Beach Magazne. A quote from the person who took the pic, “I had recently went to see Ernie Sutherland and the Delatholics, a local based blues band….I was struck by the intensity of Pompano Pete’s performance, and so I snapped this picture and won first place in the art show.” – Susan Webb
Hopefully we’ll be friends forever. Pompano Pete 100% Delta Blues
The Dynamic mic just arrived and all I can say is Wow! I couldn’t be happier. If this helps, you’re welcome to use these comments:
Please don’t think the Shaker mics are only for top professionals, although the quality is so good they would satisfy anybody however demanding. I recently purchased the Dynamic mic, and here are my observations. The small size makes for the right cup which is immediate, but the range of tone is far, far better than what I have from my Green Bullet. The tone is grittier and punchier. You can really dig in on the bends. Let’s face it, if you can’t touch a person’s heart with the harp, better take up the tuba. Shaker deserves recognition for a fine quality product.
Bob Lansburg, a California harp player for 30 years.
“The Retro Rocket is my personal favorite of all the Shaker mics, I currently gig with this mic. It has killer tone and gives me everything that I want from a harp mic, the bottom end is warm and rounded, while the top end still cuts through nicely. It’s small enough that you can cup it in one hand, but it still has tons of drive! Sounds great through my Super Reverb. Easily the best harp sound I’ve had to date!!!” – Will Wilde, endorser from the UK w/his Retro Rocket
My name is Keith Nestor. I just purchased one of your Dynamic Shaker Mics and really love it. I own a JT-30 and a beautiful custom chrome vintage Shure mic, and they sound great. But when I plugged your mic into my amp and started to blow, I was floored by the beautiful tone that it had. I have small hands and the cup was so much more comfortable. I was also surprised by the volume I got. My vintage Shure can get real loud, but if I loose the cup while playing, the feedback kills you. And, your mic cost 1/3 of what the custom cost. I love it. ………Thanks for making a great product. Keith Nestor
I have been waiting 25 years to find the right harp mic. I got to the stage where I was going to have to make my own (I even found an “astatic crystal pickup” in a 2nd hand store and was going to mold a body using epoxy resin). Then I stumbled across your Madcat mic in a Wellington, New Zealand Music Store. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you! Now I can play how I want to on stage.
Dear Good People At Shaker,
I just purchased a Madcat microphone. I have been playing through a Fender Super Champ XD. With my Silver Bullet, I had terrible feedback problems. The drummer thanks you, the guitar players thank you, the vocalist thanks you. Most importantly, I thank you.
Your happy customer,
Here’s another one:
Thru the years I’ve tried almost every kind of harp mic made
looking for that sound all of us harp players aspire to reach. Once
you turned me on to your MadDog & I used it in combination with my
old Gibson GA-20 amp, I’ve been in heaven. That amp has wonderful
tone when played at a really low volume & your mic brings out just
enough bite. It is absolutly the BEST tone I’ve ever come across.
Keith Rogers, Vocals & Harmonica – the JUMP BACK BROTHERS
Dear Shaker Microphone,
What can I say except, “Harper was right!”
I was convinced that Harper’s great tone was a mix of brilliant harmonica playing & great amplification. He kept telling me about the RETRO ROCKET & it’s great ability to capture just the right tone. I kept saying I was happy with the gear I had. I have been playing harmonica for 37 years, since I was 5 yrs. old. I thought that I had seen & heard it all. I was surprised that I had become this.
I’ve been thru my share of harmonicas, mics & amps & learned what I liked & what I wanted. My several gig kits consists of over driven tube amps like the Bassman & a custom redesigned Gibson Lancer, amoung others. I have several mics I use to capture different styles & tones. I am even experimenting with a bass amp modeling unit & am getting surprisingly great results with it.
Well, after 22 years of abuse, one of my favorite vintage microphones died. That’s when Harper’s words of wisdom & glowing endorsement came to mind. I decided it was time to try the Shaker Retro Rocket.
I’ll say it again, “Harper was right.” In a short time I have become a believer. The Retro Rocket (RR) just feels right. It is a pleasure to hold & use. Its size enables me to have more hand control & the sound is incredible. I have come to know the pros & cons of most of the great harmonica microphones. The RR captures the essence of some of the greatest harmonica microphones while leaving behind any of the cons. The RR has become my primary microphone, I have retired all others.
Thank you for making an incredible product, and Harper, thank you for showing me the light.
Scott “Blue Lou” Piazza
Harmonica, Vocals, Percussion’s, Sound & More
Nickel Plate Road Band, Proletarian Blues Project,
Founder of The Southest Florida Musicians Group
Joe, Dawn and the Shaker family,
Hey guys, just wanted to drop you a line and tell you that after almost three years of using my arsenal of Shaker Mics (can’t believe it’s been THREE years already!) I am still madly in love with my whole collection!
I’ve been using the mighty Dyno for smaller club gigs when I travel with my small Marshall amp ( and let the amp do all the dirty work! ), and then turning to my beloved Retro-Rocket when it comes to larger concert settings and I need to “crank it up” up a bit through the 60 watt Fender.
I recently recorded a live album in Australia with Clutch and used the Retro-Rocket throughout the entire show, and it recorded beautifully! I can’t wait to get back into the studio again with my main band Five Horse Johnson and see what my collection can do!
Well, that’s all for now ya’ll. I hope this note finds you well and keep up the righteous work!
Love, peace and bacon grease! – Eric Oblander
Hello Joe, Dawn and Gus,
My name is Steven Dunkel. Upon researching harp microphones, I learned about your Shaker mics. I read all the reviews about mics, and then gave your company a call. I am very impressed with Joe’s knowledge and your customer service. Also the quality, versatility, usability and tone of Shaker mics. These mics really are gig tested. And Shaker continues to improve, innovate and create additional mics, specifically to provide harp players great options to expand their tone palettes. You don’t paint a picture by only using one brush…so you should also expand your harp creativity by using different microphones. I now own two, a dynamic & Madcat.
Thanks so much,
Steven Dunkel, Long Island, NY
I sincerely hope you never become tired of what must be a standard reply after receiving, in my case, one of your Madcat mics. “Never heard anything like it!” I am 60 years old and when I think back I realize I have in one form or another been playing harmonics for some time. In the last 10 years I have truly discovered Blues and after being asked up to play as a guest stop, I now play regularly w/a blues group. May I add my length of time playing unfortunately is not reflective of my talents. But, I have just received this small package w/your Madcat mic in it. If there was ever a product that fits the bill, “do not knock it till you’ve tried it, and size is definitely NOT necessarily better”, your product is what ALL harmonica players should try. Thank you for all the time & effort that has clearly gone into producing something that makes a harmonica sound as it should!
Yours, Richard Burkow
“Hi Shakey Joe and the team.”
I’m now in the middle of a New Zealand tour. I have been trying them all out on the tour, and using them for different songs to give some pleasing variety of tone and attack. I run them through a Kinder Anti-Feedback unit and into a Korg Pandora multi-effects box. I can adjust the various settings in the Pandora to create a patch that suits each mic, and I’m enjoying switching between them. I also use the mics plugged into the Pandora with headphones attached to jam in the car when we’re driving, giving me a huge sound & inspiration for new material.” Thanks again, all the best, and good luck for the future.
We are proud to add Mr. Power has a signed endorser.
He is using our Madcat, Mad Dog and Retro Rocket microphones.
To Joe & Dawn,
Thank you so much for the incredible Shaker Retro Rocket. It has become my trustworthy friend over the past three years and has been featured on my last two CD’s and many worldwide tours. My Shaker Retro Rocket has never broken down or let me down. I usually play into a pre amp (tube) for my tone. But, recently while I was touring in the UK, I plugged straight into the amp. The Shaker’s tone and distortion sounded amazing. This microphone is the best I have ever used.
Thank you for creating it!
Harper/World Fusion Blues
(check him out- his info is on our linkage page)
Just wanted to let you know that I truly love this mic. It is easy to hold and control. It took a few minutes to get used to holding it but now no problem. Coupled with my Pignose small amp the sound is outstanding. Good work, keep it up. Oh yes! The workmanship is superb. I would definitely get another and recommend it to anyone looking for a superb harp mic. Regards Carole Blatchley
Hi Joe aka Shakey,
After talking with you Thursday via phone from Houston, I plugged my Madcat into a pre-amp I already had, a Holmes Engineering Harp Commander 2. It made a world of difference. The Harp Commander is set as follows: Output – Max, Gain – 3/4, Bass – 3/4, Treble – 1/2, Mid – 1/4. I am extremely pleased with this setup. It actually has more punch than my bullet mic, with or without the pre-amp attached. I have always favored the hand techniques that are now much easier and will probably only use the bullet mic for backup. The Madcat is now my main stay. Thanks Tim Graves
Dawn and Joe,
“Double Wow”, I just received my two Shaker mics in the mail. I had to try them immediately and let me tell you, I WAS NOT disappointed! I’ve been playing a vintage JT-30 and a stock Green Bullet for three years. Your Shaker Retro Rocket is way cool looking and has the tone, punch and compression I’ve been looking for in a harp mic. It sounds great with my Harp Gear Amp! The Shaker Dynamic is a top gun too. I’ll be using both this weekend in Deadwood. Thank you all for everything and again well done, I’m very pleased with what I bought. Keepin’ the blues alive (even in South Dakota) can ya believe that? Best Regards, Jeff Kottwitz
Don’t know if you remember but I recently ordered a Shaker Dynamic Mic from you over the phone. Just wanted to let you know that I’m extremely happy with it! It sounds perfect and is the perfect size. And tough so even I won’t break it. I wouldn’t change a thing…thanks again!
My new Madcat arrived 3 hours ago.
Out of my heart with thick block busting pull rockin thunder, I thank you.
I love the Pull – It’s so deep a cave that storms and moves so well.
Excellent = So cool you are to connect me to this harp mic.
Hey, if anyone listens to Norton Buffalo & The Knockouts, Album: King of the Highway, Song: Shuffalo, Song: Hoodo Roux; They will hear what the Shaker harp mics can do that other mics for sure cannot do. My opinion is that these 2 songs show a great side of your mics that you should hear and a place for others to hear a good example how nice the harp moves through the mics.
Just finished 14-song G-Man Power Duo CD with my buddy Ko. Used the Shaker Dynamic Retro Rocket on All 14 cuts. Played Straight Rock/Pop and Blues styles.–ballads and upbeat stuff. Added a foam windscreen to the mic so I wouldn’t have any “clinking” on any tracks. Worked out great. The Dynamic Retro Rocket is comfortable and delivers the goods. We’re Mastering the CD in about a week and getting the graphics done. Will send one as soon as we have the finished goods.
Hello Mr. and Mrs. Shaker,
We just want to thank you for all you did in the past and hope you are healthy in the future!
We are very happy about the Madcat microphone we bought. I play the bass guitar in a Swiss blues/rock band and the microphone was a gift for our singer/blues harper…when I gave him this present he became tears in his eyes!
He is also very lucky about this microphone and for the future, he will never touch his green bullet.
I think the Madcat is the absolutely best solution for harpers and it sounds great, no feedback problems, and we use it on a Peavey Classis 30 Tube amp.
I just can thank you again and excuse my bad English, I have to learn, I know…!
Best Regards, Fredi Steffen, Switzerland
Joe & Co.,
Just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the great customer service!!! I love the mic, the sound is great, makes my tube amp break just right. The high notes are smooth and out there, and has enough cajones to get a good growl when I bear down on the dirty stuff. It’s taken over as the #1 weapon in my arsenal! I’ll give you a call when I’m ready for the dynamic version, but in truth, it may be a bit longer. I’m just havin’ too much fun with this one.
Michael “The Fatman” Gorens
I just wanted to drop you guys a line and tell you how much I have enjoyed the Madcat mic that I was recently given to replace my Green Bullet. All I can say is WOW! What a great sound. It sounds awesome in my live rig as well as what we have done recording. I was wondering if you guys have any promotional gear for sale like a t-shirt or bumper sticker, anything so I can let everyone know what a cool product you have. Thanks for your time.
Harmonica player for Mile Marker 7