Annie Raines

Annie Raines was born in 1969 in Boston and grew up in the suburb of Newton, Massachusetts. She picked up the blues harp at 17 and made her stage debut at the 1369 Jazz Club in Cambridge 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 1988 interned with Washington, DC homeless rights activist Mitch Snyder, who persuaded her to drop out of school to pursue her musical career.

One of the few female blues harmonica players in the country, Raines played 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 was a featured soloist in the Cambridge Harmonica Orchestra and enjoyed yearlong stints with the Tarbox Ramblers and the Susan Tedeschi Band, going on to perform on Susan’s first three albums.

Raines began working with Country Blues master Paul Rishell in 1992. They have been a working team since then, playing Country Blues, Chicago Blues, Southern Gospel, and their own compositions at festivals, concert halls, and clubs all over the world.

Raines is the author of a harmonica instructional video, Blues Harmonica Blueprint which is available from


click on the links to some fun photos!

Annie with Susan Tedeschi and Debbie Davies at the 2000 Handy Awards

Backstage at the Old Vienna Coffeehouse