This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Jan 20, 2012

Lloyd Buford Threlkeld, a Pioneer

Lloyd Buford Threlkeld was a guitarist and a singer, born in Eminence, KY. He moved to Louisville in 1915 and there, took the stage name Whistler, began playing the nose flute, and formed a jug band (the famous jug bands of Louisville were bands mixing traditional instruments with ordinary objects transformed into instruments, including jugs).

The band was formed by :
Willie Black, Banjo
Jess Ferguson, Violin
Luther Nichols Violin
B. D. Tite, Jug
Rudolph Thompson, Jug
Whistler aka Buford Threlkeld, Guitar, nose whistle, vocals
James Watts, Vocals

According to, « Whistler and His Jug Band was a long-lasting and popular group that recorded for several labels from the mid-'20s through the early '30s, and influenced many of the jug bands that followed. The group was formed in 1915 in Louisville, KY by guitarist, vocalist and whistler Buford Threlkeld. The band first entered the recording studios in September 1924 when they traveled to Richmond, IN to cut several sides for the Gennett label. The second recording trip for Whistler & His Jug Band took them to St. Louis in April 1927. On this trip, the jug band recorded 10 songs for Okeh.  In June, 1931the band got to record in their hometown of Louisville ».

(Illustration by R. Crumb)

Here are some stunning examples of Threlkel's nosey talent :

Jerry O'Mine (Whistler), 9-25-1924, Richmond, Indiana, Gennett 5554-B :

Jug Band Special, 4-29-1927, St. Louis, Missouri, Okeh 8816.
(nose flute solo starting at 1'44) :

Low Down Blues (Eubie Blake / Noble Sissle), 4-29-1927, St. Louis, Missouri, Okeh 8469.
(nose flute solo starting at 0'56) :

But more! There is a gorgeous movie footage, let's dare to say a music clip, of Whistler and his Jug Band. Unfortunately "sans nose flute", but stunning anyway, with three jug-men!

Big thanks to Uncle Emile for having stressed my attention on those jewels!


Jan 18, 2012

Videos : Hanabue114, a great showman !

Hanabue114 is a very productive Japanese noseflutist. He put online no less than 18 videos on his YouTube channel in just a bit more than one month.

Hanabue114 is not a master like Mosurin, but is the noseflutist the most joyful and expressive I know on the web. Any video by him is a sincere pleasure to watch at, because this player share his own pleasure and deep involvement in playing. He likes to salute his remote public with a Japanese bending, and then to enter a dance.
He works on the framing of the video shooting, plays with the light, and chooses stunning backgrounds, like black-light reactive or super-psychedelic wallpapers.

Hanabue114 just released a 6 Disco videos series.

We display here just a few videos, but we really invite you to watch to all of his production.

Jan 17, 2012

Hum-a-Tune : different colors

We already presented the Hum-a-Tune in this blog. The basic version of this low-grade Humanatone copy first, here, and the branded Bullwinkle's version there.

Since, we found other representants of this Hong-Kong 1970's production. We discovered the range of colors proposed to the public, and also, that there had been at least 2 different versions of the packaging.

Some pictures of the babies :

And here is a comparison between the two different typos I noticed on the packaging, one printed in vermillion/dark blue, and the other carmine/black :

Which one was the first ? I don't know, but I assume that the blue typo was later than the black one, because the front design is more realized, more compact, and that the mispelling ("nostrile") has been corrected.


On a similar topic :

- Hum-a-Tune : a vintage low grade copy
- Hum-a-Tune : different colors
- Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune and Humanatone
- Humanatone copy from 1997


Jan 16, 2012

Video : The Celery Nose Flute

There is currently a huge buzz on Twitter and other networks about this video. Its author, the Japanese Heita3 is not a newcomer in vegetable instruments crafting ... and already did a lot of stunning and funny videos with them. His last creation is a celery nose flute.

Jan 15, 2012

Bocarina : Lucky America!

Since the Bocarina reviews and the Chris Schuerman's interview we published here, here , here and here, some people showed they were interested in getting this hi-end plastic nose flute.
It was a bit difficult, due to huge postage fees and ... delivery hazards from South Africa. is very glad to announce that the Bocarinas are now distributed in the USA, and can be ordered from a online shop !

Mr. Al Hager of Groth Music proposes the Bocarinas in 3 colors - black, blue or red - for a very attractive retail price ($6.95 +s/h). And Groth Music proposes to send all over the world...

So, if you are interested, here is the link : Groth Music Company