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Just living long enough if you can carry a tune you will be able to sing the blues. Because the world is going to provide you with a blues to sing - Josh White Jr, Frets magazine

Author Topic: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!  (Read 2204 times)

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Offline Oldwailer

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Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« on: July 18, 2010, 08:58:43 AM »
Just putting it out there--I'm already getting excited.  This will be my second time for blues week. Anybody else out there losing sleep like a kid before Christmas?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 08:59:56 AM by Oldwailer »

Offline Lwoodblues

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 08:43:32 PM »
   I usually don't lose to much sleep until I get there!!!
Lwoodblues  (this is #14 for me)

Offline Slack

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 08:38:46 AM »
I could not make PT this year --- but I now know that WeenieCampbell is well represented, I received this MMS message via my phone last night about 1:30am, which would still be early for the participants.  :D Farren is on the left, who is responsible for the poster I believe -- dunno about the other two folks. a little blurry, but a pretty good job on copying the logo.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline glhundt

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 07:43:08 AM »
Farren, Laura McCormack (guitar, voice, blues dancer), Gerry Hundt (yours truly, mandolin instructor).

Offline Slack

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 07:46:40 AM »
Welcome Gerry!  I see you are not too exhausted to make a post.  How was the workshop for you?

Offline glhundt

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 07:54:19 AM »
Exhilarating and exhausting...  What a wonderful event and community!

There are far too many highlights to mention, but the faculty jam at the Public House on Saturday night lingers.

Offline lindy

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 10:21:56 AM »
I couldn't do the entire workshop this year, so I can only comment of the stuff I saw and heard from noon o'clock on Friday to the wee hours of Sunday.

David Bromberg did a fun talking-and-demonstration workshop in 204 Friday afternoon. I had not realized how strong his connections were to the Washington Square-Gary Davis-Dave Van Ronk-Paul Geremia-et al. crowd. Enjoyed hearing his stories, and listening to the great version of Statesboro Blues that he does.

Thank you whoever put Lightnin' Wells as the opening act for Bromberg's Quartet set on Friday night. The nice big crowd was attracted by the "name" star, and Lightnin' got to show his stuff in a big way. And it is an amazing amount of stuff. And it was fun to hear him called "Lightnin' Hopkins" by the emcee at the end of his set.

The Bromberg Quartet was wonderful, they have a wide wide repertoire that normally contains a lot of bluegrass, but the focus of the evening was on blues. Bromberg sent the band off for a break for a half-dozen acoustic songs that were completely satisfying.

Steve James knocked 'em dead once again at the Saturday afternoon concert, so did Nat Reese with Phil Wiggins. I want that same energy and sense of rhythm as Nat has when I'm 86 years old. The Ebony Hillbillies really drove home the point about the large number of black fiddlers who helped create different kinds of American music in the 19th century, especially bluegrass.

But the real knockout performance Saturday afternoon was Jarron Paxton. His set was advertised as a band, but he was all by his lonesome doing a mini-set with a guitar (great ragtime stuff), two extended pieces on the piano (fantastic mini-medley of Fats Waller's Honeysuckle Rose and Ain't Misbehavin'), and one killer medley at warp speed on the banjo. He's either 20 or 21, and he's got nothin' but a big bright future as a musician in his future, I sure hope he has the help he needs to wind his way through the minefields of being a professional. And I swear, I really hope someone can get the $$ together to find him an old-fashioned suit, put him on a piano bench, put a little black parlor guitar in his hands, take a picture of him, and sign copies of them, "Cordially yours, Jarron Paxton." From where I was sitting, Jarron has a lot of facial features that make him look like Blind Blake. And his chops make him sound a lot like Blind Arthur. If I win that lotto, I'm footin' the bill for an Ari-and-Jarron duet CD.

Most of my Saturday night clubbing was spent in Sirens: Jarron solo, Jarron with a local jug band named the Crow Quill Night Owls--fantastic! Rev. Robert Jones makes me want to use a New Age-tinged word that I normally avoid--"channel", as in "Rev. Jones doesn't just play tunes by Son House, early Muddy Waters, and Blind Willie Johnson, he channels their spirits into his performances." He's a powerful musician on stage, as one might expect of someone who preaches every Sunday at a Baptist church in Detroit. I heard a lot of positive comments about his classes during the week.

But like I said, I was just there for the weekend. I sat in on two dormitory jam sessions. I heard there was an almost-all-nighter jam in 204 Thursday night this year that was a highlight for a lot of people. I spent time at the Weenie house Friday afternoon and late Saturday night into Sunday morning, they sure do know how to make a body feel welcomed. Had the pleasure of sitting next to Uncle Bud to watch him do his Lemon Jefferson licks. Yes!

I had more fun packed into two days than the last six months combined, makes me wonder how I ever handled doing seven days of Centrum in the past.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 12:19:10 PM by lindy »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 07:30:39 AM »
Having missed last year, I was happy to be back this year and had a fantastic time. I brought a mandolin, rented a banjo and borrowed a banjo uke from KC, so I got an all-around workshop experience. All I needed was an accordion. Lots of fun. Thanks for the mandolin classes, Gerry, I learned a lot.

Divvying up my time between guitar, banjo, mandolin and uke did my hands a real favour, and I was able to play all week for this first time in years. Limiting myself to two of Del Rey's Memphis Minnie classes probably helped a lot.  :P It's like boot camp for your hands.

I have to say Lightnin' Wells was working hard (he seemed to be booked everywhere, even in the chapel for a kids' concert) and sounding better than ever. He's always a highlight each year he's there, but damn he was good.  

I agree, Lindy, Jerron's set was very impressive, particularly the closing banjo medley (The Cat Came Back and Way Down the Old Plank Road?). A showstopper. A nice version of Bert Williams' "Somebody" as well, done on guitar. If he'd had a CD, he would have sold stacks of them - I saw a bunch of people walk away from the CD tent disappointed.

I very much enjoyed the Ebony Hillbillies as well, and wish I had seen a set of theirs in one of the clubs.

Great to see everyone again, though we were missing several Weenie regulars and one key faculty member. Thanks again to all the folks at Centrum, especially Peter, and to PT friends like Farren, Joan and Roz. And special thanks to FrontPage, who as always was a most agreeable and entertaining fellow traveller.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 07:33:19 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 02:34:09 PM »
The real world sucks.  I wanna go back.
My computer time is limited to brief chunks at the library nowadays, so this will be brief. 
I studied with Jerron, Del, and George Rezendes mostly.  A little Rev. Jones as well.  Many licks, tricks and tips were shared.  We shall see what I retain and apply. 
Highlight for me was performing with Devin (Gallus Brothers, Crow Quill Night Owls) at the participant's concert.  He taught me Howard Armstrong's "State Street Rag" two days before the concert.  I was nervous as hell, but I think we pulled it off pretty well.  Devin wanted to play as fast as possible.  I think it lasted about 90 seconds.  I hope somebody Youtubes it. 
My girlfriend is getting tired of hearing Jerron's name.  I am totally obsessed with this guy.  And I've got great news for everyone....  HE'S GOT A CD!!!  They were supposed to arrive at PT, but didn't make it.  It's just a live show someone recorded.  Guitar and banjo I think.  No piano.  It's not on CDbaby yet, but hopefully will be soon.  Send him an email at blindboypaxton (at) gmail (dot) com and he'll hook you up. 
I was lucky enough to get to wake him up at 8:30am Sunday morning (he was up drinking 'til 7).  I drove him down to the Pickathon in Portland where he stopped everyone in their tracks.  Got to hang out with him and Frank Fairfield briefly.  What a pair! 
Screw it.  Let's all move to PT and take over!

Offline Desperate Stevens

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Re: Blues Week is Coming! Blues Week is Coming!
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 04:19:51 PM »
Let's go now!  I'm having terribly separation anxiety.

I also fell in love with Jerron.   He's a great entertainer.  And the Crow Quill Night Owls! 
Other highlights for me were:
- Del's uke class. I did it on the guitar but it worked fine.  She always comes up with the best tunes.  And her teaching style has become very accommodating. I used to have to go and lay down after one of her classes to stop my head spinning. Not anymore.  Ok, I may have learned a little along the way, but I really do think her teaching style has just become more accessible.
- The Ebony Hillbillies.  They were so lively and welcoming.  And Gloria plays the same bones I play which is weird because they come from Edmonds, WA.
- Lightnin's uke only set at the Under Town. 
- Hanging and laughing and playing with the Weenies.  Thanks Uncle Bud for showing me the Gus Cannon tune on the banjar.  I've almost got the hook down.
- watching the artwork evolve in one of the Weeniehaus's.  We borrowed the 'O's' off someone's cereal box and replaced them with hand drawn ones at 1:30 AM.  I can't remember when I laughed so hard.

I still really missed John Miller not being there.  Let's all put that in our 'survey' please.
Also, I'm told Fiddle Tunes has dances just about every night.  We want that too!  They've unfortunately eliminated the electric aspect of the dances which is ridiculous when you consider that most of the elder bluesmen play electric. Calling it an Acoustic Blues Festival is really silly.

The only thing that was a drag for me was this (and it's really disturbing to me so I'm going to share it with all of you):
I am handicapped in that my knees and back don't let me do much walking or standing anymore.  I usually manage to hide it pretty well but it definitely gets worse as the week goes on.  Thre have been years where I can't walk by the end of the week.  At the McCurdy Pavilion on Friday they made me walk all the way to the top to get out during a performance even though I explained that I'm handicapped and needed to get out the bottom.  (Same thing happened to me in June at Voiceworks and I did put it in my survey.)  I'm sorry, but my plumbing wouldn't let me wait.  Open the damn door at the bottom by the hangar door so that those of us that need to can get out! 

On Sat. when I tried to leave via the big hangar door opening again during the performance and told the woman who stopped me I was handicapped, she said no, that I had to go out the top.  She then grabbed a hold of my upper arm and tried to force me into a chair by the door.  I wrenched (yes, wrenched) my arm away from her and again had to walk all the way to the top to get out during the performance.  I'm a pacifist but I came very close to decking her.  I repeated to her I was handicapped but she didn't care. She said I couldn't go out the bottom as it was wet and slippery on the concrete and therefore dangerous.  I asked her, 'How is it less dangerous for me to risk falling down the stairs?" And how is this different than the wet floors in the washrooms? At intermission I saw her let a gal in a wheelchair out the hangar door but they wouldn't let me do that. After the show they also let an elderly gentleman out.  But not me.  I had to go up top. 

At intermission I overheard Hook talking to the guy guarding the hangar opening and tell him he was being really aggressive (and he was) and that people are here for a good time and that he should chill.  It had no effect.  I think this guy took his volunteer position way too seriously.  John MacElwee (the Exec Director) was standing there and heard Hook.  I took advantage of the opportunity and also told John that they wouldn't let me go out the bottom hangar door even though I was handicapped and he just looked at me and said nothing.  It is unacceptable to me that they won't let me have the same courtesy they give to other handicapped folks.  It's embarrassing enough to have to tell them that I'm having trouble with the stairs but it's a real kick in the teeth to be told I can't have the same courtesy as someone in a wheelchair.
The town (and the fort) has become so rule-oriented it's unwelcoming.  For example, I was standing in the hall at Sirens waiting for my firend to come out of the washroom about 11 pm Sat. night.  There was no one in the hall and the door was cracked open by the stage so I leaned on the door frame and stuck my head around the door frame while I waited to hear better.  Right away, the lady at the door told me I had to move because she wasn't supposed to have the door open due to fire regs or something.  I was blocking no one's view or access and was only going to be there a couple of minutes.  It struck me as absolutely ludicrous. 
The last 2 years have been ridiculous with 'rules' at PT and I'm not sure why.  It's shocking in a town of less than 10,000 people.  Other than one year when some townie kids came in and vandalized 204, there have been no problems I'm aware of so I don't know where the 'rules' are coming from.  I've been coming down for a dozen years and have encouraged others to do so but I'm not going to anymore.  If it weren't for the blues and friends I've made there, I doubt I'd come down again.

Yes, I'll be putting that in my survey.  I'm also thinking I'll let the local papers know.  And maybe the Chamber of Commerce.  I'm pretty pissed about it.

I was also sad to see that they had nothing other than the performer's cd's for sale at the store.  In past years (pre-Quimper Sound), they had so much to chose from I came home one year with 27 cd's!  And I still listen to all of them.

I know we can't get another week but do you think they'd add another day to the workshop?


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