WeenieCampbell.com

Country Blues => Saturday Night Fish Fry => Port Townsend Country Blues Workshop => Topic started by: Rivers on September 05, 2013, 07:18:18 PM

Title: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Rivers on September 05, 2013, 07:18:18 PM
Never too early to get thinking about the next Port T Workshop Week, right? Thankfully I'll be able to attend next year, might even drive it. So, who would we like to see up there?

I'm just going to confine myself to nominating a first timer and vote for Gayle Dean Wardlow. Having spoken to him recently on the phone (about something else) I know for a fact he'd be interested and would add a ton of value. I know also that several people here would agree it's high time Gayle had the opportunity to talk about his research and hang out with us all. I'm hard pressed to think of another more respected blues researcher & author, knowledgeable musician in the style and articulate speaker than Mr GDW

Please add your comments on who you'd like to see at Port T, 2014
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Johnm on September 05, 2013, 09:32:06 PM
I would second the idea of having Gayle Dean Wardlow on staff at Port Townsend.  He's done so much valuable research and made so many important discoveries.  I think there's a lot of stuff on which he is one of the only people who can speak knowledgeably.  I will certainly make my feelings on the subject known to the powers that be at Centrum.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: uncle bud on September 06, 2013, 06:46:27 PM
I've written in Gayle Dean's name on the evaluation questionnaire section for requesting faculty members numerous times myself and know some others have too. Good idea to renew the lobbying efforts.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week - Faculty wish list
Post by: GhostRider on September 09, 2013, 10:22:46 AM
Yes, GDW would be great.

And, again, I'd like to see Tim Williams. And he's a great teacher (guitar, slide guitar, mandolin.

Alex
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week - Faculty wish list
Post by: Rivers on January 25, 2014, 04:21:17 PM
Centrum paragraph from the Blues Week page (http://centrum.org/port-townsend-acoustic-blues-festival-workshop/):

Details on our 2014 workshop are still under development but we do have confirmations from many of the faculty including: Alvin Youngblood Hart, Mary Flower, Paul Geremia, Mike Dowling, John Miller, Orville Johnson, Mark Puryear, Terry Harmonica Bean, Judy LaPrade, Wendy DeWitt, Mark Brooks, Roger Edsall, Peter Madcat Ruth, Rich DelGrosso, Steve James, Lightnin? Wells, Maria Muldaur, Ethel Caffe Austin, Delnora Roberts, Lauren Sheehan, Dean Mueller, Gayle Dean Wardlow, Washboard Chaz, and George Rezendes? Stayed tuned for their bios and class descriptions, as well as the additional faculty we will be adding.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Mike Brosnan on January 25, 2014, 04:33:30 PM
 :o
GEREMIA?!?!  I've been writing him in as a suggestion since I started going in 2008!  Glad he's finally back! Guess that settles the debate about whether or not I should bring my 12 string...
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Rivers on January 25, 2014, 04:37:01 PM
Yeah, it's looking good Mike. Plenty for the string players this year. Miller, Dowling, Flower, Sheehan, Geremia, Hart, James, Johnson, Wells, Del Grosso, Bean, probably more I'm not familiar with...
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Johnm on January 25, 2014, 04:56:31 PM
Hi all,
Apart from the very strong guitar staff, I'm most happy that Gayle Dean Wardlow will be there this summer and am really excited that Dr. Ethel Caffie Austin and Delnora Roberts will be in attendance.  If you've not heard Ethel before, prepare to have your mind blown.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: uncle bud on January 25, 2014, 06:34:11 PM
I agree, excellent news that  Gayle Dean Wardlow will be there, and long overdue!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Mike Brosnan on January 25, 2014, 07:50:58 PM
I am equally excited about GDW's presence on the faculty (not to mention many others, I'll google Dr. Ethel when I get some more time).  I've greatly enjoyed Elijah Wald's history classes and I'm sure Gayle's input will be just as enlightening/enjoyable.  But I'm just ecstatic about Geremia!  I worship that dude's playing (12 string or otherwise)!  It's gonna be really hard to decide what classes to go to.  How can one choose between Geremia, Miller, Dowling, Hart, Lightnin'...?  If I believed in a higher power I would pray for a schedule that would allow me to study with at least a few of those guys everyday without conflict.  I suppose Daryl Davis and/or Mary Hilts would be those higher powers in this case.  :)
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Slack on January 25, 2014, 08:02:57 PM
What a line up - sounds like a sterling year! - Centrum is definitely back in the groove!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Rivers on January 25, 2014, 08:22:23 PM
Amen guys.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: nobocaster on January 27, 2014, 09:40:45 AM
All right, I'm gonna have to crawl out of my hole and come back out to PT this year.  It's been too long, and that is an excellent lineup so far! 
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Mike Brosnan on January 27, 2014, 11:27:36 AM
Sweet!  Hope you bring one o' them purty guitars you been buildin'!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Norfolk Slim on January 27, 2014, 11:33:22 AM
You folks are very lucky people!  Fantastic lineup.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: GhostRider on January 27, 2014, 11:47:17 AM
You folks are very lucky people!  Fantastic lineup.

I agree. No Ari but I guess you can't have everything.

Alex
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Rivers on January 27, 2014, 04:53:31 PM
At least I'll be able to hang onto El Trovador for the week...

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;pic=1443 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;pic=1443)
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: eric on February 25, 2014, 05:03:34 PM
Well folks, I'm signed up this year.  First time for me.  I hope to meet some of you there.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Johnm on February 25, 2014, 05:25:30 PM
That's great, Eric!  I look forward to meeting you up there after all these years at the Weenie site.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: NotRevGDavis on February 25, 2014, 05:54:40 PM
I have at least one more Dr. visit for my bum ankle but my wife just told me I'm going no matter what.

Admittedly playing guitar hasn't been my top priority but knowing I'm coming to PT and hanging out with all of you sure will be motivation enough.
Woo Hoo !!!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on March 13, 2014, 03:46:32 PM
Well, I'm heading out for my first time.  Nervous but excited!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Slack on March 13, 2014, 04:11:20 PM
It will be an excellent year.

Missed it the first time Eric --- I'll be glad to meet you guys!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: uncle bud on March 14, 2014, 05:03:43 PM
Eric, funkapus, anyone else! You`re going to have a great time! Gary, your wife is great -- or she wants you out of the damn house for awhile.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on March 19, 2014, 01:47:52 PM
I have some trip-related questions I'm hoping wiser folks can help me with.

1.  My honey is going out to Seattle with me several days early; we're going to spend a few days playing tourist in the Seattle area before splitting up (me to Port Townsend, her to visit a friend in Sacramento).  Anyone have any special recommendations for things tourists ought to do while in the Seattle area for a few days?  I guess there are some obvious things like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market and stuff like that, but I'm wondering if there's anything we might not read about elsewhere, or might read about but not realize just how not-to-be-missed it is, etc.  Asking so far in advance because we haven't made our hotel/B&B reservations in Seattle yet because we wanted to book near things we're likely to do, and we haven't figured out what we're likely to do yet.

2.  Also, any particularly good places to go in Seattle to buy recorded music?  Especially of local acts?  The only store I know about in the Seattle area is Sonic Boom.  It's probably too early to ask about anyone *playing* in Seattle during that time.

3.  I know about Dusty Strings in Fremont, although I've never been.  Any place else cool to drop in?

4.  Will there be laundry facilities at Fort Worden?  Since I'm going to be away from home for a week and a half, I'd normally take a fair amount of clothes etc.  But I know I'm going to be returning with more stuff than I left with (CDs I buy on the trip; are there Port T t-shirts and other swag?  is there Weenie swag?),  and I need to bring stuff for the workshop itself, etc.; so I'd really prefer to pack light.   If there's laundry machines in the dorm that would be very cool.

5.  Since I'm flying, I'll likely bring a Voyage Air.  Any reasons at all that that's a bad idea?

Thanks a lot everyone.

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on March 19, 2014, 03:04:25 PM
Here's a link to King County Metro and to Silver Platters for starters:

http://metro.kingcounty.gov/ (http://metro.kingcounty.gov/)

http://www.silverplatters.com/ (http://www.silverplatters.com/)

Let us know what you're interested in and perhaps we can come up with more specific recommendations.

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Slack on March 20, 2014, 08:13:58 AM
I'll let the locals answer what to do in Seattle (personally, I'd get out of the city, rent a car and drive around the Olympic peninsula - I like outdoor stuff)

4.  Yes there are laundry facilities at Fort Wardon... sometimes hard to get your stuff in, depending on what time of day you want to do laundry. During blues week there is a "Blues Store" set up for the week that sells CDs, instructional DVDs, books, guitars, guitar accessories, Blues Week T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other swag.  I usually bring Weeniecampbell case stickers to give out.

5. No reasons.  Bring what you want to play and/or show off.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on March 20, 2014, 09:25:05 AM
I agree with Slack. While there are certainly things to do in Seattle, going out to the Olympic peninsula--or down to Mt. Rainier or even to St. Helens is a better choice, IMHO. You could cover the touristy stuff in a day and then use the rest of your time here to explore the Great Northwest.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on March 20, 2014, 09:45:09 AM
Here's a link to King County Metro and to Silver Platters for starters:

http://metro.kingcounty.gov/ (http://metro.kingcounty.gov/)

http://www.silverplatters.com/ (http://www.silverplatters.com/)

Let us know what you're interested in and perhaps we can come up with more specific recommendations.
Thanks.  It's hard to say what we like to do because we like most things.  If there are great museums, we like those.  If there are cool neighborhoods to walk around in, we like to do that.  If there are arboretums or gardens to visit, we love those.  We both love to eat seafood, which I expect will be much better out there than we're able to get in D.C. at any sane price.  I've been to Seattle once before, but it was a "passing through" kind of thing and the only touristy thing I had a chance to do on that trip was when a friend I stayed with took me to the Chittenden Locks and we saw the salmon in the fish ladder (he lived nearby).

Everywhere I travel, even on work trips, if I have the time I try to pick up some recordings of local acts to bring home, and try to get out and see music.

I'll let the locals answer what to do in Seattle (personally, I'd get out of the city, rent a car and drive around the Olympic peninsula - I like outdoor stuff)
I agree with Slack. While there are certainly things to do in Seattle, going out to the Olympic peninsula--or down to Mt. Rainier or even to St. Helens is a better choice, IMHO. You could cover the touristy stuff in a day and then use the rest of your time here to explore the Great Northwest.
Thanks -- that's actually more or less the way I was thinking, although the relative apportionment of time to the city/the gorgeous surroundings will have to get sorted out between Mary and me.  :)  Going to the Olympic peninsula appeals both because it's pretty and because I think car ferries are cool (I know, I'm strange).  I wonder if that's a day trip or a two-day trip . . .

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Slack on March 20, 2014, 09:53:49 AM
Take a couple of days, there are some cheap motels I think, Mt St Helens is fascinating, the HOH rain forest.  It's all gorgeous.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: orvillej on March 20, 2014, 10:16:30 AM
Another great local record store is Easy Street Records.

http://easystreetonline.com/ (http://easystreetonline.com/)
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on March 20, 2014, 10:46:39 AM
http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/ (http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/)

https://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/visitsaam.asp (https://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/visitsaam.asp)

http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/wpa.shtml (http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/wpa.shtml)

http://www.cidbia.org/ (http://www.cidbia.org/)

http://www.empmuseum.org/ (http://www.empmuseum.org/)

You can ride the ferry from the Colman Dock downtown over to Bainbridge Island and walk into town. There are a couple of moderately priced restaurants there that won't set you back too much. And the return ferry trip is free.

http://www.bainbridgeisland.com/ferry (http://www.bainbridgeisland.com/ferry)

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/scheduledetail.aspx?departingterm=7&arrivingterm=3&roundtrip=true (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/scheduledetail.aspx?departingterm=7&arrivingterm=3&roundtrip=true)

If you like outdoorsey stuff, you can always gear up at the REI Flagship Sore:

http://www.rei.com/stores/seattle.html (http://www.rei.com/stores/seattle.html)

No shortage of good seafood in the area. Quite honestly, we usually just buy it and cook it at home. Or have it given to us (see attached photo).
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on March 21, 2014, 11:24:25 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.  Sorry to see that the Miro exhibit leaves the Seattle Art Museum before we get there!

Stuart -- the fish pic (coho salmon?) is a tease!  :)

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: eric on March 21, 2014, 11:58:16 AM
Anybody checked the PT website lately?  I can't seem to get it to work.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on March 21, 2014, 12:01:59 PM
As things come to mind, post them and I'll see what I can come up with. I live in Shoreline, which is just north of Seattle, so even though I haven't walked every inch of every street, I might be able to come up with something helpful. And you can always send me a PM if you think your info requests are too specific for the Forum.

I think it's a Coho, although it might be a King (Chinook). We went from a sink full of fish to a fridge/freezer full of fish, which sounds like a good title for a happy blues song or maybe even a short story.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on March 21, 2014, 12:10:10 PM
Hi Eric:

Just checked with IE and Firefox and got the "Error 403 Forbidden" page, so it's just not you. Might be worth sending an e-mail to give them a heads up, if someone has something other than the "Centrum.org" contact info.   
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on March 21, 2014, 03:02:10 PM
The Centrum website is back, but the PT info isn't yet.  It looks like they were down while reconfiguring the site:  the layout and look of the site has changed.

EDIT:  The PT pages (the general page, the one with faculty bios, etc.) appear to be there and available -- but the sidebar links to them aren't there.  But if you have the URLs in your browser history, you can get to them that way.

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Bald Melon Jefferson on April 15, 2014, 09:27:13 AM
I just registered! Second time for me. Went in 2008 and had a pretty darn good time despite the fact that: I was in the proverbial "bad place" in my life and not very fun/ outgoing; I had never played with others before, let alone in front of other people. I am a very slooooowwww learner and was in over my head most of the time...but hey I never felt judged and the ribs were good!

I promise to have more fun this time, but not too much.

Gary

Just wish Warner Williams was going to be there; Not to teach, just to be there seemingly wherever I went, playing some of that sh** he played!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: eric on April 15, 2014, 10:12:09 AM
Is there a secret hand sign by which we'll be able to identify fellow weenies?  ;D
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Buzz on April 15, 2014, 10:54:05 AM
Lurker Buzz , here!

Came looking for chords for Old Tune: "Who's Sorry, Now?" covered by Milton Brown and tons of others. Turned up zip. then decided to check posts  since last visiting WC. Here I is!

PT 2014 will be simply said, "Awesome!"  I agree with Broszzzzzz that deciding who to sit in with and when will be tough, as usual.

But, remember Mike--regardless who we study with, our little gray cells will absorb the pearls from each sitting. We will leave with at least 7 little pearls up in our heads. If we are lucky, maybe more than 1 each day!

I  look forward to seeing and playing with all the usual reprobates and petty no-accounts up at PT. I will be there, adding to the reprobate count. Music camp for adult reprobates, how nice....
Buzz

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Mike Brosnan on April 15, 2014, 03:24:24 PM
Glad to see yer comin' back, Gary! Hope you don't forget that purty 9 string!  :D
Is there a secret hand sign by which we'll be able to identify fellow weenies?  ;D
John Miller's classes are generally a good place to meet. :)
Buzz-I'm still tryin' to dust off the handful of pearls remaining from previous years, but I reckon I can cram another couple-few up there...
Lookin' forward to seein' y'all!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: eric on July 07, 2014, 11:23:13 AM
I'm looking for a ride to Blues Week from Port Angeles (I'm arriving on the Black Ball Ferry).  Anyone headed that way? I'd be happy to share expenses.

Thanks
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on July 08, 2014, 04:14:19 PM
I'm looking for a ride to Blues Week from Port Angeles (I'm arriving on the Black Ball Ferry).  Anyone headed that way? I'd be happy to share expenses.

Thanks
Can't help you, and maybe you already know about this; but just in case you don't, and just in case you're not able to find a ride with someone (which would obviously be more convenient), I wanted to make sure you knew that there is bus service between Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

http://jeffersontransit.com/ (http://jeffersontransit.com/)

(scroll down for the schedule of the Port Angeles <--> Port Townsend connection)
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: jmorton on July 08, 2014, 06:30:40 PM
I dropped a guitar off at Centrum this morning, to be raffled to benefit the scholarship program.  It's a stainless steel resonator parlor model, 14 fret, about the size of a Martin 2 at 12" wide, weighs 6+ lbs.  So remember to bring extra money!

see ya July 27
John
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Bald Melon Jefferson on July 09, 2014, 09:48:53 AM
ohhhhh... nice one John.
Gary
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: NotRevGDavis on July 09, 2014, 11:28:23 AM
I'm looking for a ride to Blues Week from Port Angeles (I'm arriving on the Black Ball Ferry).  Anyone headed that way? I'd be happy to share expenses.

Thanks

I'll most likely be in PT around Sat. afternoon- it looks like the buses are a bit sparse on the weekend. Do you have an estimate when you are arriving? I might be able to shoot over and pick you up.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Johnm on July 20, 2014, 02:10:14 PM
Hi all,
I know that a number of you who will be attending Port Townsend this year have been wondering about how Paul Geremia has been doing since his recent stroke, and whether he would still be able to attend or teach at Port Townsend.  Paul will not be coming to Port Townsend, but fellow Rhode Islander Martin Grosswendt has been hired to replace him on staff.  Martin is a great singer and player and very versatile.  He is comfortable doing Mississippi-type material as well as East coat raggy stuff, and is one of the very best slide players I have heard, as well as a strong singer.  He is a good guy and good teacher, who also excels at fiddle, mandolin, banjo and other styles.  I think we're very fortunate to have such a strong musician and teacher available to step into the breach after Paul's stroke.  I hope everyone will make him feel welcome, and I'm excited at the prospect of folks being able to hear him and study with him on his first-ever trip to the West Coast.

Martin told me that he visited and played with Paul recently for a couple of hours.  Evidently Paul can play, but has difficulty remembering full songs at this stage (not surprising after a stroke).  Considering some of the other common results of stroke, this is very encouraging, though a long convalescence is almost certainly in store, as well as a lot of work to regain skills, memory, etc.  I hope we'll keep Paul in our thoughts and wish him the very best of outcomes from his current situation.

All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on July 20, 2014, 04:52:33 PM
John:

Thanks for the update on Paul. It's good to know that he's on the road to recovery, although the road may be long and difficult.

As I've mentioned before, I first saw Martin perform back in the 70's when I lived in Vermont and he worked with/at Philo. He was a solid player back then and I'm sure that he has only gotten better. For those of you who will be attending PT, you're in for a treat.
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: orvillej on July 21, 2014, 10:46:53 AM
Glad to hear Paul's doing ok and glad to hear Martin's coming to PT. I haven't seen him since we all taught together at Guitar Intensives and I really enjoyed playing with him there. See y'all very soon!
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: eagle rockin daddy on July 21, 2014, 05:52:25 PM
Thanks for the update about Paul John.  Martin is an old friend, and a tremendous musician.  He will be a great asset to PT.

One of these years I'll get out there....

Mike
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on July 22, 2014, 10:36:12 AM
Flying out in 24 hours (a few days early for a little vacation w/ family and friends beforehand).  Nervous, but really looking forward to the workshop!

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: jed on August 11, 2014, 11:37:51 PM
Well, folks, another Stellar blues week has come and gone.  Centrum worked really hard - and succeeded - to invigorate the faculty while leaving us wanting for the folks whom we're going to request for next year!

Great (and increasingly foggy) memories abound from this year's PTC - C - C, godammit!-  BW.  For me, hearing Gayle Dean Wardlow tell story after story about players, Paramount and the history in general was a real highlight - five times - of camp this time. 

So I was surprised to hear a unique radio interview on the way home from work tonight.  That story begins like this: 

Did you hear the one about the young reporter who covered the culture of 78 collecting and ended up at the bottom of the river - the Milwaukee River?

It's here, beginning at 23:15:  http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/qpodcast_20140811_77856.mp3 (http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/qpodcast_20140811_77856.mp3)

Be advised that it starts slow, but gets interesting.  I recommend taking twenty-five minutes out of yer busy schedule to hear what one kid's search into "physical music" yielded for her. 

Cheers,
Jed
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Stuart on August 12, 2014, 03:45:20 PM
...So I was surprised to hear a unique radio interview on the way home from work tonight.  That story begins like this: 

Did you hear the one about the young reporter who covered the culture of 78 collecting and ended up at the bottom of the river - the Milwaukee River?

It's here, beginning at 23:15:  http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/qpodcast_20140811_77856.mp3 (http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/qpodcast_20140811_77856.mp3)



Be advised that it starts slow, but gets interesting.  I recommend taking twenty-five minutes out of yer busy schedule to hear what one kid's search into "physical music" yielded for her. 

Cheers,
Jed

Thanks for the link, Jed. I just finished Amanda's book and really enjoyed it. It's not a comprehensive history of 78 RPM Country Blues record collecting, with a lot of depth and detail, but  it's not meant to be. I'll write more about  it when time permits.

Here's a link to the Q blog page with just the interview with Amanda:

http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/08/11/78-rpm-collecting-culture/ (http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/08/11/78-rpm-collecting-culture/)

http://www.cbc.ca/q/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2486389580 (http://www.cbc.ca/q/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2486389580)
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Johnm on August 16, 2014, 05:07:08 PM
Hi all,
Thanks, Jed, for reporting on this year's Port Townsend workshop.  I had a really good time re-uniting with old friends and meeting new ones.  It was an absolute kick to have Gayle Dean there.  As Jed and funkapus have noted elsewhere, his talks were fascinating--non-academic in the best possible way.  His knowledge of the music, the people who made it and the times is truly staggering, and he is eager and happy to share what he knows.  I was happy that Martin Grosswendt was there, and his classes were (not surprisingly) well attended and well received, as was his music.  It seemed like most teachers had a good number of students in their classes. 

The event has become so big (I think there were 280 paying participants!) that I either altogether missed or almost missed a lot of people who were there.  The size of the event and being preoccupied with teaching combined to make me miss out on a bunch of social opportunities, I reckon, but I'm hired to work, so that is fine.  My classes were fun.  As usual people were very game and up for whatever direction things went.  I reasonably successfully achieved something I decided to try to do before camp, which was to avoid doing straight repertoire classes as much as possible, and focus more on skill-building, either with regard to hearing, understanding the forms you encounter in the music, or how to get around in different tunings.  It seemed like it worked, but the people who were in the classes can give a better read on that than I.

I think that Artistic Director Daryl Davis and Program Director Mary Hilts are doing a great job of planning the event, assembling a strong teaching staff and anticipating participant's wants and needs.  I would be interested in hearing more from other Port Townsend attendees, though, and perhaps especially first or second-time attendees as to how you felt the event went off, what worked or didn't work for you.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: funkapus on August 19, 2014, 09:56:12 AM
The event has become so big (I think there were 280 paying participants!) that I either altogether missed or almost missed a lot of people who were there.  The size of the event and being preoccupied with teaching combined to make me miss out on a bunch of social opportunities, I reckon, but I'm hired to work, so that is fine.  My classes were fun.  As usual people were very game and up for whatever direction things went.  I reasonably successfully achieved something I decided to try to do before camp, which was to avoid doing straight repertoire classes as much as possible, and focus more on skill-building, either with regard to hearing, understanding the forms you encounter in the music, or how to get around in different tunings.  It seemed like it worked, but the people who were in the classes can give a better read on that than I.

I think that Artistic Director Daryl Davis and Program Director Mary Hilts are doing a great job of planning the event, assembling a strong teaching staff and anticipating participant's wants and needs.  I would be interested in hearing more from other Port Townsend attendees, though, and perhaps especially first or second-time attendees as to how you felt the event went off, what worked or didn't work for you.
Hi John. As a first-timer,  I've been waiting to respond to this until after I found the time to respond to Mary's survey and thus had a chance to crystalize my thoughts.

Overall I thought the workshop was great:  I had a really good time, I met some great people and made friendships, had fun and learned a lot.  The challenge now is finding the time apart from work to get down/retain a decent chunk of what I learned.  If I could wave a magic wand and change anything, I'd have the workshop be two weeks long, with off days in-between workshop days so that there'd be more time to go over stuff; but I know that's not realistic.  Still, though, the schedule seemed very full -- is it usually that way?  There's an argument that more organized stuff each day = more value for the money; but there's also an argument that more time to work on what you were just exposed to prior to leaving, more time to play with other students and work on things with them, etc., is also of value.  A couple of frequent attendees noted to me that the number of "wild card" sessions was lower than in past years; and I wonder if that's because the schedule was busier (and if so, so were the instructors).

Since a lot of folks come every year (or most years), a lot of attendees know many of the other people there.  This gives them a bond that newcomers don't yet have, and it can be tough or intimidating to find a way in.  It worked out OK for me, because the hall my room was on had a number of really outgoing and welcoming people:  I didn't feel so much like an outsider.  But I got the impression from some first-timers -- people who are less extroverted -- that they had a little harder time finding a way in, if you know what I mean. 

I do think that it needs to be made clear earlier what level of experience the most basic classes available for an instrument will expect.  Part of the problem is that the class descriptions go out fairly late -- well after most attendees have decided to come.  But it would still be good to make clear whether "beginner" means "beginner to playing this genre of blues on the instrument" vs. "beginner to playing blues on this instrument" vs. "absolute beginner on (instrument)".  In one class I went to aimed at relative beginners/early intermediates, there were some folks who were complete beginners to guitar -- they did not know how to make any first position chords.  I hope they were there for other instruments, and had come to that guitar class on a whim; but I think that wasn't the case.  So they were stuck, and it was really challenging for the instructor to meet everyone's needs.

I understand that they tried "jamming dorms" or "jamming wings" in the past and it didn't quite work; I'd be interested in knowing how it failed.  I'm sympathetic to folks who want to go to sleep earlier and whose sleep is disturbed by folks jamming late; but sending folks who want to jam later to 204 doesn't work well either, IMO.  I don't know what the solution is; but I'm surprised to hear that trying to put late-night folks together didn't work when tried previously.

I looked for Weenie swag at the Crossroads shop but didn't see any.   :)

I had some other thoughts -- I gave some suggestions for classes and instructors -- but this is already long.  Oh, and as far as your plans for your classes went:  I was only with you for the Frank Hovington class and that afternoon bossa nova rhythm wild card you did; but I heard nothing but raves from folks who were with you all week.  So that suggests success.  :)

Title: Re: Port T 2014 Blues Week
Post by: Bald Melon Jefferson on August 20, 2014, 01:46:49 PM
Thank you funkapus for summing things up so well; saving me much time and energy typing so many thoughts and observations that parallel my own. The line-up of teachers was great. There were too many good choices to take it all in, which is sure better than the alternative. You mentioned the 2 week idea to me at PT and I don't know.... We all seemed pretty overloaded and fried by the end of the week, teachers included. But it's a long flight and fair expense from DC for one week....a long drive from So. Cal as well.  Maybe we could rent a house for another week at the conclusion to the festival just to review what we were exposed to. I don't know...sounds like work.
 This was my second visit in 5 years. I'm a slow adhd learner and at the time of my first visit had barely mastered the alt thumb thing, never played in front of others let alone WITH others. I dedicated my off-time to trying to be a "good student".....documenting collating & cataloging all the recordings and written material from the various all-over the map classes, practicing and "learning" alone in my room ..standard tunings,open D, open G, cross-note, drop D, double drop d...  boy that didn't work.
Looking back, I could have bought a lot of instructional dvds  and "learned" more repertoire etc. for the buck. Looking back, the things that I remember and value were not the songs I failed to learn. What brought me back  5 years down the road were the people, instructors, tidbits, intangibles, inspirations, ah ha moments...

So, this time I vowed to focus more on the people, performances, the music in the clubs, the found moments playing. Or just socializing with people that don't stare at you like a space alien when professing one's admiration for Arthur Blake...  But for whatever reason, (Did I mention I am by nature a hermit, painfully shy in a crowd?), things started out poorly...that is, I was repeating the past, trying to "get the most out of my educational experience"... 4 repertoire lessons a day, spending 1 1/2 hrs of down time for example Then I finally got smart, going to a couple of GDW's lectures... took off a class to sit on the bluff overlooking the beautiful water getting down F. Hovington's opening 8 bars of Lonesome Road Blues,(sincere thanks John), thus freeing up the evening for Mike to drag me to the Weenie House to enjoy GDW singing some funny s**t w/ Lauren and Miller et al. Going to town w/ Gary, Rob, Chris and Darren, for some great concerts....Back to the weenie house w/ notrev to what..?... drink frozen gin out of tumblers?.....oi.
   PT blues week can be whatever you make it; the GREAT teachers are there, each with their own unique styles and methods (or non-methods), your kindred souls are there. It can be educational, inspirational, just plain fun or any combination thereof. Yes, the initial clubby camaraderie between the other participants who all seem to already know each other and their considerable talent can frighten you into your shell until you realize how very open, sharing and non-judgmental the  99.9% are; and when you make a small effort you'll soon have your own lexicon of inside jokes and shared experiences.

This years' highlights;
 1. Watching Screamin' Red eat popcorn at 2 am.
 2.  Watching Lightnin' attempt to tune his banjo onstage for what seemed like 15 minutes when  fuckapus leans in to ask me, "Do you know how long it takes to tune a banjo?" No I don't, how long? "No one knows..."
 3. Pondering the surreal and wonderful inappropriateness of a 10 year old Roman recording and singing, "What's That Smell Like Fish?" while beaming mom looks on.
 4.  The "No jamming in the dorms after 10:00pm" sign altered to, "No Jammies in the dorms after 10:00pm"  Hey, the late night noise in the dorms as I drifted off to sleep was...yes...music to my ears. Respectfully sequester the light sleepers somewhere quiet and safe but don't make everyone else trek all the way over to 204 just to stay up and hang out. Hanging out in your own local dorm parlor till you fall asleep in your chair is a must and a joy (no metal finger picks though).
5. Oh yeah, the new songs.

I'll go again and do it better. I think the 3rd time's gonna be the charm.


Thanks to the Staff, Mary and Daryl for a great job,
Gary
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal