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Now if you evuh wanna call up de Devil, don't furgit dat he gonna test you out good an' dat he ain't gonna show up de first Sunday you goes out to de forks of de road an' calls 'im; he ain't gonna show up no sooner'n de third time you calls 'im an' maybe not den - from Jim Finn on Calling Up the Devil in J. Mason Brewer's American Negro Folklore

Author Topic: Acoustic blues night - review  (Read 2292 times)

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Offline Richard

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Acoustic blues night - review
« on: January 27, 2015, 12:13:33 PM »
And it came to pass that the Bristol hostelry where I regularly play some jazz had in the window a large poster proclaimed that there to be on Monday evenings an acoustic blues gathering. All were welcome to come along and perform if so taken, even the barmaid confirmed it was indeed acoustic and that the first night had yielded some 20 in attendance, although down to 10 the following week, this was to be the third week?

Well I mean, who could resist such an invite? A few emails later the entire euroweenie membership of southwest England (that?s, me, Harvey and Norfolk Slim) had agreed to risk it and attend, albeit keeping any instruments in the car till we knew the musical strength of the gathering ? we didn?t want to show them up, indeed nor they show us up!

Hhhhmmmm? even by eighth thirty there were no signs of life, then the door burst open to reveal a tall man carrying a very thin guitar case?. eeekkkk?. what does that imply? Having got there braving impenetrable traffic jams without a snow storm in sight, we stuck it out, or more aptly partially stuck to the table we had commandeered.

Several, strange black boxes appeared which were attached to equally thin guitars with cables, what could it be? Then, horror of horrors a latently (is that a word?) thin geriatric gentleman at least nine feet tall wearing a trilby hat (that looked a small) produced a small suitcase and a microphone stand that was also eight foot tall and as thin as he was.

The musac started and we looked at each other, it was all we could do since the ever increasing volume precluded any form conversation. With each monotonous shuffle lasting at least ten minutes it was the epitome of a night from hell. A succession of harpists (harpies?) duly trudged on stage each one trying to reach the top of the said mic stand and determined to be even louder, much much louder and squeaker than the last. Another guitarist joined in who specialised in those bloody awful long, high pitched notes (sic) played somewhere around fret 57. At one point even somebody in the audience asked (shouted) if they could play anything else, so obviously we were not alone in our views. Although to be fair, as a pub band I?ve heard worse, but sadly they were definitely not as billed...

Should anyone want their own gig sensitively reviewed I am available for a small fee.
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline blueshome

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 01:02:37 PM »
Perhaps you guys should have reached for your guitars and given them hell. At least they would have been silenced whilst you played.

Offline nobocaster

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 01:48:23 PM »
Yikes!  I wonder what electric blues night looks like!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 07:03:04 PM »
Should anyone want their own gig sensitively reviewed I am available for a small fee.

I smell a kickstarter campaign. I'd certainly chip in.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 03:43:47 AM »
Glad I wasn't there. Well done for giving it a try though, lads.

Even so-called "acoustic" guitarists often insist on plugging in and making their instruments sound like very bad quality electric guitars.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 03:47:42 AM »
Pretty much have to plug in at most open mics, although I hope my pickup is reasonably acoustic-sounding.

This wasnt really a jam let alone an acoustic one.  It was a standard electric band playing backing tracks for a succession of harp players to deliver amplified 56 bar solos over :-)  Fun, I'm sure, for harp players- especially those into that style.

Not so much for us nerdy purists.

Offline Pan

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 04:18:54 AM »
This wasnt really a jam let alone an acoustic one.  It was a standard electric band playing backing tracks for a succession of harp players to deliver amplified 56 bar solos over :-)  Fun, I'm sure, for harp players- especially those into that style.

Not so much for us nerdy purists.

Sounds like the perfect way to make people really hate the blues.  >:D

Cheers

Pan
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 04:20:03 AM by Pan »

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 04:43:35 AM »
You make a good point Pan.

As Richard said, the folks at the next table called out "We know you can play blues, play something different".  Presumably they had the understanding, at that point, that "blues" was one paced, predictable on the ear, formulaic noise entirely lacking in dynamics or variety!  It really did all sound the same.
Next time they see a blues gig advertised, are they going to be interested?...

Oh well. 

Offline harvey

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2015, 05:10:08 AM »
Well there was something positive from the experience....

Richard bought a round


Offline blueshome

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2015, 05:36:33 AM »
I'd love to have Richard review our local "blues" jam except I don't think he'd survive the experience.
A million notes to the bar and Bonamassa and Eric are the heroes, jet takeoff volume - it all merges into one. We try to play blues but struggle to find accompanists who have the slightest understanding of blues time.

Offline Richard

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 02:15:20 PM »
Nice to have a bit of feedback on my reviewing style! I have to say I've nothing in particular against electric guitars, it's more the owners that have to play 'em far too loud that I find annoying. Fact is,  I've always wanted to ask one of those sceaming upper register fanatics if he could demonstrate that on acoustic....

Sorry to say Phil I don't think I can cope with another review until I had my hearing fixed and of course I couldn't contemplate taking it on unless there were at least four harpies waiting in the wings, would that be a problem?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline joe paul

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 02:37:27 PM »
Ah, Bristol, so much to answer for.
Is Eddie Martin still playing and doing that regular open mic down in the centre?

Gordon

Offline blueshome

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2015, 05:23:56 AM »
Richard, no problem with harpies to date. In fact a couple of decent harp players would break up the wall of noise from the self-indulgent widdly widdly brigade. Quite a bit of great technique but not a lot of music.

Offline pete1951

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 05:49:28 AM »

Keeping everyone happy at a `Blues Jam` is always a problem. To get as many people playing as possible , straight 12bars are the `default setting`, a bass of some sort is thought to be needed (few double basses, so an electric bass and amp will be on hand) a snare-drum and high-hat is then added. Suddenly your `SM57` mic has so much `spill`(unwanted noise from other players) that you need a pick-up, and the sound of your guitar becomes `electric`. I go to an Acoustic Jam most weeks and often end up playing with someone on an electric (I must also say that I sometimes take a solid lap-steel as space is tight and my kitchen sink is very large). If the Electric players are kicked out then attendance is halved and the session will close.
PT
A real acoustic jam would I guess have no PA and suddenly nobody wants to play with the guy who has the loudest guitar and sings loudest (so Phil wouldn`t get a go, which would be a shame)

Offline blueshome

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2015, 08:04:08 AM »
We had a purely acoustic jam until the pub closed down.
Most people knew how to get a decent volume out of their instrument and sing to fill the room apart from a couple of the Taylor brigade who were lost without an amp to louden their widdling.

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