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You know a nickel and a twenty dollar bill's all the same to me. Neither one's anything I'll ever see. Baby how long, how long, baby how long? - Leroy Carr, How Long Blues

Author Topic: Acoustic blues night - review  (Read 2172 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2015, 03:20:52 PM »
Richard, great review of a single event that could accurately describe thousands of similar ones around the world over the years.

I could go on for hours on this topic but, at the end of it, I would have no constructive suggestions.

Quote
We had a purely acoustic jam until the pub closed down.

HeHe!

Offline blueshome

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2015, 02:18:46 AM »
Nothing to do with the music, just the state of the pub trade in the UK. Several close every day.

Offline Richard

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2015, 03:33:41 AM »
Well if nothing else this has stirred a few into putting finger to keyboard.

The bottom line is I suppose, why did those morons (that too strong?) have to have the volume so high, although sadly that does seem to be a feature at such events and I wonder if anybody knows the reason?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline blueshome

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2015, 08:10:23 AM »
Compensation for lack of prominence in the private areas perhaps?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2015, 10:56:44 AM »
I think excessive volume is a way of insisting on being the center of attention, sometimes to the point of hostility.  It's as though the performers are saying, "Oh, so you'd like to talk and visit with your friends--let's see if you can talk and visit over THIS!  I also think that a fair number of people who play this way on a regular basis have deafened themselves over the years and can only hear the music when it is played that loud.  And volume can serve in lieu of ideas, nuance, listening, grooving and execution on occasion.  I do pity you guys walking into a harmonica showcase, though, especially in the circumstances you described.  Ugh.
Edited to Add:  Could it be, in a general way, that blues jams are a more rewarding experience for playing participants than for non-playing listeners or bystanders?
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 01:37:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline pete1951

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2015, 09:55:14 AM »
I think John has nailed it with his last comment . Sadly for many players it is all about `ME`, rather than the creation of something as a group.
PT

Offline waxwing

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2015, 11:46:20 AM »
I remember back about a decade or so I went to an "acoustic" night at a San Francisco pub, the old Blue Lamp. I got there early to choose a position a few slots down and then had to sit through the "host" playing about a 40 minute set. Oh, sure, it was an "acoustic" guitar, but it had more onboard electronics than my car (albeit a 1971 VW Squareback, but it does have fuel injection run by an analogue computer!) He was phase shifting and chorusing, with tons of reverb and compression, and he covered all those Neil Young, Eagles and other acoustic rock classics, yep, at over-the-top volume. Then the girl in the #1 slot batted her eyes and begged him not to make her follow him. So he looked down the list and picked my name. As he started to poke microphones at me I stated "I don't need no stinking mics! I heard this was an acoustic night." and had him remove them from the stage. I played my 3 songs, possibly on a resonator IIRC, and sang out and was heard easily by the 12 or so folks, except possibly those sitting with the loud mouthed girlfriend of a later performer who talked through everybody but him.

I guess I'm wondering more about the size of the male parts of those who left their instruments in the boot and, even when the audience decried the offered fare and seemed ripe for some real acoustic blues, failed to represent?

WINK!

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Offline Stuart

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2015, 02:32:20 PM »
Wax: It sounds like just another self-absorbed mess who had nothing better  to do than waste  other people's time.  At an open mic venue, you play your set and if the audience wants more, they'll let you know. Unfortunately, most people are way too polite to let 'em know when they've heard enough. Maybe if there was a basket of rotten fruit, veggies and eggs displayed prominently...Hey,  it worked in vaudeville!

Offline Rivers

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2015, 06:46:21 PM »
Just wanted to say real electric blues can be really good, if the players love it, know from where it came, and tip their musical hats accordingly. Loud is fine if you're going for early Chicago electric blues, two steps removed from the delta.

I don't believe generic crossover blues-rock, which I believe is what we're talking about, is blues but a lot of people think it is, and that's one source of confusion. The average bar owner is not that sophisticated musically, with some exceptions naturally. The quality of the music in these venues reflects the management's taste and knowledge, or lack thereof. Don't blame the audience, you can lead them down the right path.

Just my opinion.

Offline frankie

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2015, 07:01:06 PM »
Just wanted to say real electric blues can be really good, if the players love it, know from where it came, and tip their musical hats accordingly. Loud is fine if you're going for early Chicago electric blues, two steps removed from the delta.

Early Chicago electric blues wasn't really all that loud by today's standards (thinking of Buddy Guy and Otis Rush as later guys here) - they just had small, usually not so efficient amps! They'd break up early and sound funky.

I don't believe generic crossover blues-rock, which I believe is what we're talking about, is blues but a lot of people think it is, and that's one source of confusion.

Agreed. I actually like playing electric guitar when I get the chance...  I pick and choose what I play on it, and I like more primitive sounding stuff when I do. The best sound is two guitar players and a drummer..  harp too, if you can find a player who listens (they exist), but not all good harp players are willing to deal with electric instruments...  a lot of good ones think a bullet mic and amp is a kind of cheat...

Offline Rivers

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2015, 07:33:14 PM »
Yes, I agree, the natural distortion made it sound louder than it actually is/was. So I use the word 'loud' in a relative sense. Good blues bands in a small venue are generally too loud because they have invested in the firepower necessary for bigger halls and don't always dial it down by bringing along smaller amps, there's a cost associated with being that flexible. But what I call 'good blues bands' are rare. Yes, I'm a total snob, and good for me.

Offline Richard

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2015, 01:27:00 AM »
Quote
I'm wondering more about the size of the male parts of those who left their instruments in the boot..

Heavens how disgusting, we don't have thoughts like that here in England.

(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline waxwing

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2015, 10:45:00 AM »
Quote
I'm wondering more about the size of the male parts of those who left their instruments in the boot..

Heavens how disgusting, we don't have thoughts like that here in England.

Yes, my point exactly, Richard, leaving the instruments in the car is disgusting. They are meant to be played. As to the other notion, seems it did originate on your side of the pond a few posts up:

Compensation for lack of prominence in the private areas perhaps?

WINK!

Wax
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Offline eric

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2015, 01:47:58 PM »
Quote
I don't believe generic crossover blues-rock, which I believe is what we're talking about, is blues but a lot of people think it is, and that's one source of confusion.

Not to get too far off topic, but once, after playing Willie Brown's M & O blues pretty much note for note on my old Gibson SJN, an earnest and insistent young person explained to me that what I was playing was most certainly not blues, because Eric Clapton (god bless him) etc.  Ah well. :-\
--
Eric

Offline Johnm

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Re: Acoustic blues night - review
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2015, 02:28:59 PM »
It's nice to hear from you here, Eric, and I'd not worry too much about being off topic.  You inject a nice note of civility in the discussion that has been lacking here lately.
All best,
Johnm

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