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He was a sinful boy, good-hearted but had no soul. His heart was hard and cold like ice - Willie McTell, Dying Crapshooter's Blues

Author Topic: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival  (Read 4461 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« on: June 03, 2005, 09:43:27 AM »
Hi all,
Those of you in England or France may wish to make your way to the Stamford Guitar Festival this week-end or next, because Ari Eisinger will be making his first appearance in England at that event.  I realize it is kind of weak to promote an event when you are not sure of the dates, but I am sure the Festival falls one of these first couple week-ends in June, and it should be fairly easy to find out the correct dates.

For those of you who are not familiar with Ari's music, he is a superlative player and singer of the Country Blues, with an uncanny ability to do spot-on versions of the music of many of the most challenging musicians in the Country Blues genre:  Blind Blake, Blind Lemon, Lonnie Johnson, Scrapper Blackwell and others.  The instructional videos he did for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop on Blind Lemon and Blind Boy Fuller set the bar very high in terms of clarity of instruction and accuracy of the transcriptions.  Ari will be returning to England to teach at this Summer's European Blues Association Blues Week, August 14-19, but if you can make it, you will not want to miss seeing him at Stamford.  I feel secure in predicting that if you see him play, you'll come away saying, "Why isn't this guy famous?".  And if you love Blind Blake, you really must not miss Ari--he's the best I have ever seen at playing Blind Blake's style and material.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Slack

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2005, 10:35:03 AM »
Thanks for the heads up on Ari at the Stamford and I'll strongly second John's recommendation to go hear Ari -- he is worth going well out of your way to hear.  He also likes Thai food - so take him out to eat and you will be exposed to some of the driest humor around - and that is saying something in the UK.  ;)

Johnm, we must get that computer of yours upgraded so you can see the forums side columns.  The Stamford Guitar festival is listed as an event and currently showing under "Dates to Note" on the front page... the festival is June 10-12.

Cheers,
slack

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2005, 11:11:36 AM »
He likes to try all world cuisine. Feed him something British.  >:D

Only Blake himself is better at playing Blake than Ari, most definitely.

edited to add: I notice checking the calendar there is the possibility of workshops as well.

"Weekend acoustic guitar festival in Stamford Arts Centre, UK.

Evening concerts and daytime workshops, trade presence.

A variety of styles represented this year, featuring Ari Eisinger, Jan Akkerman, Lollo Meier, Johnny Dickinson, Micheal Messer's Second Mind Band, Jack Lawrence, Duck Baker, Pete Smith & John Buckley."

Some pretty great players in there. Lucky UKers.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2005, 11:18:11 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2005, 12:11:38 PM »
Yes, it's definitely next weekend, not this - my tickets came through today and I can't wait!
Prof S

Offline waxwing

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2005, 09:33:52 PM »
When I visited Ari a few months back he was very excited about this gig. I second the "Don't miss it!" sentiment.
By the way, we had Korean food one night and Vietnamese the other.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2005, 08:12:28 AM »
Just back from Stamford - and what a great weekend! Firstly, the place itself - a beautiful wee market town, largely unchanged from the way I faintly remember it in the fifties (though then it had the main Edinburgh to London road running through it). Somebody was telling me that the stone used for all the fine Georgian buildings is from the same seam that sits under the Cotswolds many miles away on the other side of England. It's a lovely creamy coloured sandstone and whether Cotswold stone or not, it certainly is a wonderful thing to behold. But then more so was the music throughout the weekend. Although I'd travelled down particularly to see Ari Eisinger - who did not disappoint - it was such a pleasure to see so many fine guitar players ringing the changes with so many different styles. Even when the music wasn't exactly to my taste (Michael Messer, anyone??), you had to hand it to everyone who played. Makes you feel like making a bonfire of all those guitars as soon as you get home. On the other hand, gives you something to strive for. For me, apart from the wonderful setting, the intimate friendly atmosphere, and the? fact that I bumped into someone I last saw in 1967, the high points were the two stage sets that Ari did. The longer of the two sets, on Sunday evening, showcased the broad range of stuff he can do to perfection. As well as tunes by Blake (also the focus of the two workshops he did) and Blind Lemon, Ari's programme included songs by Lonnie Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, Rev Gary Davis and a weird sounding but wonderful Josh White gospel number in low C Tuning. For the Sunday concert Ari played an old Harmony guitar he'd bought from one of the guitar dealers who were exhibiting. Now I'm not going to say how advised or ill advised I think this purchase might have been - but this guitar has issues, the least of whch being that the sixth string constantly popped out of its slot throughout each number. This would have spelled disaster for most folk - but Ari incorporated it into the act, popping the string back into the slot between quavers, retuning mid-number, and giving this guitar a series of withering looks.  Aurally, needless to say, it was just like listening to the records. This was Ari's first venture to the UK. He's back in August for a week long stint at Northampton. Let's hope this is the beginning of many more ventures abroad. Got to also mention the wonderful Lollo Meier quartet - stunning Gypsy jazz from Belgium/Holland; Jack Lawrence, a lovely guy , a? lightning and inventive flatpicker , and a connoisseur of fine ales!? Can't wait for next year's event, and I'd certainly encourage anyone to go to what must be one of the friendliest festivals around.
Prof S

Offline Slack

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2005, 08:34:00 AM »
Thanks for the report Professor!  Sounds like a great time - the combination of fine ales and great music makes me think about traveling abroad next summer!

Quote
a weird sounding but wonderful Josh White gospel number in low C Tuning.

"Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed", which is on the Juke  -- and Ari does a fabulous job with it.  He was playing it at PT a couple of years ago... it is definately on the eerie side. 

Quote
For the Sunday concert Ari played an old Harmony guitar he'd bought from one of the guitar dealers who were exhibiting.

What confidence!  I think Ari's favorite guitar is an old Gibson L-00 - but the arilines damaged it one trip and so he does not fly with it any more.  The L-1 he had at PT a couple of years ago had some issues too - it needed a neck reset... and he had to tune while playing. ;)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2005, 10:21:54 AM »
Quote
a weird sounding but wonderful Josh White gospel number in low C Tuning.

"Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed", which is on the Juke  -- and Ari does a fabulous job with it.  He was playing it at PT a couple of years ago... it is definately on the eerie side.

This is certainly one of his show-stoppers. Although as I recall, Ari does several of Josh White's low C tunes, no? Could have been one of the others? Good Gal (can't recall for sure but I think this is in low C)?

Thanks for the report, Perfesser!

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2005, 10:45:00 AM »
Oh - and I forgot to say...one of the exceptionally fine and unusual things about this weekend was that they had established a recording studio in an upstairs room where you could go and record a tune with proper equipment and a professional sound engineer. They then make up a compilation CD of all the people who've dropped in and send it out to everybody - for free! What a great idea. I'll see how my effort turned out and maybe post it on the BP if it turned out OK?

Offline a2tom

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2005, 11:30:39 AM »
yeah, sounds great.? But if you feel like burning the boxes, I might just have become suicidal!?

The recording thing is indeed a great idea - love to hear your effort there (of course you'll have to cram it into 800 KB...).? How many takes did you get?? Did you have to speed up at the end?? ?;)

I can't believe anyone would peform on an instrument they just bought!

tom

Offline BlindSockeyeSalmon

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2005, 11:56:25 AM »
I spoke to Ari just before he left for the UK and his long-awaited second CD is due out in the next month or two -- it's been about 10 or 12 years since his first one I think, so this is something to look forward to!

Keep an eye on Ari's site at http://www.secondmind.com for details as they emerge.

And I'll also add that Ari's rendition of "Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed" is one of my all-time favorite renditions of any song, by anybody.

John
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Offline Wailing Wolf

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2005, 12:49:27 PM »
Would just like to endorse Prof Scratchy's report on Stamford and add that Ari Eisinger did two excellent workshops on Blind Blake, Parts 1 and 2, notable for great clarity of teaching. What particularly impressed me was that he took the trouble to illustrate thoroughly the underlying rhythm of Blake which is in operation throughout the music whether being stated or not.  Understanding this is vital to grasping a style or song and not all workshop teachers by a long way cover it.

It's worth mentioning that Ari achieved a remarkably authentic Rev. Gary Davis sound using the guitar described by the Prof.

Have also listened to my copy of Ari's CD "You Don't Understand" which is a powerhouse of tasty licks.  Buy it now!

boots

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2005, 10:10:51 AM »
Quote
What confidence!  I think Ari's favorite guitar is an old Gibson L-00 - but the arilines damaged it ...

An absolutely priceless typo Slack.  :P

Offline Slack

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2005, 01:28:48 PM »
You'd think I'd use the built in Spell check wouldn;t you! ;)

Offline onewent

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2005, 04:55:34 PM »
...glad you folks across the pond got a chance to see and hear Ari perform, he's a unique talent and an all-around good person ... As some of you have gathered from my past posts, I had the good fortune to take lessons from Ari over a few years time and he's a very meticulous teacher of country blues ... hearing him play, you first are astounded by his technique, timing and ability to capture the essence of whomever he's interpreting, but what's amazed me the most about his uncanny abilities is his highly tuned ear ... telling me I'd hit a wrong note was effortless, heck, even I could hear it sometimes ... but, what amazed me was he could tell me I'd hit the correct note but on the wrong string, thereby not achieving optimum tone for the spirit of that particular song, that, and his ability to take a song not in his repertoire, go to his computer and type the TAB w/o listening to the CD... sorry to hear about the guitar issues.? Did he travel w/ his National or twelve string?? Well, that's another gift...I've seen him pick up any old guitar and make it sing, whereas, I have to get used to my guitar every day all over again? ^-^? Was Ari teaching specific songs in his workshops, or just the essence of a particular style ?
cheers ... Tom

Offline Wailing Wolf

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2005, 02:33:29 PM »
OK, looks like time for more lowdown on Ari.? He arrived equipped with his Gibson 6-string, I believe it's a cherry sunburst LG-1, which can be checked out on his Blind Lemon video, I understand it's the same guitar.? From the handouts given out by Ari the main workshop content was [1] Blind Blake Right Hand Pattern in C [2] Early Morning Blues (in C) [3] Baby Lou Blues (in C) [4] Double-Time from Hard Road Blues (in G).

The guitar "issues" on the guitar purchased on site really weren't a problem,? Ari took the string popping and re-tuning thoroughly in his stride.? I've surfed some Harmony sites to try and locate a picture of the beast but without success.? The guitar was an unusual one, if I remember correctly arch-topped with round soundhole and metal tailpiece.? The finish was dark and featured a distinctive lighter X design like a St. Andrews cross centred on the soundhole.? This guitar was used as the mainstay of the Sunday evening set with the LG-1 on standby for the C- tuning rendition of "Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed".

A splendid time was had by all.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Ari Eisinger at the Stamford Guitar Festival
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2005, 10:30:37 AM »
Since getting back from Stamford I've been revisiting my Blake collection in most spare moments. I've concluded that Ari plays Blake better than Blake. For years I've thought that the first thing I'll do when they invent the time machine is to travel back to a Blake recording session and see how he did it. Now I've seen how he did it - but I still can't do it! I now want the time machine to fast-forward me to the time of the appearance of Ari's Blake video. Hopefully not too long now? I agree that Ari did a superb job with the new, old, Harmony (It's the painted art deco parlour size model with tailpiece that you sometimes get to see on eBay). It has that great ladder braced sound. Ari said that just prior to coming onstage it had been pointed out to him that the bridge had moved to a jaunty angle and needed to be hastily returned to a playing position. The guitar builders out there will probably be able to diagnose? What that says me (taken together with the string popping) is that there's not enough string tension on the bridge, either because the guitar's top has dropped, or because somebody has shaved the bridge right down to achieve a comfortable action when the neck has moved. Still sounded great in Ari's hands, and he really worked it into the act, extracting maximum wry, dry humour, and finally offering to give the guitar away to anyone who wanted it! Wonder if he did? With  some work, the guitar should be a killer, and it certainly looks amazing. All in all, performances and workshops I'll remember for a long, long time.

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