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So they get part of the tune. Then they flag it and get frustrated. Damn, be happy! You got part of the tune. That doesn't stop you... it's not being complacent, it's being realistic. You can't just go through every CD you have and every tune that you like say 'Why can't I play that?' Or 'Why can't I play it as well as that?' - Jerry Ricks, Port Townsend 97

Author Topic: Chezz, Buzz and Wax to play Portland Waterfront Blues Fest as Hohoppas Jug Band  (Read 5009 times)

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Offline waxwing

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Wondering why I haven't been posting much lately, or answering emails (Alex)? Well, Miller and I have been woodshedding in every spare moment to learn enough material to play a full set at the festival in Chezz's jug band, the Hohoppas JB. That's what Chezz was tryin' to get in touch with me about, a month or so ago. You gotta admit, it's pretty ballsy to put a band together to have their first gig at one of the biggest blues fests in the country, but we're givin' it everything we've got, assisted by the miracle of computer recording and mp3s thru email.

We are gonna be part of a memorial concert for Fritz Richmond, famed jug and washtub bass player for Jim Kweskin, who passed away last year. What an honor! Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur and Paul Delay will also be on the band stand, along with other jug, and not so jug, bands (including PTer Lauren Sheehan and her jug band).

We'll be playing lots of Memphis Jug Band, a Gus Cannon song or two, some Tampa Red and the Hokum Boys, a Birmingham JB number and maybe some Washboard Sam, not to mention Meat Shakin' Woman and Mississippi Blues, to which Buzz and I have added kazoo and jug and Chezz will add some washboard and maybe some harp. We're all splitting the vocals, with lots of harmony. Buzz is playing his Dodson cigarbox mando and kazoo with a little guitar, Chezz on harp, washboard and some slide guitar, and I'm playing guitars, jug and some washboard

Those of you PTers not in the Portland area will, no doubt, get a chance to hear us in the intimate setting of the Weenie House kitchen.

Please help get the word out to anyone you know in the Portland area. We'll be playing from 4:30 to 5:15, Sunday July 2nd, on the Front Porch Stage. I'll get it up on the Weenie Calendar soon.

We're pretty excited and hope to see lots of you there.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline Slack

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Sounds like a ton of fun Wax and Miller --- way to go and push the envelope!  I'm sure you guys will be great and it could be the start of a whole nuther career! Get someone to video tape it!  I want to see every song on Youtube!  O0

Quote
kazoo with a little guitar

What is a Kazoo with a little cigar?  Is Miller smoking between buzzes? :D

Offline Richard

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We must hear and\or see this get the wire machine out  ;)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline GhostRider

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Booya:

Dis is good. BJ and Buzz in the big time. Best of luck and BJ, don't forget the arrangements!

Looking forward to seeing you three on the Tonight Show.

Alex

Offline Richard

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And I'll get you a booking in Guernsey on the world tour... come to that we could just about have the European Weenie weekend here.. is it worth me thinking about it  ???

Phil, you would eh?...Ian McWee?... Snakehips?... umm Boots and Bunker in the Audeince....... give me some ideas guys !!!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Hey guys, congratulations, that's tremendous news! We demand photos for Weenie at the very least. Wish I could be there.

Offline Buzz

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Thanks, everyone, for your kind words of encouragement!

This is pretty exciting, true. It is also a kick in the pants while being hard work. Wax and I have been playing together at least 3 nites or days a week for the past 6 + weeks, listening to the originals, perfecting the chord progression here or the lyrics there. Then we will rehearse with Cheseborough for a couple days before the gig.

Just had  my Dodson mando refretted and the fretboard levelled--Slack, I had worn the badly grooved frets down to nubbins! Still sounds bright and loud, which I am crazy about. And everywhere I play it, everyone cracks up , and asks if I made it, or smoked the cigars, and I always tell them the truth, then give them your address in Sugarland   >:D

We play at the Bayview Boat Club tonite at Third Thursday--Cowan's regular gig--then off to Portland in 2 weeks! YEEEEOOOOWWW!

As you would expect , we have had no time to play solo guitar tunes, not even Clifford Gibson!  But, this is what is happening and giving me (and John) pleasure  these days, so I am rolling with it, and will get back to other stuff in time.

I must say I pulled out Michael Jerome Brown's mando MD from PT a few years back, on Yank Rachell's "Diving Duck", and "Going to Brownsville". It seems a bit easier to pick them up and play now, compared to 4 years ago, but takes tons of practice... Also am trying  to play along with Yanks' old cds, like on Texas Tony, which I happen to love. But this and Johnny Young and Rich del Grosso's lessons keep calling, "Play me..." from the desktop and I keep telling them, " In a few weeks...", as I reach for the kazoo rack, and turn on the mp3 of Stealin'...

Ain't this Weenie site the greatest? I love it..... Great work, Slack, Andrew, Richard, et al...

More later...
Buzz
Do good, be nice, eat well, smile, treat the ladies well, and ignore all news reports--which  can't be believed anyway,

Buzz

Offline Slack

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Sounds very exciting Miller!  And no doubt lots of work, I'm sure you guys will do great.  Get your spouse to video tape!

Quote
Just had  my Dodson mando refretted and the fretboard levelled--Slack, I had worn the badly grooved frets down to nubbins! Still sounds bright and loud, which I am crazy about. And everywhere I play it, everyone cracks up , and asks if I made it, or smoked the cigars, and I always tell them the truth, then give them your address in Sugarland   Evil

Dang, had I known you were going to play the hell out of it -- I'd have, hmmm - stiffened the neck!  :D
That's great -- gotta be a crowd pleaser.  I'll post a pic so folks know what you play in the jug band.

Know what you mean about time to play solo --- our band has a gig also, we have until 09/16 - but the panic sets in! More on this at PT.

Keep us posted.

Here is Millers jug mando: (The Pantera Snakehead model  :P )

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Offline uncle bud

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So I'm hoping you guys are bringing the spouses to act as camerawomen -- this gig is coming up fast. I agree we need some video footage. Looking forward to the reports...

Offline waxwing

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Miller and I are driving up together, leaving tomorrow night, for two days, plus, of practice with Chezz. Unfortunately, neither Gre nor Claudia will be coming up. I don't know if Chezz has any plans to record, either vydeo or audio only, but we'll both take minidisc recorders. Hopefully we can get a recording off the sound board.

We had our last practice before leaving last night and we're both pretty excited. We we're definitely firing on all cylinders. Now if we could just stop bickering about our road food menu.-G-

I saw and talked to Lauren Sheehan at the SF Free Folk Fest on Sunday and she'll be playing in a jug band just before us. I think this is going to be a real hoot. Any Weenies from the Portland area planning to attend?

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline uncle bud

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Someone should send Repp a message and make sure he knows about it. I'm sure he knows about the festival, but perhaps not that you, Miller, Chezz, and Lauren will be playing.

Offline uncle bud

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So how about a report? Or are you fellers still in transit...

Offline Chezztone

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    • Steve Cheseborough 1920s-30s-style blues
Hohoppa Chronicles
(Or how three guys who had never played together before whipped together a real jug band in two days and played our debut gig at one of the world?s biggest blues festivals.)
Waxwing and Miller arrived at my house in Portland on Thursday, having driven from the San Francisco Bay area in Miller?s hybrid car. We plunged right into the MJB?s ?I Whipped My Woman with a Singletree? and it sounded great. They had been working hard to learn the songlist, and it showed. ?You guys came up too early,? I said. ?Guess we can just drink for the next two days, because we don?t need to rehearse. We could step onstage right now.? Well, that didn?t turn out to be exactly correct. As we went through the rest of the 10-song list, it became apparent that many of them needed polishing, tightening, changes or total reworking (guess ?Singletree? happened to be an easy one). While not neglecting our drinking (or great eating, mostly cooked by yours truly), we worked very hard, rehearsing full time for the next two days. We left the house Friday night for my solo gig ? actually a split/shared bill with Mary Flower ? at a jazz club that was featuring blues around blues-fest time. The other two Hohoppas joined me for two songs (?Singletree? and ?Viola Lee Blues?) and despite serious sound-system deficiencies resulting in a very bad mix, it worked. The audience was smiling and digging it. Even though we knew we still had a lot of work to go, this was a good sign. Saturday?s rehearsal, without any break, lasted well into the night. The songs, including the all-important beginnings and endings, were coming together. Sunday morning someone suggested a full runthrough (or two) but I didn?t want to get sick of the material before the show! We just went over a couple of songs that had some lingering problems, then headed to the fest. I did a solo set on another stage then hurried over to meet up with my comrades at the stage where the tribute to Fritz Richmond was going on. Richmond was the jug and washtub-bass player with Kweskin?s Jug Band, a Cambridge, Mass.-based group of the 1960s that also included Geoff and Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian and others. Richmond spent the last few decades of his life in Portland, remaining active in music as well as working a day job. He died here last fall. Geoff Muldaur and Kweskin himself, who had kept a low profile in recent years, were the headliners at this tribute at the festival. It also included acts with some connection to Richmond and ones that played jug-band-related music (like us). I had been invited to bring my jug band, the Hohoppas, to the event a couple months ago, after we played at a radio show. But that incarnation of the Hohoppas broke up between the invitation and the festival. Not wanting to cancel the festival gig, I asked Waxwing and Miller to step in as the new Hohoppas. They agreed to learn their parts, working from original recordings and my notes, and to practice together until a few days before the gig, when they?d come up here and we?d rehearse our yas-yas-yasses off for a couple days.
The process worked! There were a few weird looks from the audience as we started our first song, the MJB?s ?On the Road Again.? I think some people weren?t sure if we were for real or a joke, with our weird combination of strapped-on and found or homemade instruments. But after a verse or two they were relaxing and smiling ? and in some cases dancing. A highlight was during our version of the Birmingham Jug Band?s ?Bill Wilson,? when a man spontaneously jumped up to the area in front of the stage and did some kind of mountain jig that perfectly fit the music and charmed us and the audience. A few other couples swing-danced over on the side. The sound quality was terrific. I had been afraid that the sound crew would have a tough time with our array of acoustic instruments, including some they probably don?t mike very often, and three voices. We set up with two mics apiece, and it worked fine. We could hear, the audience could hear, and there was no feedback.
The applause was strong and the comments, including from musicians and stage crew, were very positive. Unfortunately we didn?t get reviewed in the newspaper. But here?s a quote from another Portland jug-band musician, Aaron Dyers of the Stumptown Jug Stompers: ?Steve- I wanted to express my utmost thanks and appreciation of the
Hohoppas presentation on Sunday! I was truly entertained and i felt
that you folks had a great 'rural' sound that was very unique!  It
sounded like you guys came 'straight off of the farm', or so to speak.
Great, great , great stuff!!!?
I really believe we had the most authentic, 1920s-30s-style jug-band sound of any of the acts on the program. And that includes Kweskin and Muldaur, who played originals, folkie stuff and yes, a few jug-band standards but in a folk-pop arrangement, including ? at a tribute to a jug and washtub player ? electric bass! Their show was enjoyable and sometimes moving, but it wasn?t no jug band.
My sweetie, the lovely and talented and helpful Taizz Medalia, captured our show on video, so y?all can see it if you want ? maybe we?ll do a screening at the Weenie House at camp next month.
And the Hohoppas are available for festivals, parties, weddings etc. ? contact me for booking or with any other questions!
Cheers, Chezz
Steve Cheseborough
503-283-5202 or 757-880-3239
www.stevecheseborough.com
chezztone@gmail.com

Offline Slack

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Thanks for the review Steve -- sounds like a grand time was had by all and you guys did great! Love the "straight off the farm" comment - Looking forward to the weenie house screening!

Offline uncle bud

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Congratulations, guys. Sounds like a lot of work paid off with a good time had by all. I too am looking forward to a screening at the Weenie House.

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