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Blind Lemon Jefferson. That's B.B. King's idol, too. Yeah, I had one of his records, and I loaned it to B.B. King. He said he was gonna bring it back, and he ain't brought it back yet, and that's been 12 years ago - John Lee Hooker, from The Voice of the Blues

Author Topic: EBA Blues Week, 2004  (Read 2279 times)

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Offline Johnm

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EBA Blues Week, 2004
« on: August 22, 2004, 01:37:23 PM »
Hi all,
It occurred to me that some of you might be interested in hearing about the European Blues Association's Blues Week, which finished up last Saturday a week ago, 8/14.  It was by far the biggest enrollment for the event so far, with 74 participants, I think, up from 61 last year.  It was great to see many familiar faces, including a good bunch of British and French Weenies, as well as a lot of new people.  The teaching staff included Michael Roach and Michel Lalonde (from France) on introductory CB guitar, Bob Hall on piano, Hillary Blythe on vocals, Homesick Mac (from Croatia via Sweden), Michael Messer and Paul Geremia teaching slide guitar, John Cephas and me teaching intermediate/advanced non-slide CB guitar, and Keith Dunn (from Boston via Rotterdam) and Phil Wiggins teaching harmonica. 
People were really interested in learning and game; up for anything you could throw their way.  I taught substantially the same tunes as at Port Townsend, but was able to work in an extra Pre-Blues tune, Peg Leg Howell's "Coal Man Blues" due to there being one more day of classes (something I'd like to see Port Townsend go to as well)  It has been good to see the speed with which people pick things up increase in the three years I've taught there.  One innovation in the class that was suggested by my friend David Popple was that he burn CDs with the original performances of the tunes I would be teaching for the people in my classes, at a nominal fee to cover time and the cost of the CDs.  He was able to find all but three of the tunes I would be teaching, and after Camp started Alan Hooper was able to round up two more of the missing pieces and do a revised master.  I hope to be able to continue this practice in the future, because having copies of the original performances will really help people keep the tunes in their heads, and reconstruct the tunes after camp. 
There are a lot of serious players there who work on the music on a year-round basis and it really shows.  Student performances are spread out over three different nights there, so it is not all crammed into one marathon student concert event.  It's a bit more humane, I think, and encourages more people to participate.
It was good to see what other people on staff were up to.  Paul Geremia did an outstanding concert set with some especially great 12-string guitar playing.  One piece was a real show-stopper with tremolo, runs played out of time right back into the groove and the like.  That's not easy to do!  Paul also did some political material of his own with "New Bully of the Town" and one other that spoke to the current administration without pulling any punches.  It was great to hear Paul play and hang out to the extent that we had time.  He's been a road warrior, performing many years and has seen and heard a lot-- a good guy to talk to, knowledgeable, humble and with a great sense of humor.
Phil and John Cephas were in fine form, and after their concert set many people were saying they had never heard better harmonica playing.  Phil was playing great, it's true, and I think there was probably a degree of relief in stepping back into a straight teaching role after handling double teaching and administrative duties at Port Townsend.  I hadn't realized it until we talked on the plane on the way over, but the EBA Blues Week was his third camp consecutively--Augusta, PT, and then Exeter.  If I did that, I think I'd have to be hospitalized.  As often seems to be the case, he and I ended up playing together more in England than we do at PT.
Keith Dunn is a great player and singer, too.  He has worked up an entire repertoire of solo harmonica and vocal numbers, kind of like a modern-day Jaybird Coleman, and his tone and phrasing are outstanding.  I heard him for the first time at Pocklington, in May, and it was good to see and hear him again.
The EBA will be sponsoring Blues Week-ends in November in Pocklington and in February or March in Bracknell, I think, and I hope to make it to one of those events.  It has been great to be able to sustain an involvement over time and see the organization grow along with people's involvement with the music.
All best,
Johnm   
       

Offline uncle bud

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Re: EBA Blues Week, 2004
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2004, 09:17:22 AM »
John,

Great to hear about the EBA week. Sounds like a fun time. Paul Geremia is a hands down favorite of mine and it would be great to get him back to Port Townsend. He's a really nice guy, very funny and a country bluesman extraordinaire. Re. John and Phil, it seems to me Phil's playing has moved up to a new level in the past couple years. He's playing his ass off and is a joy to watch. Re. consecutive workshops, I think Mary Flower was moving onto her fifth at IGS after PTCBW. Forget about being hospitalized, just go straight for the funeral arrangements.

Good idea on the CDs too for classes, BTW.

Any EBA participants on the weenie board, we'd love to hear about your workshop, see photos etc!


Offline Richard

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Re: EBA Blues Week, 2004
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2004, 12:56:43 PM »
John thanks for the EBA write up, I suppose really one of us participants should have done it  :-X

However, I am trying to get hold of some photos so let's hope they appear including my on stage appearance with Phil Wiggins playing brushes on cardboard box 8).  Great!

(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline blueshome

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Re: EBA Blues Week, 2004
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2004, 02:27:36 PM »
We could have a little more to say on this later, but two of our number gave us great moments at EBA Bluesweek - JMM and Richard T!

John for agreeing to be a prize in our fund raising draw, and serenading the winner - one of our Belgian guests - with his Bolero! This in room full of about 100 with no sound reinforcement, you could hear a pin drop.

Richard for his frantic but accomplished percussion on the smooth chair (different I'm told, in sound from the rough chair), as one of my "Boogie Boys" .

Here's to next time? 8)

Offline Richard

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Re: EBA Blues Week, 2004
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2004, 06:34:49 AM »
Just to say that there are finally some pictures around and can be found on Paul Martin's excellent photographic site  www.images.uk.com

If you are very brave you can even find a pic of me playing the chair :-X
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Yves

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Re: EBA Blues Week, 2004
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2004, 11:46:27 PM »
Hello Weenies

Here I am the French Weenie ... or the "Froggy bluesman" as you wish

EBA - Exeter was a great event as usual - many thanks to Michael Roach and his close friends
As far as we are concerned - us students - we friendly squeezed the teachers ... just like lemons to get the best of them.
Paul Geremia did not only tough us slide but played a lot of his tunes... just like a juke box. So we had many opportunities to pick up licks, runs, tuning, chord progressions, ideas of arrangements. A bit like the teaching we had with Louisiana Red a couple of years ago... just a little bit clearer with the tunings.
John cephas showed us his usual material that you can hear on many of his CD's with Phil - great Piedmont stuff I got round 10 of them CD's - and covered the Skip James Dm tuning. John told us  many stories and experiences he had in his life and he's also a lovely and patient man. John is very much aware of sharing with the others. I remember while waiting for the opening of the door playing "Lemon jefferson's He Arose from the dead" and John came to me to sing with me and learn how to play this song.
I can't tell anything about our JMM that you don't already know excepted that this was my 3rd Exeter summer week + Pocklington week end with John's teaching. John is the best teacher I ever had and even if it makes you smiling John "changed my life" with his tuning and key position recognition great lesson. Thanks again John
 
Sorry I missed to tell I play the guitar - mostly without a slide - and I can't tell anything concerning other lessons. Hey Phil what about the slides lessons ?

Come on to visit Europ Exeter is a good opportunity... or an excuse
Keep on goin' the Weenie website is really a must
All the best
Yves "the froggy bluesman"

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