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Black water risin', Southern people can't make no time. And I can't get no hearin' from that Memphis gal of mine - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Rising High Water Blues

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  • European Blues Association - Blues Week starts: July 31, 2011 - August 05, 2011

Author Topic: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts  (Read 2287 times)

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Offline dpopple

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European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« on: June 28, 2011, 11:15:41 AM »
Blues Week 2011 our 12th year!
University of Northampton UK
+44 (0) 1242 701 765  info@euroblues.co.uk 
Blues Week 2011 provides an opportunity for blues enthusiasts to come together for a full week of music making.
The programme will offer morning and afternoon workshops and classes for all levels. The evening activities throughout the week will consist of a concert by the staff members, a student concert and nightly-jam sessions. In addition, there will be special presentations for the entire group.
Classes begin on Monday morning and run through Friday afternoon.

Offline blueshome

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 12:17:33 PM »
Thanks for the timely reminder Dave.

Most Euroweenies are aware of EBA Bluesweek and many are regulars.

If you haven't been, and have spare time the 1st week of August (and haven't got a plane ticket to Seattle), then there is no better place to be. BTW if you can't do the whole week, it's still well worth going for a day or two.

I know Richard is booked in as am I; Harvey and Norfolk Slim are other regulars.







Offline Johnm

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 09:23:17 PM »
Congratulations on your first post at Weenie, David!  The EBA BluesWeek is always such a great time, and I will miss it and my friends this year.  I look forward to being in attendance again in the future.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Richard

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 12:38:20 PM »
Nice to hear you have been conscripted Dave  :)
 
Any European weenies that have not been before should really consider it, it's great fun. Which, by the way is considerably more fun than my internet connect has been, seems I have fault they can't trace and it's as slow as a wet week   >:(
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline morning wood

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 11:58:49 AM »
What no reviews, debriefing etc! Did it actually happen?

Offline blueshome

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2011, 11:52:12 PM »
It happened, we're all still recovering.
More to follow.

Offline morning wood

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 08:33:31 AM »
It happened, we're all still recovering.
More to follow.

Ah ok Phil must've been a good 'un then if you're still recovering! I did consider it late on but I've got this damn PhD thesis to write which is taking over my life at the moment!

Paul.

Offline Richard

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 02:42:55 PM »
I suppose we should should write something shouldn't we?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Gumbo

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 06:39:08 PM »
Bring it on!!  8)

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 02:38:30 AM »
Well?

Blueshome mentioned on Michael Messer's forum that the friendly atmosphere and culture was better than ever this year, which made for a very enjoyable week.  So many good musicians and so few egos?

As to the nuts and bolts of the week, its fair to say it wasn't the bluesiest EBA Blues week there has been.  Times are hard and air fares from the states costly.  Inevitably, Michael Roach and his colleagues have had to find ways of controlling costs.  I think they largely achieved that without losing too much.

Joe Filisko and Grant Dermody returned for the Harmonica players.  They took all the classes between them which essentially meant an increased workload for the two teachers, and a reduced number of harp teachers.  I think all the harp players I spoke with were more than happy with the arrangement though as they are both great players and teachers.  Joe is also an absolute trooper in terms of late night entertainment and making things happen in jams etc.

Fingerpickers had the choice of beginner / intermediate classes with Michael Roach or Rick Franklin (who is a fantastic character to have about the place) or a mixture of Wizz Jones, Sonny Black and Del Rey for the more advanced sessions.

I know that a good many people enjoyed Sonny and Wizz's input.  Sonny in particular stretched out a good way from the core of blues material.  He's a very sophisticated and knowledgeable guitarist and he's happy to impart that knowledge in a relaxed way.  It wasn't for me- I do have other musical interests but for the EBA week I do like to stay largely in the blues mindset.  There's so much I haven't learned in that genre yet?

Wizz only did three days and certainly had some stories and a fantastically energetic, thumping, playing style to pass on.  His takes on some Broonzy material were good and full of useful technique, and he then moved out into some of his own more esoteric material.  Again, not for me though others certainly got something from his lessons.  His performance at the staff concert in town was impressive too.

Del Rey did boogie guitar stuff in the mornings (I didn't venture into that one?) and a Memphis Minnie masterclass in the afternoons.  The Minie class was excellent- lots of listening,combined with keys into the main styles and techniques Minnie (and her various cohorts) employed.  

Most enoyable for me though was the unnoficial Uke class that Del put on outside every morning.  We ended the week as a well drilled Ukulele Jug band and inflicted an unscheduled "Guerilla" performance on our fellow students during Friday lunchtime.  A "Ukulele flash mob" as Will Greener put it.  We did Jackson Stomp, Tired Chicken, KC Moan and tapping that thing, before following it with a Friday night concert performance featuring kazoos, Will's excellent harp and yours truly on Jug (a scrumpy cider jar from the local off licence, the contents of which were largely too caustic to drink and ended up down the loo)?  I wasn't alone in considering participation in the Uke band as the week's highlight, and Del's infectious (and slightly eccentric) enthusiasm to be a wonderful addition to the week.

Student concert was, as ever, excellent (though long!).  Every year, people noticeably move forward with their performances.  Always good to see youngsters at the week on the John Jackson scholarship, showing us what they can do.  This year we also had the benefit of the daughters of Michael Roach and Homesick Mac joining us.  Both are clearly talented girls- Michael's daughter in particular having a beautiful voice, and an incredibly composed touch on the piano.  Its unusual (and great) to hear a young musician comfortable with  leaving so much space in the music and simply serving the song.  She appeared not even to be tempted to overdo either vocal or piano- despite clearly having the vocal capacity to do so if she chose.  A perfect advert for restraint and the "less is more" approach.

There's lots I've left out- but maybe Blueshome can offer something if he's now recovered!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 03:28:57 AM by Norfolk Slim »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2011, 04:13:44 AM »
Thanks for that Simon. A fascinating read for those like me who did not attend - and doubtless those that did.
"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 blueshome

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2011, 05:31:39 AM »
Slim only got part of it as he wimped out on evening jams. There was a definite shortage of guitarists this year once the dust had settled each evening. I found myself alone apart from Mac or Joe amongst gaggles of harp players (or whatever the collective is) providing back up. Still only a couple of them call off songs though.......

Whilst understanding the need for cost control, the absence of 1st rank advanced guitar tutors, Del Rey excepted, meant that there was a little less blues in Bluesweek than normal.
Bill Boazman (Sonny Black) was an entertaining tutor in his slide class but had limited knowledge of the repertoire and was only familiar with Vasterpol tuning.

As far as blues was concerned, Mr.Jones offered little or nothing. He is a very talented guitarist and singer-songwriter but seemed like a duck out of water.

As Slim noted, the student concert continues to amaze with the standard of performance - it is long as we try to put on 20 acts in 3 hours, with another 10 wanting to play.

As usual the Boogie Boys took their vengeance on everyone's musical sensibilities, leading to Mike Roach and Del taking the parts of Joe and Minnie in querying the operational status of the mill!

The revenge of the ukes continued on Friday as Del led her gang in the Hand Jive - taught just minutes before and a fine way to close out the week.

A really nice week for hanging out and jamming, a bit less fulfilling on the learning side.

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2011, 05:59:38 AM »
I should say that I echo Blueshome's overall sentiments about the guitar tuition this year- and perhaps was overly diplomatic in my main post.  I really enjoyed the week, but did miss the presence of the likes of John M, Ari Eisenger or someone of that calibre and (crucially) obsessive blues oriented knowledge.  Del was the only one who really offered that.

The slide guitar side was perhaps worse hit in some ways with no top notch visiting tutor taking advanced classes.  Michael Messer has been at every single EBA week and was a key member of staff as ever (I dont think of him as a "visiting" tutor), but we have been spoiled in the past by having the likes of Mike Dowling, Scott Ainslie, Steve James et al in addition to Michael.  
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 08:49:53 AM by Norfolk Slim »

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: European Blues Association - Videos
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 03:07:00 PM »
A lady by the name of Isabelle kindly video'd most of the student concert and has now emailed me a copy of my efforts...



« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 01:44:50 AM by Norfolk Slim »

Offline Richard

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Re: European Blues Association - Blues Week starts
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2011, 12:59:42 PM »
Better late than never I had better add something, although it's hard to follow Slim through his Purple Haze..

As has been said a very good week socially, but again other than Del lacking an "obsessive" guitari tutor - obsessive, what a great term! Del was incredibly good value if you happeded to be a Minnie fanatic, which it seems a few of us were.  To watch her listen to one Minnie track after the next and instantly dissect it was not to be missed and we even learnt the secret Minnie sign as well!

Bill Boazman (sorry, but I can't call him Sonny Black) was an unknown to most of us, however he soon settled in with a very easy and enthusiastic style. Whizz on the other hand, seemed only to keen to whizz off into the sunset...

I tend to think of the rest of the regular tutors as part of the furniture, that said what excellent pieces of furniture they are  ;D  What else, full marks to Mac for putting up with myself and Bluehome for the last beginners lesson lesson of every day we did offer to leave, but were told to stay by the others as we added entertainment value  :-X   

What else? A lot of new young talent this year, both Mac and MR's daughters being exceptional.  Roll on next year.

Eerrrrrr.... uuumm... that's it... time to open a bottle!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

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