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William Grant, [born in 1908], was born near Pittsview, Alabama...He was given a harmonica one Christmas, and he says he learned how to play it while sitting on a plow in the fields. 'I played at parties in the countries,' he said. 'I used to pick guitar, but I come to religion and I put the guitar down. I promised the Lord I wouldn't fool with a guitar no more, but I didn't promise Him I wouldn't fool with a harp. I always keep a harp' - George Mitchell, from In Celebration of a Legacy: The Traditional Arts of the Lower Chattahoochee Valley http://southernspaces.org/2004/blues-lower-chattahoochee-valley

Author Topic: EBA Bluesweek  (Read 2557 times)

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Offline blueshome

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EBA Bluesweek
« on: July 03, 2012, 10:26:55 AM »
Dont forget Euroweenies, Bluesweek is drawing nigh.

Who is going?  It'll be fun week.

Offline harvey

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 12:12:54 PM »
Looks like I will be there,missing my fix of tangerine cheese cake.


Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 12:32:17 PM »
If I have someone to share Cognac with, I'll get my cheque off :-)

Need to show off my new Schmidt Stella anyway.

Offline blueshome

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 01:52:31 PM »
Then we are 3. Plus Richard I'm sure.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 01:31:16 AM »
Sounds like a winning combination: Blueshome, Harvey, Slim and Richard all drinking cognac, eating cheesecake and salivating over an Oscar Schmidt guitar...  ;D
"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 Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 03:21:23 AM »
Having read the various comments and reports on Port Townsend it dawned on me that not a word has been said about the EBA Bluesweek yet...

I certainly had a good time, as ever.  Its right to say that next to the glittering array of CB tutors at PT this year, some of us felt a little hard done by.  Times are tough and airfares are expensive.  Numbers were pretty low, and the Harp people seem to be on the verge of outnumbering us guitarists these days.  I think that may have much to do with the quality of their tutors.  Whilst there are now only two Harp tutors at Blues Week, Joe Filisko is an absolute star, and has more stamina than most of us put together.  This year we also had Mark Graham who was very entertaining.

Guitar Wise, Rick Franklin was the life and soul of the party as usual and took the beginner / intermediate classes - leading them through a substantial repertoire.

Del Rey was back for a second year.  Though I didn't go to them, I understand her Minnie classes were very highly regarded and challenging.  For me, as last year, her informal Uke Jug Band club was the best fun of the week (with the exception of a late night conversation about the fictional preservation of parts of various old blues singers in pickle jars, which doesn't bear repetition on a civilsed forum).

I knew very little about Steve Phillips before the week, other than that he had been in the NottingHillbillies with Mark Knopfler.  His solo performance at the staff concert was excellent.  He turned out to be a very knowledgeable and passionate player of old blues and a fine guitarist with some interesting tricks and ideas to pass on.  He certainly wasn't a natural teacher, but I enjoyed what he did.

As usual Michael Messer covered slide, and in addition "Catfish" Keith. 

A good friendly week, with barely an ego to be seen anywhere which makes for a great atmosphere.  Jams were far less frequent or prolonged than some years- I think due to falling numbers, fewer tutors (especially ones like Homesick Mac who are inclined to stay up until 4am playing with the students...) and probably some other factors too. 

Overall, socially it was an excellent week and just gets better each year from that perspective in my opinion.  Musically, a little more limited than was ideal and the smaller numbers certainly took their toll (the student concert was barely filled, whereas it usually spills over into the next evening). 

I am hopeful that the teaching staff will be refreshed again next year, and offer us a little more- though im sure its hard to make the budget work even with the reduced roster.

Finally- I shifted 5 Weenie Cds too, including one to Rick Franklin.  I'll be arranging a lump payment of profits to date to the website very shortly.


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 03:54:25 AM »
Good to get a review. From the few pics I've seen it looked like a fine occasion. Steve is (and has always been) one of the finest players around, and he doesn't need an airfare!

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 04:14:08 AM »
Very True Professor...  I think he would agree himself that he struggled a little to proactively "teach" for the full week but he was good company and a mine of useful knowledge.  Very much in the "here's something I do, have a go" category of teachers.

There may be footage of Ukulele jug band performances to follow at some stage.

Offline harvey

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 04:44:17 AM »
Thanks Simon, nobody  reviewed the weenie weekend either in full? which is a shame.. Unfortunately unlike you my writing skills are very limited.
I had a really enjoyable week, wouldn?t rank high on my list of blues weeks, nevertheless I agree with a smaller group does for me improve the social side? i.e. you get to speak to fewer people and in more depth and a lot of the attendees like ourselves are stalwarts !
I really enjoyed Del Rey I thought she was excellent and opened my eyes and ears to some new ideas. Her classes were very challenging, which is a good thing.
And I started my Uke journey which is great. Great fun
All the student performances were excellent too which just puts me to shame?? (Simon?s performance was very good as always)
Enjoyed the late night Cognac and of course the last night dip into the Profanisarous ! sadly mostly unrepeatable

Offline blueshome

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 07:47:59 AM »
I have to disagree with Simon on a couple of points.

I think the Steve Phillips classes I attended were excellent and his skill and enthusiasm rubbed off on those present and his delivery was nicely informal but packed with information.

As to the jams, for the 5 evenings  I was there, I was not in bed before 3.00am as per any normal year. Imprisoned with numerous very skilful harp players for the final couple of hours of each session. A very clear absence of jamming guitarists with any stamina excepting Messrs. Franklin and Roach.

There was a really nice vibe this year too, with a lot of really nice new folk around.

As to next year, I know that Mike is trying to book a  faculty with more of our old friends from the US. Hopefully this, and the absence of the Olympics, will allow numbers to get back up.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 08:01:39 AM »
Thanks for the reports, fellas! Sounds like a good time as always.

I really like Mark Graham and think they should steal him back for PT.

Offline huge furry whipinstool

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 11:59:24 AM »
I was surprised reading this thread that UK Weenies were not more familiar with Steve Phillips and his music.

I first met Steve at a student party in Leeds in 1970. Around midnight 2 guys arrived, pulled up some chairs, placed a bottle of whiskey between them, got out their National guitars and launched in to the Jess Johnson / Roy Harvey classic 'Just Pickin'. This was Steve and Mark Knofler who in those days performed as the duolian string pickers. They then proceeded to spend the next 4 hours playing near perfect renditions of country blues songs I had only ever heard on records.

I thought then and still believe that Steve is the finest exponent of country blues in the UK. Although he primarily stays 'up North' he does make the occasional trip South and I would recommend anyone who hasn't seen him perform to make an effort to catch one of his gigs.

He is also an excellent songwriter, luthier and landscape artist. Have a look at his website to see some of his work.

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 12:11:09 PM »
Hmmm.  Some clarifications needed from me I think  :D

I certainly wouldn't criticise Steve's classes.  They were enjoyable, informal and as I say, he was a mine of knowledge and know how.  He said himself that teaching wasnt really his thing which is absolutely fair enough. 

With regard to knowledge of him, I plead my relative youth.  I was 16 at the time the NottingHillbillies made their album, and mainly listening to Public Enemy and Ice T...  I had not heard of him before he was selected to teach at Blues Week, but its clear that people who had an interest in Blues back in the 80s and early 90s hold him in high esteem, and rightly so.  His luthiery skills are impressive; he played his own guitars including a fantastic 12 string and we probed him for knowledge about them mercilessly!

As for the jams, perhaps they kicked off later than they have done at times in the past?  I didnt see too much, but then we had some small quieter (and usually fairly poor) attempts at jams upstairs.  More than happy to hear that things were still going on as usual.


Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 03:51:55 AM »
I agree with Scratchy - Steve Phillips is one of our national treasures. I first saw him play in Leeds some time in the 1960s when we were all going around with long hair and in loon pants, and he wore a pin-stripe suit, had short hair and played stunning country blues.

I got to know him later after I had moved away from Yorkshire and occasionally saw him play on my visits back home to the Leeds area. He always seemed at his best playing in a pub, with a pint of bitter by his side and a cheroot in his mouth!

At a gig a few years ago here in the south of England, he announced a song as one he had learned from a tape I had sent him 17 years before. What a memory - I'd totally forgotten about it.

We have some fine players here in the UK and Steve is up there with the best of them - alongside the likes of Roger Hubbard, the Hokum Hotshots and (dare I say?) Prof. Scratchy.
"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 steadyrollinman

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 04:03:45 PM »
If I have someone to share Cognac with, I'll get my cheque off :-)

Need to show off my new Schmidt Stella anyway.

Slim, interested to hear about your schmidt stella; how old and from where did it come?

Regards,

Chris

Offline dpopple

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Re: EBA Blues Week 2013
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2013, 08:11:32 AM »
Another year has passed and it's that time again!

28th July to 2nd August, Northampton University.

John Miller, Ari Eisinger, Rick Franklin, Joe Filisko, Michael Messer, Scott Ainslie, Mark Graham, Diz Watson and, not least, Michael Roach.

Satisfyingly familiar but suitably refreshed too I think.

www.euroblues.co.uk

but there's a taster too:

John Miller & Ari Eisinger are playing at the Palace Theatre, Newark, Notts from 7.30pm on Saturday 27th July

A rare treat for UK audiences, I think you'll agree.

It'd be great to see you there!





Offline Johnm

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2013, 08:23:51 AM »
I'm looking forward to BluesWeek and the concert, David, and it will be great to see you there, along with a lot of other friends.  It's coming right up!
All best,
Johnm

Offline jostber

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2014, 12:19:58 PM »
Any web site and plans coming up for the 2014 week? :)

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2014, 12:58:42 PM »
Last news I heard on it was via Michael Messer's website.  Michael said the following a while back:

There will be a Blues Week in 2014 at Northampton University. The dates are from Sunday afternoon 27th July through to Friday 1st/Saurday morning 2nd August.

It is no longer being run by Euro Blues Promotions, there is a new company currently being set up by David Popple. We have a database of everyone who was at Blues Week 2013, so everyone will be contacted by David in due course. I am closely involved in helping David set this up, so I should be able to provide any information you need to know. Meanwhile, it will go quiet until sometime in January/February, because David is setting everything up and getting organised with this new venture.



Offline Norfolk Slim

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UK Bluesweek- confirmed, and partial staff list
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2014, 12:01:39 PM »
From Michael Messer's site and Facebook:

The new Blues Week is finally up & running!

Official press release >>

We're nearly there! Make sure the dates are in your diary: Sunday 27th July to Saturday 2nd August. Final line-up, a new website, prices and details of early bird discount to be announced in Newsletter No 2.

For over 14 years Blues Week in the UK has been run by Michael Roach under the auspices of EuroBlues Promotions. After another successful event in 2013, Michael returned to Washington DC. But there?s no doubt how important it is that Blues Week should continue! Remember, Blues Week is a rare opportunity to see and hear in the UK, some of the great names in acoustic blues music.

Finding great musicians that are also great teachers isn't easy. It's important to retain the reliable contribution of the best from previous years, as well as introduce new talent. We're delighted to welcome back Joe Filisko from Chicago on harmonica; Rick Franklin from Washington on guitar; Michael Messer from Buckinghamshire on slide guitar; Phil Wiggins from Washington on harmonica and Tom Feldmann from Minneapolis on guitar. There will be more names added to the tutors list over the next few weeks. There will also be some special guests and one-day visitors to perform, as well as lead a workshop.
David Popple - Director, Blues Week 2014

Read more: http://michaelmesser.proboards.com/thread/6949/blues-week-2014?page=1&scrollTo=53189#ixzz2rdAutD96

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2014, 02:32:50 AM »
Having re-posted the above press release, I feel pretty much obliged now to follow it up for fear of unwittingly misleading people.

It is almost April, and no further information appears to be available at all.  The only reference to it anywhere on the internet now seems to be a holder page, with a box to subscribe to a potential newsletter.  The Euroblues Promotions website (which ran the event until last year) links that page and says this:

"We have received several emails and inquiries with regard to details for Blues Week 2014. Yes, Euroblues is still involved in the programme and the dates are from the 27th July to 2nd August. However, Blues Week will be administered by Dave Popple who has been the coordinator for the past two years. David has set-up a new website and all interested parties should sign up to receive further details. Here is a link: http://bluesweek.co.uk/"

I am aware from the "European Blues Associates" Facebook group that people have emailed to find out what is happening, so far to no avail. 

It must be an incredibly difficult task setting up a week like this and I assume that the relevant people are concentrating on sorting everything out and can't do anymore publicity or answer queries until things are finalised.  However, many people (me included) are now at the point of finalising summer plans, time off and spending so the position is problematic.  Has anyone else heard anything they are able to share publically?

Edited to add that Michael Messer (on his forum) has confirmed that the message he originally put out (a couple of posts up this thread) is no longer salient.  He is in the same position as everyone else and has no idea what is happening.




« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 04:46:43 AM by Norfolk Slim »

Offline Laura

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 01:08:43 PM »
Thanks for the update Simon.  It's a real shame about all this..I had to book my flights by this week to get over to the UK (the prices on everything go crazy in July due to it being school holidays) so even if it does go ahead, I'll have to miss out this year :(
I do hope something does get put together but I would have thought the tutors/uni booking would need to have been made by now for it to go ahead?
Anyone interested in starting a Bristol gathering in the autumn or something? Euroweenie MK2?

Offline Gumbo

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2014, 01:37:29 AM »
Ireland can be lovely that time of year ;)

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2014, 01:11:24 AM »
Confirmation of the fate of the UK blues week this year, from Michael Messer's forum. Some encouraging news for next year though...


Hi everyone, especially Blues Weekers,

I want to update you and seek your support for a similar event in 2015.

You may recall at Blues Week 2013, hearing some discussion about Michael Roach's imminent departure to the USA with his family. At the meeting of a group of 'regulars' held during the week, there was support for David Popple, who offered to take on the organisation of Blues Week 2014 with Michael Roach's blessing.

Michael Roach had successfully organised this event for 14 years, during which time many people had benefitted from the teaching and playing skills of a wide range of tutors, and from Michael Roach's infectious enthusiasm for acoustic blues. It is a tribute to Michael Roach that so many attendees wanted the event to continue after his departure.

This morning, David Popple contacted the tutors booked for this year, to inform them of his decision to cancel Blues Week 2014, for financial reasons. We were aware of the difficulties of the last seven months, and as time went by, of the likelihood that the event would not take place this year.

We believe that the desire expressed last year by so many people to continue the event, remains, and therefore we are about to begin planning a 2015 event. Should you want to become involved in either the organisation of the week, or assist in some way during the week, please get in touch and let us know in what way you would like to help. Even if you do not wish to be involved in this way, we would still appreciate any suggestions you wish to make as to how the week can be improved. Please send these emails to dennisrigg@me.com by May 31st 2014.

We will keep you informed with our progress as things develop. All updates will be announced on this forum. We will also update via my Facebook page at - https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMesserMusic

Northampton University has been booked by us from Sunday 26th July to Saturday 1st August 2015, so please put these dates in your diary. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible there, and making up for missing the 2014 event.

We share the disappointment that many of you will feel on receiving news of the cancellation of this year's Blues Week, but we're determined that with your support, the 2015 event will be the first of many that build on all the hard work and vision of Michael Roach over the past 14 years to promote acoustic blues in Europe.

Shine On,

Michael Messer & Dennis Rigg

Offline blueshome

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2014, 07:16:37 AM »
Not a surprise. Such a shame but it will happen next year.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2014, 08:03:35 AM »
Shame that this isn't going ahead this year. I haven't been, but those that do go give it very good reports. Meanwhile, if you happen to be in or near Edinburgh on June 29th, don't forget that John Miller is giving a workshop on EAEGBE and DGDGBE tunings! More info on John's website johnmillerguitar.com/teaching

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2014, 04:41:39 AM »
Suddenly it's June. Still time to book your weekend away in Edinburgh at the end of the month, with John Miller's workshop as a bonus on 29th June. Go to John's website for details:
johnmillerguitar.com/teaching

Offline Norfolk Slim

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EBA Bluesweek 2015?
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2014, 04:38:01 AM »
Just a heads up for Weenies who are interested in this but don't frequent Michael Messer's forum.

Michael and Dennis Rigg had been working on a Blues Week 2015 (as per the comments / posts above).  However, Michael Roach (who has run all the previous Blues Weeks) is apparently back in the Uk and has said he will be organising a blues week instead.

It seems that Michael and Dennis will no longer be working on it, and that the work they had done on it to date is to be shelved.  More details over on Michael M's forum for those who are interested.  The long and short, however, is that the details put out previously by Michael M are no longer valid and people will have to wait for news from Michael Roach on what he is planning in due course.

 

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2014, 05:13:11 AM »
Sounds a bit messy?

Sent from my HUAWEI MT1-U06 using Tapatalk


Offline harvey

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2014, 04:31:14 AM »
Very frustrating, I don?t know the full back ground, but for those who have attended for many years it is very disconcerting.  Michael Messer (and Dennis) had an excellent teaching line up booked for 2015 and it has now gone. Some of which were also booked for the 2014 week that never took place.

I was really looking forward to a refreshed format to the week as well.

Offline jostber

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Re: EBA Bluesweek
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2014, 07:40:55 AM »
I got a mail from Dennis a couple of days ago describing the same thing.


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