Tuesday, August 2, 2011

World Music | Fingerpickin' | Patterns and more @ Blues Fest

beach hotel
After the first night at the dorm I thought I might have to sleep on the beach for some shut eye. Luckily I ran into Gordon, a musician I met at Centrum in 2008. He gave me his extra pair of ear plugs, so last night I was able to muffle the sound of the all-night jam session in the common area on my floor. I'm glad to say I slept well, like a log.

John Miller
First class on the first day was with John Miller: Drop-D tuning and Pre-World War II songs. Had been looking forward to another live class (after Blues Fest 2008). The DVDs John puts out our great, especially for freelancers like me whose working schedules are so unpredictable they never manage to take live classes from beginning to end, but there's nothing like a live session. Today I went to his class again, probably will continue taking them every morning.

Guy Davis had each of the participants in his class come to the front to play something. When he heard my last name he came up to me, and embraced me saying, "Oh, brother, brother".
My version of Keb' Mo's "France" went down pretty well.

I joined Phil Wiggins' porch jam from 3:45 - 5:25 PM and man, my fingers hurt, but it was fun. After dinner I just listened to Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton play piano and others jam with him.

Cheik Hamala Diabate
Cheick Hamala Diabate's class today was part storytelling. Each pattern he shows has a story attached to it.
World Music Live!

After the African beat I got my uke and joined Lightnin' Wells. This must be the first time that ukelele is taught at the Blues Fest. Lightnin' promised it would be easy to pick up the cords, and he was right too.

This afternoon Cheick and the Blues Fest's artistic director Corey Harris led an inspired porch jam in African music. Everyone was still going strong when I left for dinner, got to eat in time. Period.

There's a lot of good stuff going on, all day long, and you have to accept you can't do everything, and need to sit back and just listen at times too. But I've my mind set on taking an intermediate Piedmont class with Jeffrey Scott and check out Mark Puryear and then some...

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