After the break I asked Mark Puryear if I could join his class. He seemed surprised. "Of course, there no need to ask," he said. Google Mark, and you'll find he's played guitar behind quite a few well known artists, among whom Blues Fest's Phil Wiggins. For a listen, check out Songs of Peace and Forgiveness. Mark's class was focused on Bluesy Jazz, diminished and augmented patterns of finger pickin'. Great stuff.
Jefferson Glassie and Julie Littell of Peace Evolutions, LLC write:
Cool Down (3:59) – Phil Wiggins and Mark Puryear. Phil wrote this song in 1995 to tell young people to chill out. In this newly recorded version, Phil plays an edgy harmonica with Mark Puryear’s steady guitar. Phil is internationally famous and one of the best harmonica players in the world. He has toured and cut numerous CD’s with John Cephas over the years. “People automatically think of sadness and depression when they think of blues. But the blues is uplifting music, music to rejuvenate you, to nourish the spirit,” says Wiggins.
Later in the afternoon we gathered in the Wheeler for an hour to listen to Corey Harris interview Taj Mahal, who gave a great performance in the evening.
Today another John Miller class, all the good stuff just keeps adding up. Later and prep for participants presentation. The line-up was so long people played until about 1 a.m. or so. Having learned from earlier years, I put my name on the list as soon as it was posted. As number 5 I had to wait only 30 minutes before it was my turn. Before me a Frenchman who had indeed come all the way from France for the Blues Fest performed with Jerron Paxton. So I had the audience on my hand saying my song "France" by Keb' Mo' seemed an appropriate follow-up. It went well. Laughter in all the right places and I really enjoyed myself.
Guy Davis said, "You really got away from behind that guitar."
That's what I'd told him and other participants in his class, that I needed to sing more and not hide behind the instrument (in the theater we call that projecting your voice at the back row).
John Miller said, "Great job," and Jeff Scott told me he wanted me to do some recording at the end of the year. Talk about feeling good after playing!
The Blues reflects life in its many aspects; happy, sad, tiresome, painful, or fun. ~ Glassie and Littell