Joe taught the Jimmy Reed classic, "Big Boss Man" this week (transcription). Top three reasons for learning to play this tune? One, it is fairly easy to sing. Two, it will give your set some groove variation to be playing a two-beat song. Three, Jimmy Reed has a great sense of phrasing and melody.
There was good class discussion about the groove of this song and how you can get a band to understand what you want if you're playing this at a jam. If the band is not familiar with the song, they may know the groove for "High Heel Sneakers", which is similar. Get your A harp out and learn this one!
Chicago Blues Festival this weekend!
Don't miss the Chicago Blues Festival this weekend, June 12-14 in Grant Park. Charlie Musselwhite is the harp player to see! The full schedule is here.
Often some of the best harp playing happens in the bars at night, so when the fest ends, head out to The Smoke Daddy and Reggie's for more great blues and lots of special guest performers. Reggie's even has a free trolley from the fest. Links and info are in the calendar at youmissedmonday.com.
- Thanks to all who performed "Soul Finger" last week at the Old Town School's First Friday -- it was a huge hit. Special thank you to Gavin Tun and Highway RickEy for backing us, and of course thanks to Shoji Naito for arranging this great song. You can see Big Alex' video of us at the YouMissedMonday website.
- Joe will be selling Ron Sorin compilation CDs next week for $10. Be ready to get one so you can listen to it before Ron visits class the following week, June 22.
- Joe played Paul deLay's tune, "Chalk and Roll" as further inspiration for the talking blues contest. The winner will be chosen based on a memorable performance that shows you pushing above and beyond your own ability, so everyone has a fair shot. Remember, this is open to Level III and Level IV students.
- Shoji Naito is now teaching private lessons at Old Town. He has two half-hour slots left open, 3-3:30pm and 4-4:30pm on Mondays. Call the school to register and learn harp or guitar from the master!
- Lazy Lester's visit on June 29 is still unconfirmed, but looking very likely. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. In any case, be sure to catch his gig at Buddy Guy's Legends on Friday, June 26.
- Our own Morry Sochat of the Special 20s performed the National Anthem at a baseball game recently. Check out the video here. Congrats Morry!
- Someone you know wrote a review of the Rick Estrin instructional DVD, "Rick Estrin Reveals! Secrets, Subtleties & Tricks of the Blues Harmonica" for the SPAH newsletter, Harmonica Happenings. You can read the review here, and buy the DVD here.
- You can see recital photos here: Recital Photos
- Shoji has just updated six new play-along tracks, including this week's double-time song! Buy and download Shoji jam tracks from Snocap at youmissedmonday.com. It's easy: pick the tracks you want and set up an account to buy and download using your credit card.
- Joe's additional Level III class has been approved and will begin June 22. This class will meet from 12:30-1:50 on Mondays.
Word has it that our very own Big Jim Themelis is now the official Southwest Liason For the Filisko Method! That's right, Big Jim's teaching. We can hear the admonitions to his students now: "Inhale only -- seven in and one out!!!" or "More tone!!!" and don't forget, "Tongue blocking only!!!" Good luck with it, Jim! Teach 'em your fantastic tongue trill.
The newsletter and more is now online! Check it out for further info on newsletter items, an ongoing calendar of local gigs and birthdays, archives, links, videos and special features.
We welcome your input. If you're inspired to write a review of a live show, CD, DVD or book, please submit it to us for consideration.
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew