This week Joe taught Lazy Lester's tune, "Whoa Now". This is a 12/8 shuffle with a unique bass line. Check out the transcription and learn the bass line so you can play it for the band to pick up. The song has an unusual progression over bar 10, a bVI to a V chord. Although this makes the original special, it is not necessary, and you can certainly play this song over the standard 12 bar progression. Lester's solo is a tasteful use of the blues scale. (transcription)
Special Guest Instructor Next Week!
Joe will be out of town next week, but musician extraordinaire Shoji Naito will be teaching Joe's three group classes. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn from Naito-sensei! Here are special advanced instructions:
- Level III students should bring the play-along CDs for songs they want to play in class. Know what tempo you want to play in advance. Also be sure to bring along your transcriptions.
- Level IV students should plan to play as usual but it is also a good time to "workshop" things. If you have questions about your song or want to work on beginnings and endings, this is a good time for that. Also, be sure to bring your C and G harps for the instructional part of the session.
Note From B1 Friend Lazy Lester!
It was unfortunate we could not get Lester to class recently. He was very interested but couldn't change travel plans in time. We hope to have him next time he's near Chicago. He sent this note to B1 recently:
"Hello Joe and students,
We have airline tickets that fly me back from Detroit on June 29th. The change fee alone is $150.00 plus additional fare, and I would have to get back to Detroit because you cannot change your departure cities. I would love to do this next time I'm coming that way. I will let you know, and hopefully we can get together then.
See you next time,
More Talking Blues Contest News!
Looks like this will take place mid-September so be working up your song. Here are a few points to remember:
- The song should be harmonica-driven.
- Some singing is ok, but the idea is to do a talking blues so everyone can participate.
- Produce an entertaining performance.
- Bonus for originality.
- You should make use of the B1 band -- know how to communicate to them what you want.
- Remember, you are competing with yourself. Joe is looking for a winning performance that shows you've pushed yourself and grown. Find your inner showmanship and put on a memorable performance!
- Recital CDs are available! Joe compiled our recent 12th Old Town Harmonica Recital on disc -- everyone who played is on it. Thanks to "Bad" Brad Rodger for design, Michelle Filisko for recording, and Highway RickEy for printing. Get it soon and make your donation to the class fund!
- Chicago Blues Harp Bash: tickets are available through etix and the Bill's Blues Bar website. Patron and Platinum reserved seating is now available. Get yours soon so you don't miss this great show!
- Shoji has updated his play-along tracks. These are new and available at youmissedmonday.com: Ma Babe, Walkin' By Oneself, Back Scratch, Off The Walter, Sharp Harmonica, and Steadie
- Vote for Your Favorite Harp Players: several B1 harmonica buddies are nominated for 2009 Blues Music Awards by Living Blues Magazine and Illinois' Blues Blast Magazine. Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Branch, and John Nemeth are nominees in both contests! Additional nominees include Charlie Musselwhite, Nick Moss, Eddy Clearwater (Shoji Naito's boss!), Curtis Salgado, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Watermelon Slim, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Jerry McCain, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Support your fellow harp players and cast your votes today (see links above)!
- Shoji Naito gets high praise from blues blogger Ben the Harpman! (review)
Chicago Blues Society launches!
Here is a note from the editor of the WCBS newsletter, Napoleon Tabion:
"We have recently started an organization called the Windy City Blues Society, an affiliate of the Blues Foundation. Our mission is to preserve, promote, and enhance blues music and the blues community; support blues education, and promote the Chicago area blues scene including its blues musicians. We intend to do this through a number of programs including:
- Bringing the Blues In the Schools Program to schools in the Chicagoland area.
- Sponsoring artists at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, TN.
- Holding monthly get togethers at various blues clubs in the Chicagoland area.
- Offering discounts to our members at Rosa's Lounge and the Harlem Avenue Lounge - $3.00 off cover at each club - not yet on the website as these are recent developments but they will be posted in a day or so with (we hope) more to come soon.
- ...and many other programs soon to be announced.
Our website has membership details and our newsletter explains in more detail why we formed the organization and where we intend to take it in the future. We hope to hear from you."
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