Class this week was devoted to answering questions regarding pre-war harmonica players and techniques following Joe's solo show last week. Turnout for his show at the Harlem Avenue Lounge was fantastic and class members had questions! Joe talked a lot about train imitations and the importance of practicing to play the train, even if you're a post-war blues player. Train imitations are a way to practice breathing control, rhythm and head and hand tone as well. Play your train everyday!
Joe also talked again about Mannish Boy and the importance of playing in the blues scale. Practice the Mannish Boy lick and work on your blues scale playing because we'll be working on solos in class next week.
Announcing the Highway RickEy Blues Jam -- Starting February 10!
B1's very own tonecup harmonica master, drummer, and vocalist, Highway RickEy, is launching a new Wednesday night blues jam starting February 10! Don't miss this chance to catch RickEy perform and to get out and practice performing your songs live.
1938 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
10pm Wednesdays starting February 10
The Next Great Ensemble Performance -- Juke!!!
Shoji Naito, ensemble writer extraordinaire, has produced another fabulous group piece for us to perform at the Harmonica Convergence show March 21, 2010, and this time it's Little Walter's "Juke"! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. This will be a fabulous opportunity for us to perform on the main stage at the Old Town School, sharing the bill with professional harp players Corky Siegel, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Joe Filisko and Howard Levy.
We're practicing this every week now at about 7:30pm, so please make an effort to come early for this rehearsal. We were sounding better this week, but it's not a tight arrangement yet! Shoji needs everyone to memorize the parts this week so we can focus efforts on our timing instead of on the notes. Learn your parts and be ready next Monday!
Shoji has posted the parts and the song here: Juke.
The Harmonica Convergence show is scheduled from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. Joe and Shoji are expecting that we will likely be a "warm up" act going on prior to 7:00pm, so plan your schedule accordingly.
Jim Liban Field Trip!
We're making the trip up to Milwaukee this Friday evening to catch a Jim Liban show! This is a great dinner show with special guest Joel Paterson, an amazing guitar player and vocalist (and up and coming harp player himself!).
Friday, January 29
9400 Boerner Drive
Hales Corners, WI 53130
6pm - 9:00pm
Note that the Boerner site does not list the gig, but we've heard directly from Jim Liban himself that it's happening.
Reservations are not required, but we would like to make one and will do so for the whole group. Let YouMissedMonday know if you're coming by Wednesday and we'll hold a seat for you. We can also help arrange car-pooling.
- Level III -- Next week is "one chorus week" which means you should plan to play only one chorus of the song you're working on. This is to allow time at the end of class for Juke rehearsal.
- Level IV -- Next week is "bring a song day". Come to class with a song on CD that you are working on or wondering about. This is your chance to get help from Joe, Shoji and Rickey if you are having trouble figuring out the form of a song or the harp key or position. The success of this class relies on you, so come prepared!
- Get your tickets now for the next Harmonica Convergence show featuring Joe Filisko, Howard Levy, Corky Siegel and Peter Madcat Ruth at the Old Town School, March 21, 2010. The show will be a tribute to the great harmonica legend, and longtime Steve Miller Band member, Norton Buffalo. Rumor has it there may be other harp players you know in the lineup, so don't miss it!
- Alert reader and class mascot emeritus, Jim Themelis, shares this great idea: David Barrett and Mel Bay publish a monthly harmonica newsletter full of interviews and instruction. The full list of past issues can be viewed here: Harmonica Sessions.
The newsletter and more is always online! Check it out for more details on newsletter items, a calendar of local gigs, jams, 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