First Joe did a review of lessons learned from the 14th Recital. It was a big success and everyone pushed their playing to a new level. Joe spent some time addressing questions people had about the night, in particular giving some advice about playing amplified onstage. Everyone who played received Joe's recording of their set -- study how much time it takes you to start songs. It's important to learn to cut that time down and this recording gives you the chance to hear how much "dead time" you actually left.
There is also a compilation CD available from the night -- pick one up from Joe and make a donation to the class fund so we can keep making nights like this happen!
We would all like to thank Shoji Naito for his inspiring work arranging two ensemble songs for the recital: Juke for harmonicas and Green Onions for his guitar students. These songs were big hits and everyone learns from playing together -- thanks Shoji!
Special thanks again to the B1 Band for working such long, hard hours for us all: Shoji Naito, guitar; Highway RickEy, drums; Gavin Tun, bass and Grant Kessler, rhythm guitar for one set.
Joe passed out a transcription this week of Jimmy Reed's classic "Bright Lights, Big City". This is a wonderful first position tune that will give your blow bends a workout and is also a great example of a solo that basically follows the melody of the song. This is a lesson we learned from our guest Jim Liban and Jimmy Reed exemplifies it in this song. (transcription: page 1, page 2)
Speaking of blow bends...Joe announced last night that he has a comprehensive blow bend lecture planned for June 21 at 8:00pm. This class is titled:
"How to Play the High Notes Without Threat of Divorce or Eviction."
All students are welcome to stick around for this one. Be prepared by bringing all these harps to class: LF, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F.
B1 is excited to host Bob Corritore in class next week. Bob is a great harp player, huge fan of classic Chicago blues and owner of the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ. Don't miss this great opportunity to meet him, hear him play and ask questions! Bring cash as he'll have CDs for sale too. (If you bought his latest CD from Joe last night, bring it to class next week to have Bob sign it and to get a discount on his other discs.)
Bob has numerous gigs in town this week too, so check the youmissedmonday calendar and get out to see him play.
Chicago hosts Blues Fest this week in Grant Park June 11-13 and it honors Howlin' Wolf this year. Pack your picnic blanket and get out to hear some great live music. There are a lot of harp players on the schedule this year including James Cotton, Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Joe Filisko, Bob Corritore, Big George Brock, Corky Seigel, Grady Champion, Terry "Harmonica" Bean and likely many others who don't appear on the schedule.
Note also that some truly great performances happen after hours at the blues clubs around town. Billy Flynn will be hosting after parties both Friday and Saturday at the Smokedaddy and it's always great to see who sits in with him. There is also a party featuring vocalist Ardella Williams, Jazz Gillum's daughter, at Reggie's on Saturday night. Check the club listings for more info.
The Highway RickEy blues jam on Wednesdays has been cancelled. Thanks to all those harp players who came out in support of RickEy and the jam at Jerry's and stay tuned as the Highway RickEy jam searches for a new home...
- Shoji will not be in classes the next two weeks. Jimmy Upstairs will be playing guitar in the Level IV class next Monday for those who play, and backing Bob Corritore. During the other class times Grant and Joe will be on guitar, so go easy on them!
- Fun Joe quote: "One reason blues guys have funny names is so the IRS and paternity lawyers can't catch them."
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew