Our 15th recital last Friday was a huge success! Joe particularly noticed that people were much better prepared and the time between songs was much shorter than in the past. It was a fun, quick-moving show and we even had lots of audience members hanging in there until the end.
Using a couple Christmas songs with bends in them Joe had a discussion last night about note bending. He recapped the five levels of note bending, in order of difficulty:
1. Ornamental bends
2. The full bends in each hole that does bend
3. "In between" bends (ie: the half step and whole step missing notes)
4. Playing all the bends with tone and resonance that makes them richer and fuller than unbent notes.
5. Viewing the diatonic harmonica like a piano.
Practice your bending with melodies like Christmas songs and remember that bending is not like riding a bike. You don't learn it and forget it. Bending is something that takes constant attention.
video: Jingle Bells
In The Reeds!!!
- The folks behind the film Pocket Full of Soul have released a secondary DVD called In The Reeds which is a collection of interviews and outtakes from their extensive footage. This includes film shot in B1 so get your hands on this great video. Here is a review by our own Tom Gilmore:
"This is a good video with comments, opinions and stories from many great harp players. Through many interviews, it covers where the harmonica fits into music, their lives and the future of harmonica music. I always enjoy listening to my favorites -- Jason Ricci, Charlie Musselwhite, Jerry Portnoy, Dennis Gruenling and, of course, Joe Filisko. The DVD has great harp background music and some excellent short performances. No matter what level you play, it will leave you with a good feeling about your own playing.
This is one man's opinion.
From Tommy G"
- Thanks to our friend Bob Corritore for reporting on the recently announced Grammy nominees. Lots of harp players (even on Cyndi Lauper's disc!) and our local legend Willie Smith is nominated twice!
Best Traditional Blues Album
1. James Cotton - Giant!
2. Cyndi Lauper - Memphis Blues
3. Charlie Musselwhite - The Well
4. Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Joined At the Hip
5. Jimmie Vaughan - Play Blues, Ballads, & Favorites
Best Contemporary Blues Album
1. Solomon Burke - Nothing's Impossible
2. Dr. John - Tribal
3. Buddy Guy - Living Proof
4. Bettye LaVette - Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook
5. Kenny Wayne Shepherd feat. Bryan Lee, Buddy Flett, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Hubert Sumlin - Live In Chicago
- Joe is excited to announce we'll have Matthew Skoller as our special guest in class Monday, February 28, 2011. It's a ways off, but mark your calendars!
- Old Town School is on winter break. Nothing happening in B1 now until January 3, 2011. See you then!
- Unless we get breaking news, the newsletter staff is taking the rest of the year off. Remember that we will continue to update the YouMissedMonday website and gig calendar, so stop in there for your fix. In the meantime, use your Mondays (and your Tuesdays) to practice, grasshopper, and we'll hit you again with a newsletter on January 4!
- Our B1 buddy Tom Gilmore has a few amps for sale. Give him a call if you're interested:
Roland Cube 30X - $135.00
Roland Cub RX - $135.00
Peavey Transtube 112 with factory pedal board 60 Watts - $225.00
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew