Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 228 #271)

Arnd Hoffmann!!!

B1 was pleased to host a German bluesman named Arnd Hoffmann last night. Arnd first wowed the class with a few German folks songs and then sang Sweet Home Chicago to show us he has the blues chops as well!

Arnd also explained that he is a machinist by trade and is in the prototype development phase of building some very amazing harmonicas. You can read more about him and see photos at Ergo Harmonica. He hopes to be in production next year, so get your order in now for one of these hand-crafted babies! We can tell you first-hand they feature beautiful craftsmanship and sounded great when Arnd played!

There was not a lot of time for Joe to teach a new song, but he did give a quick primer on the direction he's going next week. He first played a Buster Brown tune called Madison Shuffle, which sounded very familiar to everyone who has been working on Joe's tune Q Boogie lately. Next up was George Smith's Juicy Harmonica, which clearly "borrowed" something from Buster Brown's earlier release. This is once again proof that blues is all about borrowing, stealing or building on earlier songs, however you want to phrase it!

Call it what you want, Juicy Harmonica is a masterpiece and a classic part of a blues player's repertoire. Serious study of it begins next week; in the meantime, get a copy of West Coast Down Home Harmonica and start listening to it!

Speaking of George, here are two more resources for you to check out:
  • Video of George sitting in with Muddy Waters on Mojo; Paul Oscher opens the song and George jumps in halfway through.
  • Dennis Gruenling is a huge George fan and has great history and info on him here: George Smith.
Rick Estrin Songwriting List!!!

As promised, the B1 Blues Crew tapped our fantastic guest Rick Estrin to get a list of the songs he played in class. Rick prepared 53 songs he feels are great examples of blues songwriting and you can see the full list here: Songwriting.

Thanks Rick!

Rick and Jim catching up! (photo: Highway RickEy)
Class Notes
  • No classes on Monday, July 4 - practice America The Beautiful or the Star Spangled Banner on your harp while you're drinking beer around the barbie.
  • Windy City Harmonica Club chord playing ace Bud Bobolink will be a special guest in B1 for the 2:30pm chording class on July 11.
SPAH Needs You!!!

- this posting comes from SPAH Election Committee Chair, Winslow Xerxa:

SPAH Elections

SPAH is calling for candidates to run for president and vice president. The organization is in great shape. The time is ripe for a strong leader to carry us foward. SPAH needs you!

We are seeking candidates for president and vice president to take over the reins when Tom Stryker steps down after six years (2 three-year terms). Our new leaders will have the time and energy to actively lead, will have vision and direction for SPAH’s future, will possess the needed executive ability and organizational skills, and will understand the concerns and needs of the diverse SPAH membership.

The best way to find great leadership is through open competition among candidates who can present their qualifications and platforms to the full SPAH membership. Therefore, we're asking willing candidates to step up and run for office.

Are you interested in running for SPAH president? Do you know someone who would be a good candidate?

Here’s how it works.
  • Each presidential candidate needs a running mate. SPAH members need to know whom they’re electing, so both candidates must run as a team.
  • You need to develop a written statement of qualifications and an election platform. Candidate statements will be forwarded to the full membership via email and postal mail.
  • You’ll be presenting your platform to attendees at SPAH 2011 in Virginia. This is your chance to meet and greet and to make your pitch in person. (You can still run if you don't attend SPAH, but you'll have a much better chance to succeed if you do.) The election will occur, per SPAH bylaws, by mail between April 1 and July 1, 2012. Following the results of the election, President Tom Stryker will coach the president-elect and vice president-elect and will guide them to develop an understanding the workings of the SPAH board and organization, and the duties of president and vice president.
  • At the SPAH 2012 convention, Tom hands over the keys and you and your running mate become president and vice president for a three-year term.
The time to act is NOW. We all know and value what SPAH brings to our lives. Please help this continue by participating in our search for new leadership.


Winslow Yerxa

SPAH Election Committee chair

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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