Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 251 #294)

Ron Sorin!!!

B1 was graced with a terrific guest last night, a little-known treasure from our own backyard, Ron Sorin!

Ron's days of gigging with the likes of Big Shoulders were cut short when he made the decision to be a responsible family man, but thanks to Joe's support and interest, he's being coaxed back onto the scene. He credits his previous visit to B1 as inspiration to record. We celebrated the release of his recent CD, Lake City last night with tons of great playing and inciteful thoughts on playing the harp. Special thanks to his buddy, co-producer, Blue Coast Bandmate, and webmaster Harlan Terson for playing bass with the B1 Band.

Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Walking is a medium shuffle - Ron gets most of his writing and composing done while walking.
  • Learn all you can from a guy like Joe but remember to value time spent on your own listening to the records!
  • Music is magic:
  • If you're thinking about what you just played, you're in trouble.
  • If you're thinking a little ahead, good.
  • If you're not thinking at all, that's the best you can hope for.
  • "My improvisation came from laziness - I had the blues language background and wanted to talk; I wanted to speak for myself."
  • What does Ron look for in a harp player?
  • Background and history in the blues and with the instrument.
  • Tone and technique.
  • And most often overlooked and left unmentioned, taste. He wants to see the player making music!
  • He loves a certain amount of unpredictability and wild side in a player.
It was a terrific night in B1. Enjoy your Ron Sorin CDs and get out to see him play at the Smokedaddy, February 24. Thanks, Ron!

Blues At Old Town!!!

Details for this are still falling into place, but the B1 Blues Band has been invited to perform this Thursday as part of the Old Town School's 55 Day Grand Opening. Celebrating the new building, but apparently appearing in the old building concert hall, catch Shoji Naito, Highway RickEy, Al Taylor, Grant Kessler and maybe others sometime between 7 and 8pm:

Blues Experience
Day 11
Thursday, January 19, 7:00 PM
Old Town School West Building · Maurer Hall

Hohner Announces Harp Maintenance Videos!!!

- Exciting news about harp maintenance from Hohner and Steve Baker:

"In an unprecedented step for a major harmonica manufacturer, Hohner has released a whole series of professional quality harmonica service videos aimed at the player which have now been uploaded to the links below.

Demonstrated by Gabriela Hand, head of chromatic harmonica manufacture in Trossingen and presented by myself, these HD videos provide detailed information on many major aspects of harmonica maintenance and also introduce the new Hohner Instant Workshop toolset, designed to enable easy reed replacement in addition to all other maintenance operations covered in the videos. The overall concept is the brainchild of Hohner Service Department head Michael Timler and the official launch will take place at NAMM.

Though primarily dealing with the chromatic harmonica, many of the subjects covered in the videos such as tuning, centering, reed offsetting or reed replacement are applicable to all types of harmonica and will undoubtedly be equally useful for diatonic players. The tools and techniques presented here will also be invaluable for harmonica technicians and may well revolutionize harmonica repair by rendering it accessible to everyman. In an era where more and more commodities are seen as being disposable, it's a welcome sign that things don't always have to be throwaway! Here is the first link to the videos (the other seven appear to the right):"

Steve Baker

Class Notes
  • Recital #17 is out on disc! Get your copy in class soon and make a donation to the class fund - this goes toward paying a terrific band to back you up at Recitals as well as toward arranging our wonderful class guests. Also, big thanks to Highway Rickey for another great piece of art for the cover!
  • Joe is renewing the call for the Bring A Song concept. If you have a song you're working on or would like professional help with, bring it to class so Joe, Shoji and Rickey can help you understand it. We'll discuss the harp playing but also give you a solid understanding of what the other instruments are doing, what the groove is and how you might arrange the tune for yourself.
Coast 2 Coast Clearance!!!

Our man Highway RickEy passed along news that Coast 2 Coast Music has a bunch of harp-related gear and music on clearance. Check it out!

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew