Class was a mix of content last night. First Joe relived the terrific guest appearance we had last week. Joe particularly stressed Ron Sorin's points that you want to learn from study of the masters and that improvisation, for him, came out of "laziness! Talk of Ron and his new disk led to the recording process and Joe spent some time discussing the costs, pitfalls and important details of going into the studio to record. If you're taking the plunge and booking recording time, be prepared!
Lastly Joe came around to demonstrating another of his "originals", a tune he calls Ham Bo which takes the ham bone or jungle rhythm we know and love from Bo Diddley and puts it into a 12-bar form. It's a great tune and a fitting tribute song this week as we mourn the loss of Johnny Otis who wrote the tune Willie And the Hand Jive! Check in with Joe if you're in class and want to work on this song.
Work a tune like this (or Pretty Thing, beautifully played by our own Corporate Kirk last night) into your repertoire because it can really mix up a set list and get you away from constant shuffles. Crowds will love it!
Lifetime Harmonica Combs!!!
- Our own Al Taylor reviews the new combs from Richard Sleigh and Joe Speirs:
When I began playing harmonica, my favorite harp was a Seydel 1847 Silver. I quickly became used to the smooth playing surface of the plastic comb. I also appreciated that it was impervious to moisture, but it was the comfort that I really liked. Later I became a big fan of Marine Bands and Crossovers but the “roughness” of their wooden combs seemed distracting and less precise to me. I especially didn’t like jumping back and forth between wooden and plastic comb harps.
Since then I have tried several substitutes but to make a long story short, I think Richard Sleigh and Joe Spiers have created the ultimate solution for Hohner Marine Band, MB Deluxe, Crossover and Thunderbird harmonicas. If that’s the type of harp you play (or if you play a Special 20 because you like the way it “feels”)… the info contained in the link below is definitely worth checking out.
Other Harmonica Notes!!!
Joe would like to call attention to an interesting product Hohner has on the market these days. For the first time since the mid-60s, Hohner is offering a harp with these tuning characteristics:
- ALL the blow chords are just tuned.
- The inhale chord on holes 1-4 are just tuned.
If your chordal playing needs this harp, it's called the Hohner Blue Midnight - pick one up from your favorite shop or online.
Pat Missin Book Out!!!
Pat Missin visited B1 this fall and he has just released his book, "How To Play Bawu and Hulusi - A Beginner's Guide To These Popular Chinese Wind Instruments".
Get yourself Pat's book, take his advice on buying a Bawu or Hulusi and get started!
And if you need further encouragement, check out his free audio samples here: Missin audio.
- 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.
Hideout Harmonica Hoedown!!!
Mark your calendars for this hot show, February 19 at the Hideout. Show starts at 7:00pm and the cover is $10.
B1 Blues Band On TV!!!
Hey, the B1 Blues Band headed by Highway RickEy made the ABC local news last week! We performed as part of Old Town School's 55 day celebration of their 55 years of teaching and the tv crew included some of our time on stage. Catch it here:
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew