What a treat to have Bob Corritore visit B1 last night! He has a terrific new CD out, Taboo, which is all harp instrumentals. That led to our topic of the evening with him - how do you construct a good harmonica instrumental?
But first, Bob blew on our song-of-the-session, Hoochie Coochie Man with Highway RickEy on vocals. Just as we were fortunate to have Mark Hummel in while we were working on Walking By Myself, it was cool to have Bob play on our current study song. He noted that he usually prefers the original first position when playing it, but finds when he's playing with some more contemporary bands that second position sometimes fits better. He loves the tune and says, "...it's going to church when you're playing that song."
Then it was on to talking about harmonica instrumentals! Bob has played for years in the support position with lots of performers and began to realize he didn't have his own personal, trademark instrumentals and he wanted to get there. His solution? Assign himself the project of a full CD of instrumentals and develop some songs he "owns".
He concedes immediately that it is easy to have too much harmonica on things, so the big question was how to occupy the song without being overbearing. It seemed his overall approach to instrumentals then was to be "conversational" and be himself. Figure out what you want to say and find ways to express that emotion. Be sure it comes from your heart because nobody can take from you what you're feeling. That you own.
- Look to different grooves as solutions.
- Look to melodies like the title track.
- Lean on other musicians around you to give the harp a rest.
- Lights Out, Little Walter
- Easy, Big Walter
- Blues In My Sleep, James Cotton
- Off the Wall, James Cotton (interesting because Bob argues Cotton did a rare thing taking someone else's tune and making it his own)
- Steady, Jerry McCain
Special thanks to Harlan Terson for sitting in on bass and Rie Kanehira for playing keys.
Jim Liban and Joel Paterson CD!!!
The harmonica world, heck, the whole blues world, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Joel Paterson for making this CD happen!
It's been a while since we've had a recording from Jim and this new disc, I Say What I Mean, is an old-school blues gem. Paterson's band is the consummate blues musician's band and it's a fascinating dive into the Liban catalog to rework things and pull out some "new" things too. Liban and Paterson - what more could you ask for?!
They just hit at blues fest this weekend and aren't up for sale on Paterson's website yet, so if I were you, I'd be rushing out to Simon's in Andersonville tomorrow night to see them live and pick up a copy for yourself.
Naito Recital and Concert!!!
Our own Shoji Naito is hosting an afternoon recital and concert featuring his students and friends opening for the awesome pianist visiting from Japan, Rie "Lee" Kanehira.
Sat June 28th 2pm - 5pm
The Old Town School of Folk Music
in the Gallery (right above B1)
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue
with the B1 blues band
Bring your friends and family!
- New session at Old Town starts next week - get yourself registered!