Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What Did You Miss This Week (Week 436 #481)

New Song of the Session!!!
Last week was our Final Take recording session and it went great! Thanks again to RickEy and Al for all the hard work making it happen.

At Shoji's suggestion, we've started the study of our next song of the session - Sharp Harp!

This is only our second instrumental song of the session and it's a classic. The tune is George Harmonica Smith playing and appears on the Champion Jack Dupree album, Champion Jack Dupree Sings the Blues, recorded in 1955 but released in 1961. There is some open question of whether the single may have come out prior to 1961, so if there are researchers or George Smith experts reading, let us know.

Dupree was a New Orleans piano player who spent time in Chicago and then later moved to Germany. George played on four tunes with him that session - Sharp Harp, So Sorry, Me and My Mule and Overhead. And the other curious thing is the songwriting credit, which goes to Rudy Toombs, who wrote hits like 5, 10, 15 Hours for Ruth Brown and One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer released by Amos Milburn.

As we think about the origins and inspiration of Sharp Harp, Shoji had us listen to some other Dupree tunes such as Warehouse Man Blues, Junko Blues, Strollin', and Walkin' the Blues - the last two have the same groove as Sharp Harp.

We'll look at the harp playing and the groove in future classes.

Class Notes
  • Level III students - if you want to be working on your hand or hand/mic technique, Joe recommends you begin bringing a small tin can or jar to class. It should be about the diameter of a bullet mic. Bring it next week and he'll fill you in!
Pre-register for SPAH
"Pre-registration for the SPAH convention in San Antonio is now open! We are still working on the final details —entertainment, seminars, etc.—but you know it's gonna be good, and all of our friends, favorite artists, vendors, and seminar presenters will be there. You can reserve convention passes, banquet seating and your hotel room right now. Keep an eye on the Convention Page for more details as we finalize the program. See y'all in San Antonio!"

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew