Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 139 #183)

Blue Midnight, Part 2!
Joe taught the second two choruses of "Blue Midnight" by Little Walter this week (transcription). Joe stressed again how Walter gets "maximum blues horsepower" by playing primarily inhale notes. This led to Joe formulating these ideas:

Rules For Playing Blues
1. When in doubt, inhale.
2. Restrict yourself to holes 1-5.

Joe considers "Blue Midnight" along with "Blue Light" to be the pinnacle of slow blues playing.

Papa Lightfoot Honored!
George "Papa" Lightfoot was honored September 4, 2009 with a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in his hometown of Natchez, MS.

Norton Buffalo Ailing!
Just a note to let Norton Buffalo fans know he's been diagnosed with stage four adenocarcinoma. Full details here.

Hohner Launches New "Crossover" Harmonica!
Hohner USA has released its new Crossover harmonica featuring sealed bamboo combs, airtight response, screw-together assembly and compromise tuning. Joe Filisko and Howard Levy are endorsing this new model. Available now and running approximately $60, you can learn more here.

Awesome Jim Liban Videos!
Still unsure who Jim Liban is? Wondering why you should get tickets to the upcoming Chicago Blues Harp Bash? Check out these videos of Filisko's "favorite player" thanks to B1's in-house video master, Big Alex Cuevas:
The Chicago Blues Harp Bash showcases five local harp players: Andrew Diehl, Buzz Krantz, Brad Rodger, Grant Kessler and Tim Spahn, all backed by the amazing Billy Flynn Band. Following their performances will be our headliner, Jim Liban! Don't miss this show.

Talking Blues Contest News -- Date Change!
The talking blues contest is now officially re-scheduled for October 19:
  • Contest is open to all Level III and Level IV students as well as private lesson students.
  • The song should be harmonica-driven.
  • Some singing is ok, but the idea is to do a talking blues so everyone can participate.
  • Produce an entertaining performance.
  • Bonus for originality.
  • You should make use of the B1 band -- know how to communicate to them what you want.
  • Remember, you are competing with yourself. Joe is looking for a winning performance that shows you've pushed yourself and grown. Find your inner showmanship and put on a memorable performance!
Class Notes
  • Tickets are selling out fast for this great show, so shop now! Seats may not be available if you buy at the door, so be sure to pre-order them at the Bash website. Patron and Platinum reserved seating are still available.
  • September 28 -- Shoji will not be in class, so plan your songs accordingly.
  • October 5, 26 and November 2 -- Joe will be away but group classes will continue as usual with Shoji Naito teaching.
  • The next Old Town School Harmonica Recital is scheduled for December 11 at the Harlem Avenue Lounge.
  • Joe highly recommends the new David Barrett book, Blues Harmonica Accompaniment Playing.
  • Shoji has posted a play-along track for "Blue Midnight" on the youmissedmonday page.
Newsletter News!
The newsletter and more is always online! Check it out for more details on newsletter items, a calendar of local gigs and birthdays, archives, links, videos and special features.

We welcome your input. If you're inspired to write a review of a live show, CD, DVD or book, please submit it to us for consideration.

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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