Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 210 #253)


Widely regarded as the national anthem of the blues harmonica, Little Walter's #1 hit Juke was the focus this week. Listen close to Walter's musical nods to two big influences: 1) the great John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson and; 2) the swinging, horn-heavy, jump-blues combos dominating the post-war airwaves like Louis Jordan.

This week, Joe zeroed in on the first 3 choruses of Juke. There are many different opinions about how Walter plays the opening head. But it's safe to say he starts on the 3 blow, rather than the 2 draw.

Joe also points out Walter misses 3 beats in the 2nd chorus and adds 2 beats in the 3rd chorus. But, the band recovers quickly and follows Walter's killer groove and attack. These types of recordings are sometimes referred to as a "crooked" 12-bar blues, since the musicians didn't always stick to the standard 12-bar blues form.

To help you learn to play Juke with a band or at a jam, Joe transcribed a modified 2nd chorus that follows the standard 12-bar blues form. Great instrumental for starting or ending a set! The complete Juke transcription will be posted in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Correction of a Correction!

Once again, we incorrectly identified the harp player on the Bo Diddley tune, Pretty Thing. It's actually Lester "Mad Dog" Davenport, not Jed Davenport. B1 Buddy and YMM Editor Emeritus, Big Jim Themelis, pointed this out. Thanks, Big Jim!

Slavko Hilvert From Serbia Visits B1!!!

On his first trip to the states, Serbian harmonica player Slavko Hilvert visited the B1 Blues Room. Slavko and his 16 year-old son, Filip, have a band called Two Bags Bluesman & Poker Face Phil. Check them out on Facebook. Thanks for stopping by and playing, Slavko!

James Conway's Irish Harmonica Workshop!!!

B1 Buddy and amazing Irish harmonica master, James Conway, is teaching an Irish Harmonica Workshop on Saturday, March 19, 2pm-3:30pm at the Old Town School, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue. The price is only $20. Register now!

Here's the workshop description from the OTS website:

The diatonic harmonica is mostly known as a folk or blues instrument but it’s also a great ax to play Celtic music. The 10-hole harp is capable of playing all the standard jigs and reels and with it’s expressive bends and chords can sound like an Irish fiddle or accordion. The workshop will cover topics and techniques such as tongue-chording, modes/harp positions, types of Irish tunes, ornamentations/decorations, tongue switching, and octaves. Jim will have handouts of popular Irish tunes written in sheet music and tablature. Different tunings such as Paddy-Richter and Conway’s bagpipe tuning will also be discussed. Students are encouraged to bring a recording device and a diatonic 10-hole harmonica in the key of D.

Hohner's Easy Reeding Magazine!!!

The January 2011 issue of Hohner's harmonica magazine, Easy Reeding, is now available. This issue features an interview with legendary blues harp player, Kim Wilson, as a well as a profile of diatonic master, Grant Dermody. Already have this issue? Browse back issues of Easy Reeding!

Class Notes

  • Shoji Naito has compiled a great Blues Standards Jam Track CD featuring 23 popular tunes on the outer fringes of blues. Pick up a copy in class next week for just $20! Visit Shoji's site to view a list of additional jam tracks he offers.
  • Thanks, Andy Willis, for letting us play through your amplifier in B1 the last few weeks!
  • REMINDER: Catch the Filisko/Noden/Matthew Skoller/Lurrie Bell show at SPACE on February 27. Tickets will be available again next week in class from Jeff Reynolds, so bring your cash! This is great timing because we'll have Matthew and Lurrie in the B1 Blues Room the next day.
  • The next session at the Old Town School begins February 28, so register now!

Class Notes
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- B1 Blues Crew

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