September 01, 2013

SPAH BLOG PART 3

www.sonnyboysmusicstore.co.uk

 

Friday 16.8.13
 
Playing tasteful fills
Bass
Band in a box
Doo-wop/jazz
John Sebastian Jr on his famous father
Irish Music
Chord workshop
Chromatic harmonica 101
Add variety to your act
Tone, Vibrato, Bending
Basic diatonic
Can playing harmonica improve your health and athletic performance?
Classical harmonica
Rock harp
Why harmonica?
Reading music
Al and Judy Smith workshop
 
…are the seminars I missed today – I don’t quite remember why now, it’s all somewhat of a blur.
 
But after my teaching session I went to a truly outstanding session with Buddy Greene and Charlie McCoy. Buddy is best known for his video that went viral. Buddy’s solo performance, at Carnegie Hall I think, of the William Tell overture is worth a Google search if you would like to see an extraordinary performance.
 
Buddy and Charlie are old friends and started by telling jokes – it was quite a routine – and gradually it turned into a hilarious interview with jokes and music throughout. Boy, can they both play!
 
Steve Baker had a seminar followed by Deak Harp which sadly I missed, and the movie ‘Pocket full of soul’ was showed and I caught the end of that.
 
The Windy City Trio caught my attention in the evening shows and then the amazing Stan Harper who I must confess I hadn’t known about until SPAH. I loved his start; something like (and I’m paraphrasing here)…what an amazing festival, all these great people, I’ve enjoyed every minute…until now.
 
What an outstanding player, I’ll need to find out more about him.
 
The youth cameo produced more great young players reassuring me the harmonica is being preserved and advanced all the time.
 
Koei Tanaka knocked everybody out with his beautiful lyrical playing on the chromatic. An exceptional jazz player who will surely become world-famous if he isn’t already. You won’t find many better players than him in my opinion.
 
After the break Filip Jers came on and played a wonderful set using diatonic and chromatic, sometimes with guitar. He is also a great front man interacting well with the audience.
 
His story about meeting Toots had some effect on the person who won a drawing of Toots in the raffle on the final day, as he kindly and fittingly gave it to a very proud Filip.
 
Madcat and Kane played a fantastic set after that. It’s hard to get used to such an amazing talent one after another, all the time!
 
Sandy Weltman finished the concert off with a dazzling performance of jazz, klezmer, latin and gypsy jazz; and once again the audience was blown away by the talents of Sandy and his band.
 
I seemed to run out of energy and didn't really make it to the blues jam, the bluegrass jam, the country jam, all the jazz jam, all of which seemed to go on till very late every night. I guess I caught the jazz jam a few times as it was very close to the source of beer and the quality was very high each time I saw it.

Ben Hewlett

www.sonnyboysmusicstore.co.uk