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Delta Blues Show

Monkey's uke class got canceled tonight and replaced with a Delta Blues "guest artist" presentation. We were a bit grumbly about going to something at 6 pm on a Monday when we're tired and ready to go home. Am I glad we sucked it up and attended! It was more of show with a Q&A period afterwards and, man, was he friendly. Even more than friendly, he was talented! I need to get some Fred McDowell stuff because he talked a lot about the influence McDowell had on his own blues journey. He also spoke about and performed some music by Townes Van Zandt. He told the sweetest/saddest story about how he'd followed Van Zandt for years as he loved his music and eventually got the opportunity to visit with him backstage during one of his hour long "breaks" (Van Zandt apparently didn't follow rules or care what his audience thought so would disappear for an hour). He got invited to play with him at the next show and when he arrived was stunned to find Van Zandt had him on a special guest list thingy and he got to do the entire show with his idol. A week later Van Zandt passed away. Can you imagine the feeling knowing that had it been delayed one week you'd never had the chance to play with your hero?

Anyway, the guy makes steel guitars. He brought one in and it was so cool looking! He had three guitars he played with tonight: an old 30 year old acoustic guitar he salvadged from a trash can to show us what the old blues guys he grew up watching in Mississippi used. (He spoke of watching a film of Muddy Waters playing strings that were looped from the floor to the ceiling of a barn - they played with what they had and they made it amazing.); a nice looking guitar that he used for non-slide guitar playing (the Van Zandt songs, for example); and the electric one he made from what looked like found steel and he left unpainted to match his washtub he was using for percussion accompaniment. I loved the washtub! He said he used to go through one a week with the hard thumping but this one his friend found in barn and it's lasted all month. Old stuff = good sturdy workmanship, I guess. Anyway, he did about 7 slide numbers and WOW!!! Afterwards he talked about how to hold the slide, what makes good ones (hard steel for acoustic, doesn't have to as hard for electric), the strings (some raise them to prevent buzz sounds), stuff like that. Oh, and he talked about how after three or four songs once even the best of the old blues guys runs through his set rhythms the rest of the 12 songs on the album is pretty repetitive - which made me feel better because if *he* thinks that and he's amazing I don't have to think there is something wrong for me thinking that. So he gave some advice to anyone maybe planning on doing blues shows to prevent sounding repetitious. He gave a lot of good info and advice, actually. Sucks that I've already forgotten most of it! :(

I wanted to write down everything but it's all gone. He plays locally, so I'm hoping we'll get to catch him again as he doesn't sell CDs. He does have demos he gives to local clubs for bookings. Also, he will make you one if you ask him and will even do special requests/styles of music. So for those who wanted to go but couldn't make it - maybe one Saturday we could go to a blues show... :)

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
disbandedtoastr
Jun. 17th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Doh! I forgot all about that!!
I'd love to go see him live sometime. Does he play in one specific place?

THe Repetitious thing.. I sure could have used that advice!! (and I hope chandler was paying attention.) *grin*

madladyred
Jun. 17th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
He plays at the place you said Chandler is not allowed to say because he cannot pronouce it properly - LOL!

You would have loved it! The slide guitar thing was amazing. And he stayed after to answer individual questions, too, though we split. :)

I wish I could remember more about what he said.
disbandedtoastr
Jun. 17th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Oh oh oh!!! I remember now. That's the guy who built the room onto chandlers house. Gary something?? (Can't remember...)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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