I just got back from an incredible road trip, full of music, frivolity, more music, and general mayhem.
It started in Wisconsin with the phenomenal Tim Foss. Tim is, simply, one of the finest old-time fiddlers, and all-around musicians, you can find anywhere. He is known and respected among the very best fiddlers and old-time musicians, and he plays banjo, piano, and Piedmont style blues guitar. We had a blast playing together, sounded great, and are looking forward to more gigs down the near road. Look for us in the Northwest in October.
From there I headed to Chicago to participate in a Harmonica Hoedown. The evening started off with James Conway, Graham Nelson, and Bob Kessler in an amazing harmonica trio. They played Irish Jigs and Reels, Old-Time tunes, and a version of Walking On The Moon, by the Police, with Graham shredding the vocal. It that brought the house down!
Next up was me and my good friend and monster harmonica player, Joe Filisko. Our set, another with just harmonicas, included originals from both of us, some gospel, and a version of Walter’s Boogie, by one of our very favorite Chicago Bluesmen. Walter Horton. We were joined by our good friend Charlie Barath on one of Joe’s tunes and on a Cajun Tune, J’ai Passe, dedicated to the guy that taught us Cajun harmonica, Jerry Devillier. It was a tremendous 50 minute duo set with Joe. More to follow soon I hope!
PT Gazell, a fabulous Nashville jazz diatonic player and singer finished up the night. He was outstanding! He’s got chromatic playing on the half-valved diatonic down in a completely unique way. It was a pleasure to hear him.
From Chicago, I flew to Berkeley to hang out with my good friends Dale Fanning and Dave Pellicciaro, master drummer and keyboard player, respectively. We had a great jam session, joined by Arne Livingston, the king of all free-form jazz bassists. We sounded so good and had such a good time, we decided to book a show in the Bay Area down the road a bit. I’ll keep you all in the loop.
While in the Bay Area, I had the great pleasure of teaching at David Barrett’s Blues Harmonica School. David is the premier Chicago Style Blues Harmonica teacher in the country. He generously invited me to come teach his advanced students the acoustic styles I play, mostly Old-Time, but with some Cajun and Gospel as well. David’s students are all skilled players, and they are also outstanding learners. I was taking them pretty far out of their comfort zone and they were patient and confident, with themselves, each other, and me. This is a strong testament to David’s outstanding teaching!
That’s all for now
Happy Spring, wherever you are.