LARHA Jam (long)

I attended the Southern California Harp Jam yesterday, and I thought I'd
"report" from an attendees perspective.

I arrived a bit late (traffic), but still early enough to catch some of John
Gindick's class. John laid things out in a very progressive, easy-to-grasp
manner. All the "students" had fun with it.

Ironman Mike Curtis was....well, an Ironman. He played the WHOLE time,
anything that was asked, and was helpful, entertaining, and supportive, even
to the less experienced players, such as myself. Thanks a TON, Mike.

Some advantages of attending a meeting like this:
- - Variety of styles - From Old Standards to Amplified Blues - quite a range
of playing styles. (Neil's DeFord Bailey piece was a welcome departure from
the amplified stuff. Ironman's resonnant valved playing is totally unique.)
- - Range of players to meet. WE EVEN HAD A GIRL! (Sherry's fearless approach
to the 'tonic was encouraging to hear - and she REALLY got the tremolo
going - nice playing, Sherry.)
- -Gear to see - I got to play through a Harp Commander, and I was surprised
at what a "realistic" warmth and "chimey" tone I was able to get out of it.

I was looking forward to meeting Don Matheson, especially, and was fortunate
to sit with him, and chat with him through most of the meeting. Don knows a
LOT of songs (maybe not as many as Mike Curtis), and played beautifully. I
was impressed with his tongue-slapping & switching especially. Thanks, Don.

Vern Smith's hands-free chromatic was another high point - what an
intriguing piece of engineering. I somehow lost track of Vern & didn't find
a chance to discuss it with him :-( - I hope I see you again, Vern.

John and Ironman "schooled us" on 6th position for one song - I think I went
through at least half the harps in my case trying to find one to play along
with :-o -and finally just had to give up!

Speaking of which - Gus was definitely there, happy, and well received -
probably one of the few social occasions where it's totally OK to "Gus your
BUTT off"!

Chromatic players were "under represented", though - come on, you
Slidemeisters - let's hear from you!

Finally, Ironman suggested we ALL get up to play - we only left 2 listeners
in the "audience"! The cacaphony was devistating - and one heck of a lot of

Anyway, thanks Mark, Mike, John, and all. I hope to be able to attend more
of these.

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