Re: Subject: [Harp-L] Bridging the Gap ( and Buckeye Continued)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All I know, is that I have been welcomed warmly by all chromatic players at every SPAH convention I've attended. This venue is not any different than my days of playing Bluegrass at festivals...DO YOUR HOMEWORK...I spent my first SPAH in Dallas watching and listening...the next year in St. Louis I was ready to jam with both camps.Once they realize you have put some time into there world, they are happy to play, share and learn with you. The chromatic players are not going to play Blues Riffs to blues songs!!! Learn some melodies of some standards and see how much they open up to you. Most of these guys know stuff like Georgia, Summertime, and C jam blues and several others where you can show off your's defiantly a give and take situation. I have made it a point to get Tim Moyer, Phil Duncan and several other diatonic players into informal jazz jams and they have been welcomed and did our diatonic instrument proud. I never look at these gatherings as head cutting sessions, but rather as chops expanding sessions.

And now back to our scheduled broadcast...

PT Gazell

----- Original Message ----- From: <EGS1217@xxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: <spahconvention06@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:04 PM
Subject: Subject: [Harp-L] Bridging the Gap ( and Buckeye Continued)

Paul Davies writes:

"I want to applaud Jimi Lee as well, in putting up a show with invited
guests that played to the audience that was in front of him. That's true
shownmanship which Jimi is all over. With a huge kudos to Jack and the Ohio team for
continuing the Buckeye tradition!!!!!!

I really don't think the bridge is as wide as some think. SPAH continues to
put put up acts in all types of harmonica playing to attract the muliple
facets of the axe that we have chosen to play. It's a difficult task to design a
convention that meets the needs of all the varied players with completely
different agendas We try really hard to fill the convention hotel with a group
of mutually respectful people that are open to all harp players regardless
of style. Folks that continue to come to the conventions are these type of
folks that want to learn and be humbled by the world's best. That's what a
convention is designed to do.

I don't remember that the Golden Age of SPAH (1996-00) that Larry mentioned
was any different than todays conventions. I think every year we continue to
grow into a more mutual harmonica society and will gather as a tribe once
again in Milwaukee.

Hope to see everyone there.

Paul Davies"

....and I absolutely agree, since I just came back from Buckeye and the
person talking about some vast difference between the so-called "Golden Age" of
SPAH vis-a-vis today wasn't in attendance at this or any recent Buckeye or
SPAH. It seems clear to me from my attendance at my last 5 conventions that the
very same folks who continue the division and just don't want to attend or
give respect to a diatonic player would no more have attended such a show 8
years ago than they would now. Nor would some diatonic players sit through
what they see as "old-timey" music. It's a "taste" thing. You can't please all
of the people all of the time...just a fact of life. But as Tom made clear
in his post..he was referring to "past" SPAH's and Buckeyes he had
attended.....(and he did not specify just how far back in time they were)... not the
current one.

However, I've noticed there are more players who play both types of axes
feeling free enough to switch from chromatics to diatonics and back. That does
MY heart good...since I'd love to be equally as able on both. I attribute
quite a bit of this to Winslow and Michael Polesky (among others) playing their
chromatics in the Blues Jams during recent conventions despite being
outnumbered by diatonics probably 40 to well as people such as Jimi who
are bound and determined to marry the various forms of harmonicas onstage, and
folks like SmoJoe playing his diatonic alternately with his chromatic during
his Jazz sessions. The core audience....the ones who stayed to listen, were
thoroughly entertained.

A lot of the music being played this time around suited everyone, from Danny
G's Band in a Box backing tracks (I'm personally more interested in the
Music Minus One Phil Caltabellotta uses so didn't attend the seminars), but it
was very nice to hear Danny playing songs from The Eagles to Bob Seger to
Barbra Streisand songs, all favourites of mine. How cool is that? He got a
wonderful reaction from the audience, so not all chromatic people are bogged
down in so-called "old-time" music. There IS room for all, and I was very
pleased to hear the mix of Blues, Jazz, Old and New Standards....even to some
classical. Great music all around..... Paul says: "multiple facets of the axe we have chosen to  play".
Very well put, indeed.

The Hotel was very nice, with a staff extremely eager to please. I even did
my wee bit furthering the advancement of the Harmonica with a lovely
waitress who became fascinated by my chromatics, having never before seen one with a
"button", so got into an involved discussion about just what it's for and
the different types of harmonicas. It turned out her grandfather played harp
and guitar...she had always had a fascination with them, her daughter is a
music the end of my lunch she had finally made up her mind and was
seeking out Jack to sign with the Columbus Harmonica Club.....what a thrill to
see her genuine excitement when I told her this was an Annual Event, and she
would be more than welcomed into the Club. Another waitress had already
bought a harmonica in the Harp Depot store. Wonderful friendly people at the
Concourse....none of this would have happened had Jack not chosen this
particular Hotel.

Some young (early 20's) Flight Attendants on a layover late Saturday Night
came into the Bar where we'd set up a keyboard and guitar and were
entertaining (by request) were absolutely taken with the whole harmonica/guitar sound,
requested specific songs and couldn't get enough of us (as nonprofessional as
our little group was). Will be getting in touch with me via my myspace site
to continue our conversation/new friendship. One other woman completely
unconnected with us extended her stay just to listen in and mingle with these
"wonderful harmonica people" as she put it....closed out the night with us on
Saturday. The Concourse was a very cool place to hold this Buckeye in, and
kudos to Jack.

Somehow the impression seems to be that this so-called "chasm" began when
Douglas Tate became President of SPAH, is that not what one poster is implying?
On the contrary, it seems that all of the photos I've seen, stories I've
read, anecdotal tales I've been told since joining SPAH, Harp-L, and going to
Buckeye showed Mr. Tate mingling and having the happiest times and most fun
with players of every stripe, including many diatonic players, and he seems to
have been quite beloved by everyone he met. I'm only sorry I didn't get the
chance to know him in person prior to his untimely passing.

Sure missed Bobbie at this Buckeye, though, since she's such an integral
part of the Conventions for me, though I did get to meet and make more new
friends this trip. That's the best part of Buckeye and SPAH,. that one makes new
and forever friends. Shelly Lulov a fellow Long Islander, is the funniest
man I've ever met, kept me laughing from the second we were introduced. Had the
most scrumptious dinner out with Shelly and Phillip Thibodeau. Phillip had
gone out on his own to scout out all the best restaurants in the area. We
three highly recommend Ocean for anyone living in or visiting Columbus :)

More later.....


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