RE: [Harp-L] Re: Never Call Out Stevie Wonder at a Blues Jam

Sorry to resurrect this thread (I'm still catching up on harp-l
backlog). I just want to clarify my comments that sounded like I was one
of the blues-only nazis at the jam. Often at our jam sets wander into
funk, rock, jazz, etc. Nobody has a problem with that, it's usually very
cool and the audience responds in kind, it breaks up the 'usual' blues
stuff nicely. This happens normally when the advanced players are up
there and can make it work.

What I was talking about is the occasional knucklehead (to use Joe's
term, haha) who shows up at the jam without any clue or intention to
play blues, who just wants to come and put themselves on display with
whatever they know how to play (usually very limited as with the 'chuck
berry' guy I used as an example). I'm talking Play That Funky Music
followed by Free Bird followed by Stairway to Heaven (the last two songs
I actually like in the proper context despite overplay for decades). 

A 4-song set that either segue's into other musical forms during the
flow of one particular song, or taking a song or two out of that 4-song
set for variety, cool. I respect all types of music, even those I don't
like. But don't walk in and lead a set and do a whole set of disco or
whatever and completely ignore the blues entirely at a 'blues jam'.
Especially if you are not able to or don't communicate where you are
going in each song to your fellow musicians, and especially during those
early sets that are mostly composed of musicians who are there to learn
blues and might be more limited in terms of other types of music. 

Best bet is to come in and not lead the whole set but co-op with another
set lead and ask to do one of your own songs as part of the set. That's
a nice compromise.

Bill Hines
Hershey, PA

40 & 8 Club Thursday Blues Jam in Harrisburg, PA - still the best jam
I've ever been to world-wide

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