[Harp-L] A funny thing happened on the way to Poland Longish!
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- Subject: [Harp-L] A funny thing happened on the way to Poland Longish!
- From: sean stephens <thepriapist@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 03:39:31 +0000 (GMT)
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just thought I would recount an exciting event which occurred 2 weeks ago and which coincidently links in to the Willie Dixon thread currently alive.
My girlfriend Monica is Polish but is currently working here in Belfast as are many of her Polish compatriots.We were checking in at Belfast International airport gearing up for a 3hr flight to Krackow to visit her folks.Now, can I just add that our 'International' airport is actually merely a glorified runway out in the middle of nowhere and this was a grey, dull ,Sunday morning,typical of our climate at this time of year.
There were very few people about, in fact ground crew outnumbered passengers and as Monica and I approached our check- in desk I couldn't help but notice a small group of passengers comprising about 3-4 young black males and a couple of ladies.Standing closer I distinctly recognised American accents and noticed a guitar case strapped to the back of one of said gentlemen.Ordinarily I would have passed no remarks, however, as a very nervous flier I had already consumedÂ a few vodkas to steel my nerves and so was moreÂloquacious than I mightÂhave otherwise been.
So upon asking, the young man informed me that it was a bass rather than a guitar which was upon his back.Inquiring as to whether he played blues or jazz (admittedly,an assumption on my part!) he confirmed the former .Like alot of you guys I too rarely leave home without a harp in my pocketÂso upon hearing of his blues connection duly unleashed my Tim Moyer Marine Band key of A .(I can just picture all of you guys who are still following this epic tale of mine rolling your eyes and muttering 'oh dear',but wait,it gets worse,or better depending on your perspective!)
Without any prompting I started noodling my stock riffs in no particular order or focus,2nd position with a bit of tongue blocking,hell I had a captive audience of bona fide blues musicians and they weren't going anywhere fast unless it was to call airport security!!This was my moment,although to everone else it probably seemed like hours especially my long suffering Monika who had already put some distance between herself and me.
When I hadÂfinished and noted the bemused but not altogether unforgiving faces of my audience I then assured them that I really dug Muddy ,Walters et al just in case they thought I was some local dilettante!
The young bassist then said casually,'yeah thats our harmonica player over there,' looking behind me over my shoulder.Turning around I saw an older gentleman on his knees rumaging through one of their many bags of luggage .I had not noticed him previously and he looked at me and with a wry smile said hello.Having acknowledged him and turning back I had one of those double take moments,instantly sobering.I knew this guy from somewhere,knew he was somebody but it took a few seconds to assimilate my memories.Turning back I approached this man and getting right up close to him almost whispered in his ear 'excuse me sir but are you Mr Blue!?.It was Sugar freaking Blue on my own doorstep.
I have dragged this episode out too long so will just conclude by telling you that he was gracious,modest,probably a little embarrassed, for me ,especially when I serenaded him with the Miss you riff although I spared him any attempt at the solo played on the 12''.He took a few minutes to talk with me and confirmed that miss you was played in A 2nd on a D harp .I presented him with a bottle of Whiskey and took a few photo opportunities with the help of my Polish ice maiden.Sugar took a harp out of his hand luggage before we departed (special 20),alas he retained the harp but autographed the box and personalised it ,'To Sean,keep on blowing' Sugar Blue.
I realise that there is the moot point re speed versus blues players viz a vie POPPER ,BLUE vs Ricci etc but I have had the honour of meeting both Jason and Sugar and both are legends in my book.Blue played with Willie Dixon in regard to the dixon thread.
Small world but hey, you never know who you may meet.
On our return I was inspired to keep blowing much to Monika's dismay as you can see here, note the camera adds 10lbs !!!
Best regards Sean,
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