Re: [Harp-L] SPAH and me

Just looked at the Google version of harp-l - my inexperience in posting
from these emailed replies leads me to question why I'm not seeing these
messages there?

On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 3:22 PM, rosco <roscoharp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I knew this would happen!! - I also forgot about the great work Jackson
> Kincheloe does comping with Sister Sparrow in a more funky style. Sorry,
> Jackson... There are great folks out there doing it, but not much emphasis
> on teaching it
> On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 2:57 PM, rosco <roscoharp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Should have mentioned PT Gazell in there. I tend to think of PT  as an
>> instrumentalist playing standards, but his playing is a perfect example of
>> how you can play 'songs' on harmonica...and I KNOW he can comp beautifully
>> behind vocalists. Sorry, PT!
>> On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 2:34 PM, rosco <roscoharp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> I am not really interested in hosting a SPAH seminar...unfortunately I
>>> am not a very good harp 'teacher' since I don't really think of technique,
>>> position, or the physiology of playing harp when I'm doing it. I'm always
>>> happy to answer questions or even participate in a panel discussion- but
>>> I'm actually still figuring out the best ways to approach the music I love
>>> - it's an ongoing process. Some folks are more qualified than me - like
>>> Jelly Roll, Rob Paparozzi, Scott Albert Johnson, Paul Messinger and a few
>>> others - they are all doing what I'm talking about in various forms. I'd
>>> love to hear all these cats talk about comping to songs!
>>>  The politics of past SPAH regimes is of zero interest to me.
>>> On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM, John Shirley <john_shirley@xxxxxxx>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hear, Hear.
>>>> I agree completely that the role of the harmonica can be so much more
>>>> than what it is often relegated to, esp in band situations. I also agree
>>>> that conscious efforts should be made to expand the harmonicaâs role, lest
>>>> that role shrink and/or stagnate. The harmonica has so much to offer in
>>>> terms of range and tone... and it is both chordal and melodic. It can most
>>>> certainly be as integral to songs as the ubiquitous guitars, basses and
>>>> keys.
>>>> I would be very excited to attend a Rosco seminar on the topic at SPAH!
>>>> Or maybe a panel?
>>>> There are people doing this kind of work, maybe more now than ever, and
>>>> Michaelâs point about being proactive in presenting this at SPAH is spot on.
>>>> If you still havenât heard Roscoâs album, you owe it to yourself to
>>>> check it out; itâs fantastic!
>>>> And if you want to hear a very different, integral use of harmonicaâs
>>>> check out my recent song âWrongâ which uses harmonicas throughout (double
>>>> bass, XB-40 and chromatic) and as the basis for the composition (the song
>>>> was written around the bass harp part). Be forewarned, however: the song is
>>>> heavy metal.
>>>> (itâs ok to promote your work now and then, esp when itâs related to a
>>>> larger topicâ)
>>>> ;-)
>>>> - John
>>>> Dr. John Shirley, Chairman
>>>> Department of Music
>>>> The University of Massachusetts Lowell
>>>> On Aug 19, 2015, at 10:13 AM, Michael Rubin <
>>>> michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> Rosco,
>>>> I am with you and am interested in the same ideas.  I have found the
>>>> amount
>>>> of work in a variety of genres increased dramatically by putting your
>>>> ideas
>>>> into effect.  Perhaps you should run a seminar next year?
>>>> Michael Rubin
>>>> On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 9:03 AM, rosco <roscoharp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> I'm a bad Harp-l citizen! Seems I'm one of those people who only post to
>>>> Harp-l when I'm trying to promote something I did or something I'm
>>>> going to
>>>> do. In my defense, the biggest reason for that is that almost EVERYONE
>>>> on
>>>> this list knows more about how harps work, the history of harmonica, and
>>>> how to play the thing than I do. I usually have nothing to add to the
>>>> discussions. But I am a regular reader and I think Harp-l is a fantastic
>>>> resource for our community. So...this post is both a promotional one
>>>> and, I
>>>> hope, the springboard for discussion.
>>>> My thoughts on my SPAH experience:
>>>> SPAH is awesome, and anyone who is interested in harmonica and hasn't
>>>> attended a SPAH should go! I tell everyone that, and I believe it! When
>>>> I
>>>> was first learning to play harp, SPAH was incredibly inspiring. In those
>>>> days I was playing mainly blues, and for a blues guy, SPAH is heaven.
>>>> As I
>>>> expanded the styles of music I wanted to play, there wasn't as much to
>>>> gain
>>>> musically from SPAH. SPAH is maybe 50% blues oriented? And the rest is
>>>> split up into Jazz Chro, country, a little folk, and some miscellaneous
>>>> personality driven music (classical, Celtic, etc.). For me,SPAH has
>>>> became
>>>> less and less about the performances and seminars, and more about the
>>>> close
>>>> friendships I've made and that I'm still making in the harp community.
>>>> This
>>>> is not necessarily an indictment of SPAH - the convention seems to
>>>> please
>>>> most of the attendees...but it MIGHT be an indictment of our harmonica
>>>> community in general. There is a huge range of music where our
>>>> instrument
>>>> is very under-represented. These days I'm involved with
>>>> singer/songwriters
>>>> and bands that play original Americana,  pop, and rock. These genres are
>>>> what I mostly listen to, as do millions of other music fans, and they
>>>> are
>>>> what I want to play! And would I love to hear more of on 'our'
>>>> instrument
>>>> played by others in this larger universe of music. It seems there isn't
>>>> much instruction or discussion oriented towards making harp a legitimate
>>>> 'band' instrument outside of blues...maybe there isn't much interest,
>>>> but
>>>> the A in SPAH stands for ADVANCEMENT.
>>>> Here are some of the things I'm interested in that I've learned through
>>>> years of trial and error: trying to make  harp fit without always
>>>> shoehorning a solo in; playing 'parts' with bandmates; playing the
>>>> melody;
>>>> laying out for a verse or two while the song builds (or just LAYING OUT
>>>> ALTOGETHER!); playing long tones with varied vibrato; finding a part
>>>> that
>>>> makes a chorus 'pop' - that kind of stuff. (I think of my harp as
>>>> playing
>>>> violin-like lines when I'm comping behind a singer.) There is not much
>>>> of
>>>> this at SPAH. Even the best performances are usually so harp-centric
>>>> that
>>>> they wear out my ears...and I LOVE harp! I'm sure someone somewhere at
>>>> SPAH
>>>> sang a song with harmony vocals and sweet harp fills, but I missed it. I
>>>> miss it every time I go. There is an emphasis on blues and jazz that is
>>>> understandable - most players fall somewhere along that continuum.  I
>>>> don't
>>>> hear harp used much to accompany a singer or to fit into the song as a
>>>> 'real' band instrument and not just to solo. I hear some, sure,  but
>>>> not a
>>>> lot. Maybe there isn't much interest in this kind of playing? Or maybe
>>>> we
>>>> slot ourselves too easily into what we are expected to play? I love
>>>> Blues,
>>>> but I think there is a lot of untapped potential for harmonica in other
>>>> forms of music.
>>>> Anyway, I just put this on Facebook:
>>>> 'I just got back from a large gathering of harmonica players from all
>>>> over
>>>> the world. There were some truly great performances by harmonica
>>>> wizards....but I missed hearing actual songs! Harmonica can be used as
>>>> much
>>>> more than just a blues instrument or for a flashy solo break! I've been
>>>> trying to make harp work in 'songs' for a long time, and now I've
>>>> written
>>>> and recorded an album with that philosophy.'
>>>> You can listen to 4 of my songs here:
>>>> --
>>>> Later,
>>>> Ron 'Rosco' Selley
>>>> <>
>>> --
>>> Later,
>>> Ron 'Rosco' Selley
>>> <>
>> --
>> Later,
>> Ron 'Rosco' Selley
>> <>
> --
> Later,
> Ron 'Rosco' Selley
> <>

Ron 'Rosco' Selley


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