[Harp-L] My SPAH impressions

It is not my first festival, and my expectation wasn't too high, but it was
definitely cool!

We're here in US for rather long tour with Mikhail Bashakov. That really
helped me, I'm here with my band and we have friends in Denver, they
gratefully gave us place to live and car to drive.

First day, Tuesday, we visited Soiled Dove club for pre-SPAH blowoff.
Listened to a lot of music, most interesting for me was Jimi Lee's, Joe
Filisco/Eric Noden sets and especially Jason Ricci's performances. I always
was a big fan of Jason's playing and listened to his album thousands of
times, he was great despite some misunderstandings with the band, 120%
emotions. It was a great honor for me and Michail Bashakov to play a small
set soon after Jason Ricci, we were a bit nervous playing songs in Russian
in front of non-russian listeners, but we get applauses and cd sales, so it
was pleasant experience.

Second day, Wednesday, become a SPAH member, visited three workshops one
about stage presence by J Goldweber, another one by Brendan Power and the
last one by Tom Hachlak. So interesting to visit vendors area, talk a lot
to great Randy Landry from Lone Wolf Blues Co, his nice wife and cutest dog
(: Till that day I become endorser of their nice products, I already use
HarpAttack and HarpBreak and I wish to get more, but don't have enough room
in my pedalboard which have to fit carry-on baggage in Russia. Anyway, now
I'm Lone wolf guy. Get myself a SWAN bass harmonica, nice instrument,
especially for the price, actually after playing Tombo pocket bass for half
a year I started to wish full range bass, but still not ready to spend
thousands dollars till I will use it a lot. Tried very innovative products
from turboharp, magnetic slide and tunable harmonica is a very cool ideas!
Electric harmonica looks very perspective, but still noisy and not easy to
change keys on the fly.
After Tom Hachlack's workshop I get two blue moon combs: one for Session
Steel, another one for 1847. Nice guy with a nice product, glad to meet him
in person. Was nice to meet Filip Jers, PT Gazell, Todd Parrot, Mike Rubin
and a lot of other guys I talked before only over internet. It was pleasant
to meet whole Seydel team, Lars and Bertram for the second time in my life,
Greg Jones and Rupert Oysler for the first time, especially pleasant to
meet Rupert whose DVD on harp customizing helped me to start doing my own
custom job, was wondered to meet my buddy from Italy Manlio, who helped me
a lot in Trossingen, here he was among Seydel team. Extra thanks for
dinner, dear Seydel friends!
In the evening it was extremely pleasant to listen to PT Gazell and other
great players and to play a song just before Howard Levy inside Michael
Rubin's variety show.

Third day, Thursday: with a great help from Mikhail Bashakov I held my own
workshop on variety in playing "How to play a long gig without becoming
boring". Get a lot of questions during workshop, so even didn't have enough
time to tell all stuff I prepared. In the evening because of local deals I
unfortunately was late and skipped PT's show, I was very interested to
listen to, but I listened to Jason Ricci/JJ Appleton show and it impressed
me very deep! Listened a bit of Kim Wilson, but It's not my piece of cake.
In the evening I attended jazz jam, blues jam and country jam. Was wondered
that blues and country jams were completely unplugged.

Day four, Friday, I was ill having flu and I had to play a gig with Mikhail
Bashakov in the Denver. Pitty, but I had to skip bass harmonica workshop
and Filip Jers workshop and gig, also Todd Parrot's gig. But playing my own
gig as good as possible for flu was main goal.

Day five, Saturday. Despite flu it was most filled day for me. I bought
Greg Heuman's volume control, Lonewolf HarpOctave. Spent some more time
with Tom Hachlak adjusting combs for my taste. Skipped the dinner, but come
back after dinner listening great Koei Tanaka and Alexandra Mueller. Than
moved downtown to jam with John Weeks band, than get back to conference for
blues jam, country jam and Jimi Lee's jam.

Day six, Sunday: get my friend Bertram Becher from Seydel and going
together downtown to see Denver and to get a dinner than drive him back to
aiport. Was pleasant to talk to him in person again!

In general, I like SPAH so much, hope to visit SPAH in San Antonio next
year. It was such a pleasure to meet people I saw before only over Youtube.
Cool to play in front of non-russian speaker listeners.

Big thanks to Winslow, Chris, Manfred and all SPAH team, to Mikhail
Bashakov for playing with me, our friends Tanya and Vitalik, who helped us
a lot, to Tom Hachlak, Randy Randry, Bertram, Lars and Greg for gifts, to
Jason Ricci for music and kind words, and everyone who told me they loved
our music both offline and online.

Some photos on my facebook

Thanks, Boris Plotnikov

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