[Harp-L] SPAH 2016

   I think it might be close to non-existent now and maybe I should have
clarified that.  Might even be masked in or blurred into some other issues;
noise volume, what people choose to wear or look like, ability to read
music, blues music, etc.  I've been eavesdropping on old timers bitching
about this stuff for over 20 years at the fests.  I hear a lot less of it
these days.  I think part of it was a generation gap or two between the
chromatic players and the diatonic folk.   That Memphis convention might
have been the peak of it.  You had Stan Harper labeling diatonic players as
"young crappers" in the local newspaper and I think around that time you
had Blackie Schackner's essay on the superiority of the chromatic over the
diatonic.  You had a group of chromatic legends sitting around a bar at the
hotel whining about the fact that none of these young whippersnappers
seemed interested in playing the old tunes.  That "when we go, it all goes
with us".
   I think Madcat, Joe Filisko, and others have created so much good will
and graciousness at the conventions while representing the diatonic that I
think the two groups have made peace.  There are just too many diatonic
players doing incredible stuff with the instrument to ignore or bumrap.
Maybe we blues people will be sitting around a hotel bar in the near future
whining about how none of these young kids wants to play "Mojo" or "Big
Boss Man" anymore!  Music and everything else moves in cycles.

Mick Zaklan

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