Re: [Harp-L] SPAH 2016

On Apr 15, 2016, at 7:49 AM, Mick Zaklan wrote:

>   I think it might be close to non-existent now and maybe I should have
> clarified that.

Let's put it this is less and less prevalent. 

>  Might even be masked in or blurred into some other issues;

I think it is 'mezzo' generational. See. people in this country like to pigeon hole people into generations. Let's say 1897, 1927, 1957, 1987.
But they don't realize that there are 'half' (or mezzo) generations. Let's say 1912, 1942, 1972, 2002. In other words there are people born in
 ALL years, so the generation gap argument doesn't hold water. Btw, I happen to be from 1942. lol. 

People tend to appreciate musics from their OWN formative years. Like from 16 to 25 which I reason is due to growing up, starting to date, 
going to dances, school sports games, drive in movies, drive in snack shops, getting a job, falling in love, and all things towards maturation.

> 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.

Me too. I came back to playing harp after a 30 year layoff (playing other instruments) in 1991 at age 49 at my first spah.

>  I hear a lot less of it
> these days.

Right, and this may be because the generation? (sic) of 1927 is, for the most part gone, and the 1942 mezzo generation is for the most part
thinning out, and less active. 

>  I think part of it was a generation gap or two between the
> chromatic players and the diatonic folk.

I totally agree. As witnessed on another group, there are a lot of NEW players starting on chromatic who are already from generation 1942.
and 1957. They are already older. So they still like the old music.  

>   That Memphis convention might
> have been the peak of it.

I totally agree. I was at that convention. 

>  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.

Ha ha ha, that's rich. Unusual for a youngster? I started on chromatic first. In 1956. I took up diatonic in 59, changed a reed, and played doo-wop
with it. Did mostly the current pop music all night and once per set I would drag out a chromatic and do a nice dance ballad. So I play both. 

I never understood the rift. And my diatonic is somewhere between Don Les and Charley McCoy. And any idiot knows that it's harder to play a 
diatonic...well. Ok, you CAN get something out of it on the first day. But when you get to manufacturing notes ON timbre and out of thin air, then
you know you have arrived. You can now be admitted to Shangri-La.  

>  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 I was standing there when this happened. Ironically wile some of the players were good ones, some were only at ok level. And then there was 
this klepto where some had this proclivity towards doing EVERYthing the same way the 'Cats' did it. So I guess the old vaudeville people had to do that
so that they would sound exactly the same from gig to gig. I don't know. But back then your audience changed with every whistle stop. So you weren't
over exposed. That way you could develop a repertoire and keep it welded. That's how Jerry Murad felt. 

Don Les wanted to feature HIS stuff into the act, but Jerry told him "That's not the sound we are famous for". And thats what caused part of the break-up.  

>   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.

Ok, now here we have mentioned two of the nicest guys in the world. A little irony about both of them. When you talk to Joe or Pete (and add Eric Noden)
you get the impression that they are not aware that there is anyone else in the whole room. You have their undivided attention. They make you feel good
just being in their presence. It's like an aura. No joke, I have actually felt it. And I'm not alone. Others have felt it too. 

>  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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