[Harp-L] SPAH 2016 was FABULOUS

BluzeHarp@xxxxx BluzeHarp@xxxxx
Tue Aug 16 15:57:54 EDT 2016

With the diminishing availability of great trio players, SPAH  turned 
toward featuring the harmonica in many ways this year which were firsts  for the 
convention.  Great singer/songwriters such as Dave Moore and Bill  Barrett, 
and a folk rock group The High South Band were  prominent in the main stage 
mix... the crowd both young and old seemed to really  enjoy them.  Hats off 
to Paul Davies for the wonderful lineup!
Not that anyone has forgotten about the P in SPAH, Preservation of the  
founding traditions is foremost on the minds of the entire staff.  Not only are 
we still featuring trio's as much as availability permits,  we have been 
actively looking for ways to use the chord and bass  everywhere possible in 
less traditional settings, such as was in  evidence all week long, it was a 
thing of beauty.
An afternoon show by Paul Osher -from Muddy Waters band- was an absolute  
gem for the blues crowd, as was Johnny Sansone's show on the big stage Thurs  
Buddy Greene and Todd Parrott did us proud throughout the week, Todd  
absolutely KILLED his set in the Tuesday evening International Blues  Blowoff!  
Convention staples such as Brendan Power, Jimi Lee  and PT Gazell were 
The youth program was in full swing, these young people are the future of  
our organization. One crop seems to have 'graduated' and are now helping 
those  who are coming in behind them.  Look for these graduates to be appearing 
in  evening shows and on the stage at the IBB as the years roll by.
Once again Manfred Wewers put together a great lineup of seminars, to say  
there was something for everyone would be an understatement.  The Joe  
Filisko afternoon teach-in was once again stacked with world class  instructors, 
including Robert Bonfiglio, David Barrett, Ronnie  Shellist, Rob Roy Parnell 
and around ten others of equal  repute.
Thanks to this years host club Alamo Hoot, a BIG  infusion of local color 
was evident throughout.  Mariachi players in the  lobby, Spanish dancers at 
the ladies breakfast, accordion players and more  reflected the rich San 
Antonio culture.  Tours floated down the Riverwalk  and went by bus out into the 
Texas Hill Country.
Attendance numbers were high, vendors reported strong sales, the mood  was 
upbeat, and music was everywhere.  Final show on Sat night was the  Madcat 
Trio... yes, not a misprint.  The guy who broke the diatonic barrier  at SPAH 
all those years ago was up there as the lead in a trio, we  have indeed 
come full circle.
Christopher Richards
Staging and Production - SPAH
Producer - International Blues Blowoff


More information about the Harp-L mailing list