[Harp-L] She caught the Katy

Mick Zaklan mzaklan@xxxxx
Tue Sep 4 12:51:08 EDT 2018

   You know, I think part of the diatonic/chromatic nastiness 15-20 years
ago at SPAH was due  to how two different generations defined the blues.
The WWII and Korean War vets who were dominant numbers-wise at SPAH in
those days grew up on big band blues and the boogie-woogie piano craze.
Blues to them was horn-based Count Basie and Duke Ellington stuff.  Big Joe
Turner, Louie Jordan, Billie Holiday.  Guys in tuxedos.  All of a sudden
you had, to them, scruffy-looking guys toting diatonic harps and playing
Jimmy Reed-Muddy Waters stuff with guitarists wandering around their fest.
"Racket-makers", as one of the old guard described them to me.  "Racket" as
in noise.  They just couldn't relate to it.
   I went to see alto saxophonist Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson at Chicago's
Jazz Showcase long ago.  The promoter, Chicago legend Joe Segal, fell into
this category.  I remember him announcing to the crowd that this was the
"real blues".  Not what he called "the hillbilly stuff" that was playing
across the street at the Chicago Blues Fest that very same day.

Mick Zaklan

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