[Harp-L] Trying to reach out during trying times

Ken H in Ohio airmojoken@xxxxx
Sat Mar 13 17:06:08 EST 2021

Wow Jim !
I really enjoyed the video you posted... then I watched the video of your
band's live concert at the Goddrard College,
Haybarn Theatre in Plainfield Vermont... that was even more enjoyable...
wish I was in the audience !

What a great band, and harp player you are !

I mainly buy CD's and import them into my iTunes library...
added almost my entire music collection to it over the years...

I like using "smart playlists" that re-populates the lists with songs that
I have not played in "x" amount of time.
This way I can go through my whole song library... probably in a period of
years, since I have thousands of songs,
plus parts of songs that I create to study and learn bits and pieces.

I listen to the songs on my iPhone (use to just use an iPod) while I walk
or drive.
I haven't really used any streaming services at this point, since I like
what's in my library.
but I can see where it would be useful to discover new music too.

Ken H in OH

On Sat, Mar 13, 2021 at 7:46 AM James Fitting <jayfitting at xxxxx> wrote:

> Hello Harp-l listers, It has been a year since I've played a gig. And
> I wanted to share my band's (Session Americana) attempt at reaching out and
> engaging fans during this forced hiatus, for who knows how soon we will be
> playing live again.  I was also excited about this recently mixed
> performance from just over a year ago. Enjoy and thanks.
> Jim Fitting
> <
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> >
> “Making Hay” - Video by Jason Goodman. https://vimeo.com/517888424
> Hi Friends, Fans, and Family,
> Latest “Rumination” by Jim Fitting is below. Brand new video from Lizard
> Lounge show last year above.
> QUICK QUESTION! How do you listen to music? Please respond to this email if
> you can. We are trying to figure out how to share some music. If any of you
> stream, let us know what service you use. Thanks.
> - Ry and Session
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> >
> Yeah, so it's just a 4 inch bit of wood and tin, metal reed plates and a
> bunch of tacks that hold the 20 reeds in place. Because those reeds were
> made of a particularly resilient metal alloy, the Hohner Marine Band became
> the instrument of choice for players from De Ford Bailey to Howling Wolf.
> These guys, they played hard, and that alloy could take it. You can hear
> all that air moving across the reeds in their recordings that have come
> down to us today. There is a rich fat tone that conveys something from
> another time.
> In 1971 Chess started putting out their "AKA" album series, and that's when
> my brother and I stumbled into Mckinley Morganfield AKA guess who. With 4
> sides of vinyl there's a lot in there. On the earliest recordings from this
> LP there is a braid of three: Little Walter's harmonica, Muddy's slide
> guitar and his voice. The hypnotic weave of Louisiana Blues was like a
> light switch, a blueprint even, after all our time listening to the Stones,
> Led Zeppelin and all that. Tom grabbed a bottleneck slide, and I picked the
> Hohner up. I was just looking to find the right notes and trying to hang on
> as we started recreating, building up our little ghosts of those tunes.
> It's the bending of those little reeds that makes them sound like a voice.
> You have to torture and tease them to get all those notes that are in
> there. Did you know that you can get 4 notes out of the 3 hole draw? Just
> sayin...
> But yeah I have to talk about Little Walter Jacobs, because. When you
> listen to that Chess LP in its entirety, there is a sort of map of the
> journey they made. It starts with the acoustic Long Distance Call and
> becomes the electrified sound of I'm Ready or Trouble No More. Got a
> turntable handy? My internet is a little spotty. Anyway, we were spinning a
> whole lot of Chess vinyl, and when we started learning to play those songs
> it was as if we were headed up Highway 61 to Chicago.
> Tom found me my first Astatic JT-30 at a flea market in Richmond Ca. Thanks
> Bro! The JT-30 was Walter's mike: "I snuggle up to that mike see,'cause I
> can keep a whole lot of wind in that harp. I don't do nothin' but navigate
> with it then." I spent the last 500 years trying to catch up with that
> quote. Oh. Man.
> The first amp that almost had the sound was a Fender Deluxe 'black face'
> that got stolen out of our Econoline van And for it I grieved, because the
> sound of the right mike through the right tube amp can be very elusive.
> There's the papery thin, but full sound of a high draw chord coming through
> a pair of those blue Jensen speakers, or that icy crunch like 3 day old
> snow in the woods. And you can bet, I spent a good deal of time chasing
> that sound.
> Not so long ago, when we were playing gigs regularly, you might hear it one
> night, but not every night. With luck there on a beautiful old wooden stage
> in a grand old high ceilinged second floor music hall in downtown Prague
> the tone might start cutting just right. Of course that's the moment when
> someone in the band turns and says can you turn down? Or it might be in a
> gone to seed "rock" club in Manchester NH with a railing right across the
> front. You never know. What are you gonna do? It's an unforgettable and
> elusive dance. Lord have mercy!
> Optional:
> An inevitable question that I've always dreaded is about Bob Dylan. Because
> I love Dylan but I'm not so hot on his harmonica playing. Of course just
> this last week I watched the Rolling Thunder Review film by Scorsese and
> he's playing these great licks like he's Doc Watson or something . But most
> of the time Dylan is playing harmonica on a rack in this very aggressive
> style he's developed. Once we opened for him at the Beacon Theater in New
> York, and his playing that night was particularly egregious. On this one
> song he played this 3 note phrase on the harmonica over and over and over
> and over. I was like what the hell? And as I reflect on it, I realize maybe
> he uses it like a spice, it's a break, a contrast, like a dash of musical
> horseradish. Of course not everybody likes horseradish.
> Session Americana, Dane Avenue, Somerville, MA, United States of America
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