Friday, March 12, 2010

Maybe I'll Hit the Bean Blossom Blues Fest again

Oddly, Ricci is headlining again. Same as 2007, when I went there to test my ability to camp and speak to strangers.

Speak of the devil, I was just discussing him in the harp player section of last post. This playing is him cruising, nothing close to the full scope of his music, but a taste---strange tunes, fantastic instrumentals.

Might as well add this one too. Was that a beer in the last one? I think it had to be soda or water. He's been sober for several years, and you cannot play like that drunk. He does chain smoke, or did. Quite a phenomenon.

Got to check this one out. This guy is to harp beyond what Hendrix was to guitar.
This is some wild acoustic

He's a master at bending notes up as well as down, not a common skill. Have to have the harmonica reeds adjusted right. His are professionally reworked by a guy that has about a year waiting list. Takes a $25.00 harp and turns it into about a $300 harp. You figure he's got roughly 20 in his harp box, plus others. Between the electronics and pure talent, I find what Jason does inspiring. You can see from the last video that his range is not just the result of fancy electronics.

*****Now I find this wild crew is playing San Diego on Mar 20, right down there on Shelter Island. maybe I'd go, maybe not. Only $10 which is pretty fair for this kind of quality. His guitar player is getting high praise in blues magazines and such. I think Ricci's up for best instrumentalist at the Blues awards this year.

Hyper Mentobia

That is all I know to call it. A little free time and a few stimuli and my mind takes off. I'm not referring to substances when I say stimuli. Just things that come to my attention. These mind racing episodes do not occur all the time, just periodically; sometimes every few hours, every few days or every few weeks. Not necessarily in that order.

Francisco is learning to play harmonica. He's done some time on one of those big guitars doing bass for a mariachi group. He likes blues. So I was asked to give him a list of artists whose CDs would be good in helping him learn. I tried to avoid some of those guys who play a style that seems impossible to learn, like Jason Ricci. I started with Little Walter, of course. He's the one that first found "the sound". It seems too complicated to explain that I learned by a very little bit of exposure to John Mayall and Sonny Boy Williamson, but mostly tried to get the same feel as Eric Clapton's guitar rides when he played with Cream. He actually started with Mayall but that's another matter entirely.

That caused me to check out all sorts of harp players on line and I ended up listening to various samples, and watching plenty of videos. It makes me want to get serious and get electric. Maybe I will before I am way too old, which I may already be. Hell with that. I'll just put a bag over my head, or entire body, and who'll be any the wiser?

Sugar Blue is still playing and has done some good stuff in the USA during the last couple of years. Jason Ricci, I think is still going. He's relative young for a harp player. Most of the best hit their stride later than a lot of other musicians. Ricci is in his early 30's and has pushed the envelope on what you can do with a harp. In some ways he is the best going. He's gay, which just goes to show you---just because you're gay doesn't mean you can't play the hell out of blues/jazz/funk/ way out there music.

He actually gave a little seminar at the Indiana harp event which was the prelude to the Tour and my great escape from total stagnation. Nice guy and very bright. He doesn't sound gay. I should have asked him why. He does often look the part, just no gay voicing.

There aren't but a few girl harmonica players that are any good. I remember seeing one and I forget her name, which is a shame. That chick was good. The implications could spell magic. Again, that's an entirely different matter.

My mind has gone from energy self sufficiency thoughts and ponderings to remembering when I was responsible for little K and her errant mother. When she was 7, I recall walking with her to her mom's job. We'd encounter people I knew from work and they would assume I was the bio dad. They said she had my eyes or other similarities. Mostly, at that time, she shared some of the sense of humor. I liked being a responsible guardian. You have to hold her hand or the little goof ball will walk in front of a speeding train or who knows what. When she was a little younger than that she liked to get too tired to walk so I'd carry her. That is actually one of the highlights of my life; carrying a little kid up three flights of stairs. And generally attempting to make a secure happy place. Don't ever try that with a moron, lunatic, alcoholic, or drug addict.

Anyway, I guess there was some good that came from it. We can only hope. It wouldn't make sense for it to be a happily ever after thing. That is just not the way it usually works. I probably never would have started and kept playing music if I'd known how to live a reasonable life, and if I'd not be running from that sadness since at least four years old. I still don't know what threw the switch but I know it was thrown by the time I turned 4, but not for most of being 3. That mystery still puzzles me at times. Then again, my life is over 2/3 done, so no need to dwell on the useless.

I'm saving up, I hope, to take a long trip this summer. Maybe a road trip. while it is still legal to drive for the hell of it. One way or another. The whole bit of playing blues harp has been such a love-hate relationship. One minute I really want to be playing, and the next I hate every thought of it. It amplifies the fact that I have lost much that I love just because I am how I am, and the music seems to be part of that off beat aspect. I think it is a sign of my defectiveness. Then again, I get mad enough to want to play anyway and just figuratively throw my finger up at all the loss and everyone else.

It makes no sense. I wish I understood. St Francis claimed it is better to seek to understand than to be understood. For one thing you will never be understood so it is smart to get that part out of your mind ASAP.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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