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Do you know the way to Piedmont?
I just found your web site and find it very interesting. However I was struck by the total lack of any artists from an essential blues style in your list of must-haves (Rooster Pickin's, BLUES ACCESS #26-28). Why was Piedmont blues ignored? Well, you did mention Blind Willie McTell out of Atlanta, but come on, guys. I know Chicago style is dominant, but you missed some great ones in the country blues, harmonica and general categories! Where would the blues be without Blind Boy Fuller, the Rev. Gary Davis, Elizabeth Cotten, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, just to mention the most well-known! These people influenced not just future blues artists but old-time, hillbilly, country, bluegrass and the rock singer/songwriters. I know you can't please everybody, but just thought I would get my two cents in.
Lillington, North Carolina
Thank you for the Paul Butterfield articles. I've been a big fan of him and his band since 1965. It's great to read about him from someone who also thinks they were one of the best bands ever. Too bad all of their albums aren't on CD. Keep up the good work.
Not what I said
I was very pleased when a Blues-L subscriber emailed me to inform me of the mention of my name in BLUES ACCESS #28, specifically in the Journeyman's Road column of my esteemed colleague, Adam Gussow. However, I was shocked to see that the mention was preceded by a vulgar "quote" which I never made! I hope that this fine publication will allow me the forum to distance myself from this remark before I unjustly incur the wrath of guitarists all around the world.
As an artist who does a lot of writing as well, I am all in favor of artistic license from time to time. However, I am by no means a vulgar person, and do not wish the blues world to come away with that impression. While it worked real well for the story line, I never did say, "F-cking guitarists jerking off. It's always the same story," in response to his complaint about not being able to hear himself on stage. I can't recall exactly how I responded, although I did give him a Blues Power button and welcomed him to NYC's brotherhood of harp players.
It's indeed been over 12 years since that day, and while Adam's skillfully written and entertaining recollections of Dan Lynch's Blues Bar is as accurate a description as one will ever find, his memory apparently faltered a tad in that time. True, there are a lot of guitar players that do overplay at jam sessions, but I would never generalize about the whole breed in such a manner. There are just as many "f-cking" harmonica players that overplay, and I'd hate for people to categorize all harp players this way.
If I may respond to Adam's seeming concern about not seeing myself and others since Lynch's closing, let me assure my old friend that I am still alive and well. I've just put out my first CD, have been playing at Chicago Blues and Manny's Car Wash and am pleased to say that my band has cracked into the gigging rotation at those places. Look for us there, as well as in the Poconos on blues fest weekend '97. As for Jojo, I think I heard someone say that he went back to Tucson, Arizona.
Mark The Harper
Bronx, New York
I've just received my first issue of BLUES ACCESS and am looking forward to many more. I especially like columns like Vern Juran's Blues Grooves, with descriptions of how to play variations of the blues. However, the description of minor-key turnarounds in issue #28 contained one chord that mystified me and my fellow musicians.
Example 2 shows the progression Gm, Cm, E<FLAT>5, D7. I'm not sure what was intended by E<FLAT>5, so I'm offering the following two alternatives: E<FLAT>7 (-5), consisting of the notes E<FLAT>, G, A and C#; and Cm6/E<FLAT>.
These two chords resolve nicely to D7. As a final variation to D7, consider raising the fifth (to A#) or adding a minor ninth (E<FLAT>) before returning to Gm. These voicings work well in the minor vein. Looking forward to more great blues writing.
Hong Kong blues scene
I was inspired by the letter from Ron McMillan (BLUES ACCESS #28) to also let you know how much I enjoy getting your mag in the virtual blues desert that Hong Kong is. I'll be looking for Ron as I have promoted all the blues acts he has seen here, including Carey Bell, B.B. King, Eddy Clearwater, etc.
Over the next two weeks the club is hosting a Harmonica Showdown between the U.K.'s Paul Lamb and Mark Hummel, and other acts lined up for the year included Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Robert Lucas and (hopefully) Magic Slim. So hopefully your readers will look us up when they are in this part of the world and, what the hell, if they mention BLUES ACCESS, I'll get Ron to buy them a drink!
Jazz Club & Bar
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