Sunday, January 18, 2015

Campfire Jam - old friends meet, new friends are made

The Blues Summit is all about "career development" and there are some among us who believe that the campfire or jamming of any sort helps with career development. Well I beg to differ. These jams have introduced artists who went on to tour or record together. Maybe a few songwriting collaborations have ensued, too. At the Summit, the jam is mostly about giving folks who are not doing an "official" showcase to get in a little playing and I think we achieved that. I love the moments when people connect for the first time, even though they've heard about and admired each other for years. What a trip hearing Lily Sazz and Murray Porter doing some four-handed boogie-woogie on the piano. And there's usually a moment when somebody gets to play with one of their "heroes" for the first time and this time I got to play for the first time with someone I've always admired because he does so much stuff, playing, producing, publishing, writing, photographing...there sure lots more (gourmet cooking?) - I'm talking about Bill King. Another not-usual-suspect on the blues scene was Lenny Solomon, an amazing fiddle player witha huge resume - and now he mae a CD called The Blues Violin. Then there was my buddy Danny Marks who got on those drums and was having the time of his life (sticks courtesy of Michelle Josef) with a And I like it when veteran Kim Doolittle, leans over into my ear and whispers "who IS that singer?" Well it was Sabrina Weeks, all the way from the west coast. Young Alexander McTaggart was rockin it on the 88's too and I'm looking forward to hearing more of him. Peggy Voight and Ken sat in. Heather Katz sat in too. Sherman Lee Dillon, now packing his lunch for a trip back to North Carolina was great company for me all week-end and I was glad to put him up at my place in appreachiation of the time he let me crash at his place in Jackson Mississippi (and invited me to sit in at his son'e club, Frank Jones Corner). But oddly enough (for a blues event) there were not very many guitar players or harp players coming out of the woodwork - considering I brought a couple of extra guitars and even put a new set of strings on one. I thought Danny Marks would pick up one of them but he wanted to play drums - and he filled in (pardon the pun) very well when Michelle Josef was called away. And I don't think Michelle ever got her sticks back... Trevor Mackenzie showed up just under the wire and then there were a few more trickling in as we were packing up. Other's though it was happening both days and thought they would come to the next one...Oh well