Gettin' ready for the nursing home

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Gettin' ready for the nursing home

Postby jeffl » Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:26 pm

I had a weird thought while driving in to work this morning. Most of my harp playing over the years has been duo stuff, playing with a guitar player or piano player, and I've also done a fair amount of playin' in amplified bands and big acoustic jams. I wondered what I'll do when I'm too old to get around, and don't feel like drivin' to jams,etc. I figure it's time to go back to my roots and re-learn the old rootsy blues I started on: the stuff they used to call "Negro Spirituals" and the field hollers and gospel blues stuff. I prob'ly need to throw the harp rack back on and sit down at the piano and figure out how to play some of those old tunes again, and do some straight unaccompanied singing, with harp breaks and riffs. I need to get down closer to the ground again, gettin' ready for that day when I take my place in line, at the foot of the staircase to heaven.
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Postby dcblues » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:13 pm

You should check out Elder Roma Wilson for inspiration. He plays harp and sings gospel, unaccompanied.

http://www.arhoolie.com/titles/429.shtml
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Postby jeffl » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:43 pm

Tha's what I'm talkin' 'bout, dcb. Thanks. I also get inspiration from Walter Tore along the same lines. My original inspiration came from learning Rev. Gary Davis Jr. tunes out of a songbook and playing along with a guitarist buddy on those tunes. I later learned a bunch of 'em on piano. Alotta old blues guys jus' sang and played harp on those old field tunes.
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Postby blomax » Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:08 pm

:D Thats a great topic, I waited till 50 to get more serious with my singing and playing , I can afford the time more now and don't have to get a paycheck for my music. There used to be a "Pinedene Jazz Center" down the street from our jewelry shop, and there were always 5-6 old guys retired 65-80 yrs old down there singing playing acoustic and once in awhile amplified. It hurt our town a little bit when they closed it down. Now theres a guy who sits at the train station and blows his trumpet or plays his guitar. Sometimes he sings a bit, no one rally pays the guy any attention, but the other night he had a tripod mounted video cam going and taping himself. He's only around 50, but it made me think along the same lines as you Jeff.
And then there is the Pinetop method. He was to be one of the headliners for the Piedmont Blues Society about 10 yrs back. Specifics elude me but he was to play about 7pm and finally made the scene at 9-10pm and he rocked the house. Well, he was late because he was in jail or locked up somewhere , seems I remember Maryland. Bob Margolin and couple other guys had to go bail him out and bring him to the show.
I got started harpin from 2 inspirations , one was Terry McMillan, went to school with him and he used to play a lot, then went on to become nashville #1 session man. But the most inspiration wsa a chruch in downtown Durham, on Sat or Sun when one drove buy they were raising the roof with the best gospel in the world. It only took one visit and hearing them, with a full 5-7 piece group playing and anywhere from 100-200 folks there jamming out to get me in the spirit. I must have dropped in there 15-20 times in about a year. Last week at practice we put in a couple old gospel tunes I remembered from teen years and the guys loved it.
THanks for the topic Jeff, its good to be thinkin ahead. Blomax
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Postby ricochet » Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:22 am

Hee, hee, the spam word filter's still active. Turned the word "c-a-m" to "I'm a spammer and an idiot." That one's gotten me more than once. (When I was talking about engines' valve actuating mechanisms or similar mechanical devices.)
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Postby watertore » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:04 am

jeffl wrote:Tha's what I'm talkin' 'bout, dcb. Thanks. I also get inspiration from Walter Tore along the same lines. My original inspiration came from learning Rev. Gary Davis Jr. tunes out of a songbook and playing along with a guitarist buddy on those tunes. I later learned a bunch of 'em on piano. Alotta old blues guys jus' sang and played harp on those old field tunes.


Thanks bubba! I can tell you this for a fact- when you are on your own, you have more freedom than you will ever have time to figure out. I really can't see ever going back to having a trio, or any multimusician setup. Walter
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Postby kingley » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:32 pm

Ah! Elder Roma Wilson!!

What a great harp player.
I love playing this stuff.
I cut my teeth on playing country blues like Pick a Bale'o' Cotton and This Train!
Man this is the kind of blues that really makes you feel good.
It always reminds me that one of my ambitions is to play harp with a great gospel choir.

Love it, love it!, love it!

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