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Open mic,Open arms

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 7:21 pm
by jeffl
I managed to make it as far as an open mic in a town about 30 miles away last nite; I've played there about 3-4 times before,'cuz I've sat in with the drummer's band a few times,and the frontman's band once or twice. When I walked in,I was immediately introduced to the club owner,whom I'd never met. He wanted to meet the harper who had been comin' down a few times. That made me feel good. As a harper,you don't even have to be great...If you're just "good",it seems to be a freakin' novelty. Guitar players can bust their asses all nite long,even playin' extremely difficult stuff,and a harper can take half the tune off,play a few breaks,and everybody's fallin' all over ya'.

RE: Open mic,Open arms

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 10:31 pm
by 601blues
Harp players SUCK!! or is it BLOWS! or is it Both??? just kidding,I pay harp muh self !! you go !!

RE: Open mic,Open arms

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 12:22 am
by lorilu
Hey Bubba,
I know you are humble and modest which is so nice. I bet you're pretty damn good and they love what you add.

Bytheway, I was working on a car lot today and had reunions with guys from back as far as 14 years when I painted car windshields. I have spent many many hours on car and rv lots painting and talking to the guys. The GM at this lot I have worked with over the years at different companies. Nothing like painting windshields in 105 degrees on the asphalt all day. It was fun, though, looking back.

RE: Open mic,Open arms

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 12:23 pm
by jeffl
I wouldn't call my attitude humility,LoriLu,honestly. I've heard some of these harpers on this board,thru SoundClick and CD bytes,etc,and there's some real good harpers around here..and some great ones. But there's a class of musicians to which I do not belong,but that I've been lucky enough to play with some of 'em: as we all know,there are phenomenal people out there who may have been born with the "music gene",but they've spend alotta time developing their gifts,and when I get around them,I love 'em. There's a guitar player at this open mic (he's one of the hosts) who is in that class. He's one of those guys that can play a zillion notes,and when he does,he has that wonderful ability to place fast lyrical runs in the tune in such a way that you may even miss what he jus' did,'cuz it blended in so well and made so much sense. Then,at other times,he'll take a single note and do stuff with the tone or rhythm that makes you marvel at his imagination. When guys like me play with guys like that,there's jus' no way yer gonna get a big head--EVER.

RE: Open mic,Open arms

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 3:31 am
by lorilu
I heard that but I think if you are picking up on all those things it means you have it in your head and it will eventually come through your harp. I know there will be greater players always, greater everything. Better looking, neater, more organized, on and on... but I try to remind myself that I am on my path and they are like you said, inspirations for me to keep striving if that is what I want. It is true that should keep people humble but funny thing - it doesn't. Arrogance and pridefulness is not very attractive, is it.

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:31 pm
by Little Mickey
It's true jeffl, people love the hap players! Everybody goes on at the jam session I go to (by everybody I mean a few random patrons who tap me on the arm as I go out) about how good it is to hear a harp in amongst the guitars. one guy didn't even seem to know what a harmonica was and still told me that I was "really good at....what you do"

Which reminds me of a thing Andy (Stumblin) said at a gig I went to see him at, when he said playing harp when I'm around made him feel like Emmet ray playing in front of Django Reinhart. Cheers for that Andy, made my night.

Jeez, you weren't kidding about this big-head syndrome thing...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:08 pm
by beachmaster
jeffl, I've had such a similar experience it's almost uncanny! There was a blues band who until just a couple of weeks ago played every Monday night at a room just down the road from me, and when they first started playing this "Blue Monday" gig, they would have guest players by special invitation. It was not an open mic jam in other words. Not just anyone could play with them. In the beginning, several months ago, they didn't know me from Adam, but I talked to them and told them I played harp so they invited me up. I didn't do anything really all that fancy (because I'm just not that good) but I did put a lot of soul into my playing and tend to get quite animated at times which I'm told gives me a great stage presence.

Anyway, they liked it and kept inviting me to play, many nights having me up on stage during pretty much all of their 3 sets. An excellent guitar player started playing also (prior to that they were just 3 piece: drums, bass/singer, and keys). They eventually asked the guitarist to join the band. He is a great player, can play blues, jazz, Hendrix, pretty much anything he wants, and is not a bad singer too, and has a song list a mile long!

But for some reason, I would occasionally get applause after a solo while the song was still ongoing (whereas I don't recall any of the band getting that, ever), and people would come up to me during the break and praise my playing and give me more attention than the other guys. And I wasn't even a member of the band. I think maybe that was one reason they sort of cut me back after a while, and in fact really cut back on any other "guests" sitting in. I don't think it was jealousy at all, just that they wanted to focus on promoting the band, which was totally cool with me. I was just grateful for all the stage time they gave me, a harper less than two years. It was great experience for me.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:20 pm
by jeffl
Yeah Beachmaster...it's always nice to get positive feedback from the crowd. When it's somebody else's gig though, it always puts me on my guard a little,as far as not stealin' the show,and especially not doin' anything to diminish the opinions about the band on the part of the crowd. That's why I generally won't get up to sit in with a band unless the conditions are optimal...in other words, the stage has enough room,the equipment is adequate,all the musicians are ok with it,I'M feelin' good,we're all capable of pullin' the tunes off,and I don't slow down the pace of the sets.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:13 pm
by beachmaster
I'm definitely very conscientious about playing with the band. At first I may have taken small liberties, but quickly I backed down and mostly just chugged a little rhythm far in the background and only step forward when they called me up to solo, and I'd just do my thing and step back and be out of sight. I know harp players have a bad rap about hogging the stage and that's something I don't want to get a reputation for. That same band had this other guest who plays a lot of different instruments including harp, sax, flute, steel lap guitar, and a few other things and is a great musician, but when he took the harp on, he would just play all over the vocalist and act like it was nothing. Everyone in the band would just look at him in amazement but he didn't get it. After another faux pax, he... well let's just say he never sat in again!

Respect and professionalism is a must in a guest situation, or even in an open jam. Some got it and some don't, what can I say?