Tuesday, July 30, 2013

07/29/13 Tall City Blues Fest Revisited

This past weekend I had the honor to fly to Midland, TX to host my show, Music On the Couch, during the TALL CITY BLUES FEST presented by Riley Geological Consultants.

In its third Year, The Tall City Blues Fest is the brainchild of PROMISING PROJECTS.

Promising Projects is the brainchild of Lisa Arnold Grissom & Ronn Reeger. They conceived the festival and over the first three years continue to tweek it making it better and better.

Their stated mission: Tall City Blues Fest showcases award-winning and emerging talent, introduces new opportunities into the community, offers a culturally diverse attraction in West Texas, contributes positively to the quality of life and creates tourism.

They care about their community and the Blues Community as a whole. On their site, they talk about the Philanthropy:

TCBF 2013 Raffle Donations
Partial proceeds from the 2013 Raffle will be donated to the Blues Foundation for their Raise the Roof Campaign to build a Blues Hall of Fame.

Gate Partner In 2012, TCBF selected Centers for Children & Families as our gate partner to whom we donate 10% of the gate proceeds from the Festival. We will be donating over $2,000 to help upgrade their instruments used for music therapy.

KIDS’ College During the Festival, TCBF hosts educational clinics in partnership with Midland College and plans to do so again in 2013. All of the registration proceeds are donated to go toward KIDS’ College scholarships and, thus far, TCBF has donated over $4,000 dollars to help under-priveleged children attend KIDS’ College.

Featured Artist Each year, TCBF commissions a West Texas artist to design our Commemorative Poster and Festival Guide Cover Art. The commission each year is $1,000. Click here for info on the 2013 Featured Artist.

Silent Art Auction During the Festival, TCBF hosts a silent auction featuring original art from artists of all mediums. Artists get 70% of the proceeds from the sale of their piece. In 2012, we paid out just under $1,300 collectively to the 11 participating artists. To submit your work to be considered for the silent auction, click here.

MISD/ECISD Scholarships In 2011, TCBF donated $7,000 collectively in scholarships to MISD high school marketing students & ECISD graphic design students for assisting with the development of a You Tube marketing video and pitching designs for our print advertising campaign.

For 2013, Ronn & Lisa put together a stellar lineup:

5:30-6:15 PM Justin Johnson (Durham, NC)
615-7:15 PM The Peterson Brothers (Bastrop, TX)
7:15 PM-8:15 PM Laurie Morvan (OPENER-Long Beach, CA))
8:15-9:45 PM Chris Duarte (HEADLINER-Atlanta, GA)
10-11:15 PM JT Coldfire (FINALE ACT-Austin, TX)

2-2:45 PM Frank Gomez (Austin, TX)
3-3:45 PM Terry Quiett (Wichita, KS)
4-4:45 Brad Absher & Swamp Royale (Houston, TX)
5-5:45 PM Mike Milligan & the Altar Boyz (Austin, TX)
6-7 PM Kirsten Thien (New York, New York)
w/ special guest guitarist Eddie Turner (Denver, CO)
7-8:15 PM Shakura S’Aida (OPENER-Toronto, CA)
8:15-9:45 PM Zac Harmon (HEADLINER-Jackson, MS) w/ special guest performance by Mississippi Blues Child, Castro Coleman (McComb, MS)
10-11:15 PM Nick Moss (FINALE ACT-Chicago, IL)

In addition, the Educational Workshops this year were very special indeed:

Vocal Workshop:(Ages 14+)
Instructor: Shakura S’Aida (Toronto, Canada)
This vocal intensive will guide you in finding your true voice. Shakura will help you identify and strengthen your entire vocal and performance presentation. You’ll learn how to present yourself authentically on stage and to have confidence in your performance ability. You’ll gain a new understanding of your vocal capabilities and a fresh awareness of how strongly perceptions can be changed by the sound of your voice.
Participants should bring an interest in singing and a willingness to stand on the edge and jump off.

Blues Bass 101 (Ages 10+)
Instructor: Dave Parker, Founder of Milestone School of Modern Music (Midland, TX)
This workshop is an individualized interactive workshop that will examine the influence the Blues has had on the bass over a historical period of time. Using different genres of music as a tool, this workshop will help beginners with the basic building blocks of constructing bass lines and knowing when to play walking bass lines, 1-5 country bass lines or bluesy rock-n-roll riffs. For the more advanced participants, this workshop will offer some new riffs, licks and grooves and stimulate your creativity with playing bass.

The Elements of Song: Unlocking your Creative Spirit (Ages 8 – 14)
Instructor: Kirsten Thien (New York, NY)
In this workshop, Kirsten will discuss the elements of a song and how to build a song from its initial inspiration to its completed form. We’ll play some classic Blues and Soul songs together and talk about the parts that make the song so compelling. What’s a “signature riff”? Where does the chorus go? How do we make a song universal and personal at the same time? How can one song inspire the creation of another, without copying? We’ll answer these questions and lay out the building blocks to unlocking our creative spirit through songwriting.

One-String Diddley Bow Workshop for Kids (Ages 8-14)
Instructor: Justin Johnson (Durham, NC)
This workshop explores the history and playing techniques of this fascinatingly simple traditional roots instrument. The student will learn how to play the Diddley Bow with a guitar slide, and learn songs in the Roots Blues style. This workshop is AVAILABLE FOR SPONSORSHIP.
Click here to sponsor this workshop!

One-String Diddley Bow midland-root-beer-logoWorkshop (Ages 14+)
Instructor: Justin Johnson (Durham, NC)
This workshop explores the history and playing techniques of this fascinatingly simple traditional roots instrument. Great for musicians of all skill levels. The student will learn how to play the Diddley Bow with a guitar slide, and learn songs in the Roots Blues style. By the end of the class, students will also know how to play the Diddley Bow in a group setting, and even come up with their own Blues solos!

Beginner 4-String Cigar Box Guitar Workshop (Ages 14+)
Instructor: Justin Johnson (Durham, NC)
This workshop is designed for students who are familiar with, or have some experience with the 6-String Guitar, and want to learn how to translate that knowledge to the 4-String Cigar Box Guitar (CBG). The student will learn how to play the Cigar Box Guitar in open and standard tunings, and will also learn Blues Slide Guitar techniques such as proper form, staying in tune, vibrato, left-hand muting, right-hand muting, anchoring, and modiļ¬ed Dobro techniques. The student will be provided with chord charts, tuning suggestions, and tips & tricks that will have them playing Cigar Box Guitar in no time!

What a fantastic weekend I had, other than the technical error which caused the Friday evening show to be deleted.

Saturday's show was packed with visitors and is available for download (or click below).

The music...was as you would expect it Top-Notch.

I was able to take some pictures with my cellphone (next year I have to bring my camera!)...hope you enjoy them and THANKS AGAIN LISA & RONN!

 Shakura S'Aida

 Kirsten Thien

 Eddie Turner & Kirsten Thien

 Zac Harmon

Zac Harmon & Mr Sipp, Mississippi Blues Child

Nick Moss

Nick Moss Band

 Lisa Grissom Arnold
She gave a wonderfully compassionate speech recognizing the families 
of Military Service personnel who have lost their lives (Gold Star Families).
This local group of families were all at the festival together.

 Eddie Turner caught me waiting on Zac Harmon

 Mr Sipp & myself

 Couch Favorite JT Coldfire

 Laurie Morvan and myself

My set-up for this year in the business center
right off the lobby of the Doubletree
Here chatting with Justin Johnson

Bottom line folks...If you are within a good drive to midland, check out this festival next year, because it is only going to get better!

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