Euro Blues Workshops

Acoustic Blues Weekend of workshops, jams and performance 1st to 3rd March 2019. Adam Franklin (slide guitar), Eddie Martin (harmonica) and Michael Roach & Abi Budgen (guitar). The Beacon, Wantage OX12 9BX.


Roach DVD

Michael Roach 'Introduction to Country Blues Guitar' DVD £22.50 including postage

Blues Week 2019

Euro Blues - Blues Week

28th July to 2nd August. Hartpury College, Gloucester UK. Details soon to be announced.

Blues Week 2017 - our 17th year!

Sunday 30th July to Friday 4th August 2017
Hartpury College
Gloucester GL19 3BE
United Kingdom

The Programme

Blues Week 2017 provides an opportunity for blues enthusiasts to come together for a full week of music making. It is a chance to broaden your skills and knowledge in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. The programme will offer morning and afternoon workshops and classes for all levels. The beginners class is for those who have little or no knowledge of their instrument. The intermediate and advanced classes are for those who already play to varying degrees of proficiency and are ready to learn new tunes, techniques and styles. The evening activities throughout the week will consist of a concert by the staff members, a student concert and nightly jam sessions.

The Classes

Classes will begin on Monday morning and run through Friday afternoon. There will be 2 sessions in the morning beginning at 9:30 and lasting until 10:45. There is a 20 minute break between each class and the second session will start at 11:05 and end at 12:20. Lunch is from 12:30 to 2:00. In the afternoon, the first class will start at 2:15 and end at 3:30. The second afternoon session will commence at 3:50 and end at 5:05. All classes and workshops during the week will last for one hour and fifteen minutes. The program will end after the last class on Friday.

The Staff

JOHN MILLER, Country Blues Guitar
John Miller was inspired to take up the country blues guitar after seeing Mississippi John Hurt at the 1963 Philadelphia Folk Festival.  He taught himself to play guitar by listening to records and recorded his first album in 1973.  Since then, he has come to be recognized as one of the foremost authorities on country blues guitar.  John has released 19 instructional videos on the music of Furry Lewis, Bo Carter, Robert Wilkins, Elizabeth Cotten, John Hurt Vols 1&2 and Memphis Blues amongst others. For Blues Week 2017, John will conduct 3 classes (2 for intermediate/advanced and 1 for beginner/intermediate students).

The Language of the Blues (beginner/intermediate) 
Part of what is involved in becoming comfortable playing the blues is learning what to expect, with regard to blues forms, chord progressions and vocal phrasing.  In this class, John will work on developing your familiarity with the commonly encountered blues forms. He will help to develop fluency in moving chord progressions from one key to another, and learn the basics of blues vocal phrasing.  Students can expect lots of playing in class. 

Using Open Tunings to Play Blues (intermediate/advanced)
Tuning the guitar to an open chord has been a common practice in the blues from the earliest days.  In this class, we'll look at a different tuning each day, learning how to finger chords and find the sounds you want to hear.  Tunings will include Open G (Spanish), Open D (Vestapol), Open D minor (cross-note), DGDGBE, and EAEGBE.  This class is for students who are comfortable fingerpicking with alternate and monotonic bass.

Expanding Your Skills (intermediate/advanced) 
For experienced players, this class will work at building new skills in the following areas: using your thumb to play leads all over the guitar; free-handing--doing picking and arranging that doesn't depend on holding onto chordal positions; playing what you hear, and learning how to find on the neck the ideas you hear in your head; flat-picked back-up and leads; for duet work, expanding your chordal vocabulary for accompanying the blues.  Each day in class, John will work on building a different skill.

MARTIN GROSSWENDT, Country Blues and Bottleneck Slide Guitar
Martin Grosswendt has been exploring the roots and branches of American acoustic music for more than 40 years.  A master of pre-war blues and other southern traditional music, his fingerpicking, bottleneck playing and singing amaze and move audiences, critics and other musicians alike.  He's known at festivals, concerts and music camps across the U.S. and his musical accomplishments are matched by his knowledge of the music's sources and creators, whose stories he weaves into every performance.  For Blues Week 2017 and by popular demand, Martin with be teaching an intermediate/advanced Country Blues Guitar class and an advanced/intermediate Slide Guitar class.

East Coast Blues Guitar Repertoire (intermediate/advanced) 
Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller, Carl Martin, and Brownie McGhee are just a few of the iconic names associated with the raggy, intricate genre known as East Coast guitar style.  In this class, Martin will look at some classic arrangements, focusing on the right and left-hand techniques that are the foundation for this engaging school of guitar.

Bottleneck Blues Guitar (intermediate/advanced) 
Martin’s class will spend the week taking a deep, hands on look at the subject.  He will focus on tone, intonation, vibrato, right and left-hand damping techniques, single string and chord work, as well as other often overlooked fundamentals.  He will also examine different types of bottlenecks (glass, metal, ceramic), tunings, repertoire, and resources.

ERIC NODEN, Country Blues and Bottleneck Slide Guitar
Eric Noden has been performing, writing and teaching acoustic blues for over 25 years. The Illinois Entertainer described Eric as “a spiritual heir to Chicago blues guitarists of the ’20s and ’30s like Tampa Red and Big Bill Broonzy”.  Eric has recorded and toured extensively both as a solo performer and in his duo with harmonica master Joe Filisko.  He recently produced and played guitar for Billy Arnold’s CD ‘Billy Boy Sings Big Bill Broonzy’. 

Slide Guitar Basics (beginner/intermediate)
In this workshop, Eric will focus on teaching the essential techniques for playing fingerstyle blues guitar with a slide. This is the perfect class for those who have little or no experience playing slide. Eric will explain the types of slides, dampening, basic ornamentation and more in this introductory slide class. A variety of traditional slide styles will be explored. Eric will break down how to play chords, riffs and melodies using a slide. Guitar tab will be provided.

Ragtime & Blues Guitar Instrumentals (intermediate/advanced) 
1920’s and 30’s blues guitar players were known for including exciting ragtime and blues instrumentals in their repertoire. These fingerpicking instrumentals showcased the virtuosity of the guitar player and kept the party going all night long. In this class, Eric will break down instrumentals by Rev. Gary Davis and Big Bill Broonzy along with several of his own compositions that are in the tradition. Guitar Tablature will be provided for each tune.

Advanced Slide Guitar (intermediate/advanced) 
For this class, Eric will teach songs that use the powerful combination of fingerpicking techniques and the slide. This class will take a close look at the grooves and phrasing used by traditional slide guitar masters. Eric will explain the nuances of each player and the style they covered. Songs from 1920’s and 30’s will be taught along with some of Eric’s own compositions that are in the tradition. Both open G and open D tuning will be explored. Don't miss this opportunity to experience Eric's unique approach to learning and performing acoustic blues. Guitar tab will be provided.

ADAM FRANKLIN, Bottleneck Slide Guitar and Mandolin
Adam Franklin is a superb exponent of blues and ragtime from a ‘golden age’ of American
music.  With a voice that is both powerful and soulful, his performances are intense, energetic and highly entertaining.  A lifetime of intensive listening and 3 decades of playing underlie his easy rhythmic excellence, which has led to him backing US artists such as Del Rey and Joe Filisko.  In addition to guitar, Adam is a great blues mandolin player and will be teaching a mandolin class. Students are encouraged to bring a mandolin to take advantage of the opportunity.

Beginner Slide Guitar Class (beginner/intermediate)
During this class, we will look at all aspects of slide guitar, from the basic techniques and tunings to classic rhythms and licks of the innovators of this most exciting guitar style. Adam will be studying the styles of Tampa Red, Son House, Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, Barbecue Bob, Willie Johnson and more.

Advanced Slide Guitar (intermediate/advanced) 
For the advanced class, Adam will be looking at the ‘hot style’ of Tampa Red. Often overlooked, Tampa Red was a masterful musician. Tunes such as ‘Tight Like That’, ‘Things ‘Bout Coming My Way’, ‘Sugar Mama Blues’ and ‘Black Angel Blues’ were hugely influential, containing a wide variety of colourful licks and phenomenal rhythms. Throughout the week, students will learn tunes while looking at developing these techniques to build a ‘hot’ solo.

Blues Mandolin (all levels)
Adam will focus on the blue side of mandolin! Students will learn classic string and jug band tunes as well as looking at playing in the ‘blues jam’ friendly keys of E and A.

ABI BUDGEN, Country Blues Guitar
Abi has devoted many hours listening to and working out old recordings in an effort to capture and communicate the spirit of the original sound. Inspired by her passion, Abi has become recognized as a respected guitarist, performer and recording artist. She has been teaching blues guitar to all levels of ability for 10 years.

Beginner Country Blues Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
Blues Week has been a fundamental inspiration for Abie as a musician since first coming as a teenager and she hopes to pass on the skills and passion she has experienced.  Abi will help students to master the basic techniques and characteristic sounds of country blues fingerstyle guitar.  She will focus on songs (including spirituals) and playing a steady groove in which you can sing to.

MICHAEL ROACH, Country Blues Guitar and Vocals
Michael Roach is the Founder/Director of Blues Week.  Dating back to the early 1980’s, he spent several years learning directly from such well-known figures as John Jackson, John Cephas and Jerry Ricks. With six albums to his credit and an instructional DVD (An introduction to Country Blues Guitar), Michael is firmly established in traditional blues music circles.

Beginner Country Blues Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
Michael will conduct a class for students who need some guidance in order to benefit from the classes on offer at Blues Week.  He will break everything down and make it easy by helping guitarists to develop at their own pace.  He will demonstrate simple practice tips for changing chords, alternating bass lines with your thumb and playing rhythm. 

Blues Vocals (all levels)
Michael will conduct a Blues Vocals class.  Using a selection of songs as tools, students will find their true voice with tips on phrasing and breathing techniques.  Be prepared to sing!

GRANT DERMODY, Blues Harmonica
Grant Dermody is an American Roots musician; harmonica player, singer/songwriter specializing in acoustic blues and Appalachian fiddle tunes. He is widely known for his deep, open tone and his ability to get underneath, with his own voice, a wide variety of genres.  Grant is respected for rich tone, tasteful solos, and solid rhythmic playing. He is in a country blues band with guitar greats Orville Johnson and John Miller.

Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)
Grant’s beginner’s class will start at square one and proceed, at a reasonable and fun pace, with chord playing, single note production, basic blues playing, beginning tongue blocking, and melodic and rhythmic playing.

Blues Harmonica (intermediate/ advanced)
Grant’s advanced class will focus on the fine art of improvisation within various blues forms.   The class will also look at expanding the student’s unique harmonica voice by deepening and strengthening the ideas and emotions they bring to a given piece of music.  Solid rhythmic accompaniment will also be an area of in-depth study.

JOE FILISKO, Blues Harmonica
Joe is one of the world's most respected teachers, players and authorities on the diatonic blues harmonica.  He has worked on 5 different continents.  His area of expertise is the acoustic pre-war and amplified post-war playing styles and how to get the biggest, fattiest and greasiest sound out of the tiny harmonica.  The SPAH organization named Joe ‘Harmonica Player of the Year’ in 2001.

Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)
No experience necessary!  Bring a "C" harp and either a "G" or "D" and an audio recording device to help you get started.

Blues Harmonica Repertoire (intermediate/ advanced)
For this class, Joe will teach students exactly what they need to know and do to sound like a competent and seasoned player in the BIG toned Chicago blues tradition. He will focus on: how to relax and breathe correctly; various hand positions and techniques for acoustic & amplified playing; throat tremolo & vibrato; tongue blocking; and note bending.

Blues Harmonica Performance (intermediate/ advanced)
In this class, students will get a chance to play songs and get some constructive criticism and encouragement.

Blues Harmonica Chording (all levels)
If you can breathe, you can play chords!  This is the class where you can learn how to apply chords to numerous styles & grooves. 

Registration Fees 2017

On Campus: includes all classes, activities, room & board £650. This year, we are offering an Early Bird Discount of £25 if full payment is received by the end of February. The discount is only available to full week on-campus students.

Off Campus: includes all classes, activities and lunch £425

Per Day Rate: includes all classes, activities and lunch £135

Space is limited and it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment. A £250 deposit will secure your place.

Please Make Payment To: Euroblues Promotions Limited

Our John Jackson Youth Scholarship Fund will provide a limited number of subsidised places for young people between the ages of 14 to 21. Students between the ages of 14 and 17 are eligible for a £250 subsidy. Students between the ages of 18 and 21 who are not in full time employment are eligible for a £200 subsidy.

A parent or responsible adult must accompany all students 16 and under. If you know of someone who qualifies or have a family member that you would like to bring along, please contact us for immediate consideration. This scholarship is only available to first-time participants.

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