Workshops

Euro Blues Workshops

'Acoustic Blues Weekend'. The Beacon, Wantage OX12 8BX from the 2nd to 4th March 2018. Tutors will include Adam Franklin (slide guitar), Will Wilde (harmonica), Abi Budgen (guitar) and Michael Roach (guitar).

Merchandise

Roach DVD

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

Blues Week 2018

Euro Blues - Blues Week

29th July to 3rd August. Hartpury College, Gloucester UK. Tutors will include John Miller, Brooks Williams and Michael Roach teaching guitar and vocals. Grant Dermody, Steve Guyger, and Will Wilde teaching harmonica.

Blues Week 2018 - our 18th year!

Sunday 29th July to Friday 3rd August 2017
Hartpury College
Gloucester GL19 3BE
United Kingdom

The Programme

Blues Week 2018 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 2018, John will conduct 3 classes (2 for intermediate/advanced and 1 for beginner/intermediate students).

Intro to Country Blues Fingerpicking (beginner/intermediate)
This class is for people who are not yet comfortable maintaining an alternating bass struck by the thumb of the picking hand while picking a melody with the fingers simultaneously. Students will learn several songs in different keys/tunings.

Country Blues Obscurities (intermediate/advanced)
This repertoire class is for players who are comfortable fingerpicking pieces that employ an alternating or monotonic ("thump") bass. We'll be looking at pieces by musicians who have been overlooked by present day players (people like Little Buddy Doyle, Scott Dunbar, Memphis Willie B.) and other diamonds in the rough.  Songs taught will be selected to showcase a variety of different right hand approaches and playing positions/tunings.

Arranging Country Blues: The Process (intermediate/advanced)
This class will use historic recordings as the jumping-off point for creating new arrangements of the same songs, utilizing different playing positions/tunings, and possibly altogether different rhythmic feels. John will create the new arrangements in class (not in advance) and explain the decision-making process in creating the arrangement as we go along. John will then teach the new arrangement to the class.


BROOKS WILLIAMS, Country Blues and Bottleneck Slide Guitar
Brooks Williams, from Statesboro, Georgia creates a super-charged sound that draws heavily on both his blues and Americana roots.  He got his start in the clubs and bars around New York and Boston and has recorded 22 albums.  His most recent is called ‘Brooks' Blues’ (2017).  Keys And Chords describes Williams' music as "A beautiful fusion of blues, old country and a touch Americana.” 

Advanced Slide Guitar Songs and Techniques (intermediate/advanced)
For this class, Brooks will teach slide guitar arrangements of classics such as ‘Mother Earth’ by Memphis Slim, ‘Backwater Blues’ by Bessie Smith, ‘Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning’ by Blind Willie Johnson, ‘The Farmer Is The Man’ by Ry Cooder, and Brooks' own ‘Goodbye Walker Percy’. The primary tuning used will be open D, but the class will also look at classics in open G tuning. Guitar tab will be provided.

Advanced Country Blues Guitar Songs and Techniques (intermediate/advanced)
This class will explore some of the most important songs of country blues. Songs from the likes of Blind Willie McTell, Memphis Minnie, Frank Stokes, Bessie Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, and Pink Anderson will be taught. The songs will all be in standard tuning and are ideally suited for those who know how to fingerpick.


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. In addition to guitar, Adam is a great blues mandolin player and students are encouraged to bring their mandolin along.

Slide Guitar Tips, Licks and Tricks (beginner/intermediate)
In this class, Adam will look at all aspects of slide guitar, from the basic techniques and tunings to classic rhythms and licks of the innovators. By studying the styles of Fred McDowel, Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller and others, students will be shown how to incorporate these techniques and licks to other songs.

Slide Guitar Rhythm, Licks and Solos (intermediate/advanced)
This class will explore the importance of rhythm in playing licks, runs and solos.  The main focus will be tunes by Blind Willie Johnson, Barbecue Bob, Curley Weaver and Tampa Red.  Adam will also look at open tunings with songs such as ‘When The Levee Breaks’ by Memphis Minnie, ‘Hellhound On My Trail’ by Robert Johnson, ‘Screaming and Hollering the Blues’ by Charley Patton and ‘Turn Your Money Green’ by Furry Lewis among others.


ABI BUDGEN, Country Blues Guitar
Abi has devoted many hours to studying old recordings in an effort to capture and communicate the spirit of the original sound. Inspired by her passion, Abi has become recognised 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)
Abi will help students to master the basic techniques and characteristic sounds of country blues fingerstyle guitar. She will focus on songs and playing a steady groove.


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’s class will focus on well-known songs. He will break down a chord progression, show students how to play alternating bass rhythms with your thumb and how to pick out the melody lines with your finger to copy what you are singing.

Blues Vocals (all levels)
Using a selection of songs as tools, students will be encouraged to find their true voice with showing you how to breathe while singing to produce a full tone and useful tips on phrasing. Be prepared to sing!


EDDIE MARTIN, Harmonica and Guitar

With 15 acclaimed album/DVD releases, London-born Eddie has been called “The Ambassador of British Blues“. He was ‘Best Solo/Acoustic Artist Finalist’ in the European Blues Awards (2016) and winner of the ‘Blues Act of the Year’ in 2011. He has been nominated in several categories including ‘Best UK Blues Guitarist’, ‘Best Harmonica Player’, ‘Best Acoustic Artist’ and his songs have made it onto TV and film soundtracks.

Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)
Working through a course book, the emphasis will be on playing to get you through basic techniques (e.g. bending and trill) to more advanced techniques (e.g. tongue block) using jams, set pieces and references to masters such as Sonny Terry, Little Walter, Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson 11, James Cotton, Deford Bailey, Jimmy Reed etc.

Slide Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
Eddie’s slide guitar class will look at the styles of Son House and Fred McDowell. He will work through pre-prepared tabs and study videos to analyse the signature elements of their right and left hand techniques, picking patterns and percussive effects. The emphasis will be on students practising ‘building-blocks’ of technique to approach a grasp of the styles by the end of the week.


GRANT DERMODY, 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.

Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)
Grant’s beginner’s class will focus on chord playing, single note production, basic blues playing, beginning tongue blocking, melodic and rhythmic playing.

Blues Harmonica (intermediate/ advanced)
One of Grant’s classes will focus intently on improvising and tone production. Also, he will spend a great deal of time working on being able to hear and hold down a groove as a solo performer. His other class will look at developing repertoire that may not arise from the harmonica or blues world, and finding ways to incorporate the voice and harmonica to best serve the song.


STEVE GUYGER, Harmonica
Philadelphia is home to one of the finest blues harp players in the world. His playing, vocals, song writing and stage presence have earned him a place among the best. Steve has toured with the late Jimmy Rogers, among others, and has played with many of the great Chicago bluesmen. William Clarke called Steve “the best harp player I’ve ever seen.”

Beginner/Intermediate
This class will help students to get started by covering the harmonica basics. Steve will show you how to get clean single notes, how to play chords, how to play rhythm and how to solo.

Intermediate/Advanced
Steve will demonstrate how he has mastered the authentic styles and techniques of the great harp players. He will share many valuable playing secrets, concepts and insights into country blues and straight Chicago blues. He will cover different positions on the harmonica in backing a vocalist to demonstrate why some techniques work better than others to get the best sound. He will focus on tone, playing chords and soloing. Students are advised to bring along a chromatic harp as Steve will be conducting a class on chromatic playing.


WILL WILDE, Harmonica
Will Wilde picked up his first harmonica at the age of 16 and played it until his lips bled. Weaned on the likes of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Buddy Guy, Wilde grew up steeped in traditional Chicago Blues. With knowledge and respect for the original masters of the instrument, his live show has been described as: ‘A masterclass of blues harp playing, bar none.’ (Blues in The North West).

Beginner/Intermediate
This class will focus on the basics of blues harmonica playing. Students will learn how to bend notes and play the blues scale. You will also learn how to accompany a vocalist.

Intermediate
This class is for students to improve on key skills such as tone, vibrato and bending. You will learn how to improvise and build your own solos using various scales and positions.


Registration Fees 2018

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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