WORKSHOPS - Acoustic Blues Weekend, The Beacon, Wantage

Acoustic Blues Weekend of workshops, jams and performance.
The Beacon, Wantage OX12 9BX
Friday 28th February to Sunday 1st March 2020

The Programme

The programme will offer classes starting on Friday from 1pm to 5pm followed by a staff concert at 8pm. On Saturday, classes will run from 10am to 5pm followed by an evening jam session from 8pm to midnight for ‘participants only’. On Sunday, classes will run from 10am to 3pm.  The classes will cater for all levels of ability and we recommend you bring along a portable recorder for future reference. The tutors for the ‘Acoustic Blues Weekend’ are John Miller (country blues guitar), Adam Franklin (bottleneck slide guitar) and Will Wilde (harmonica).

The Classes

Friday 1 to 5 followed by an evening staff concert. Concert will start at 8pm.
Saturday 10 to 5 followed by an evening jam session. Jam session will start at 8pm
Sunday 10 to 3

The Staff
JOHN MILLER, Country Blues Guitar
John Miller taught himself how to play guitar after being inspired by seeing Mississippi John Hurt at the 1963 Philadelphia Folk Festival. He recorded his first solo album in 1972 and has close to fifty years experience teaching, and has released 19 instructional videos on a variety of subjects and three books focusing on Country Blues guitar. For the weekend, John will be focusing on learning blues played in tunings in which only one string has been changed from a tuning more commonly used, such as FADGBE, EAEGBE, EADF#BE, EADGCE and CGDGBD.  As you learn the songs, John will examine how to get around in these tunings and access the unique sounds they make available for the player. These new sounds will spark your playing and your imagination.

MICHAEL ROACH, Country Blues Guitar
After spending several years in Washington DC learning directly from such well-known figures as John Jackson, John Cephas and Jerry Ricks, Michael Roach has developed his own style and is now an exceptional performer. With seven CD albums to his credit and one instructional DVD (An Introduction to Country Blues Guitar), Michael is firmly established worldwide in traditional blues music circles. For the weekend, Michael will focus on the finger picking skills and techniques used by early guitarists. He will use blues songs to show you how to play a 12 bar, an 8 bar and a ragtime blues progression. He will start by showing you the basic framework of a song and then dress it up with tricks and hot licks. Michael will also focus on grooves and playing rhythm to accompany a singer.

ADAM FRANKLIN, Bottleneck Slide Guitar 
Adam Franklin is a superb exponent of blues and ragtime with a voiceAdam’s class over the weekend will look at all aspects of slide guitar. He will cover the basic techniques and open tuning (G, E, and D) and explore the classic rhythms and licks of the innovators. By studying the styles of Tampa Red, Robert Johnson, Son House, Barbecue Bob, Blind Willie Johnson and more, students will be shown how to incorporate these techniques and licks in to other songs. A session will be put aside to look at how open tuning were used to achieve great sounding rhythm and melody by artists such as Memphis Minnie, Bo Carter, Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton to name a few.

WILL WILDE, Harmonica
Will Wilde picked up his first harmonica at the age of 16 and played it until his lips bled. 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).  For the weekend, Will's class will focus on improvising and building your own solo's using the blues scale and the major pentatonic scale. Students will study classic blues songs by the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter as examples. You will also learn how to accompany a vocalist and play over various blues chord progressions.

Registration Fee 

The weekend fee is £175. A single day rate is £60 for Friday and includes the evening concert.  Saturday is £80 and includes the private jam session for ‘participants only’. The rate for Sunday is £50. Advance booking is required.  To reserve a place, you must book directly with Euroblues Promotions.  We accept cheques and you can do an online transfer. Please make payment to: Euroblues Promotions Limited, PO Box 1333 Cheltenham GL50 9AS United Kingdom. Our sort code is 20-20-15 and our account number is 60473928. We also accept PayPal and the address for payment is

Regarding accommodation, we will be staying at The Bear Hotel.  It is a two minute walk from The Beacon. We negotiated a special room rate of £50 per night (includes breakfast). Their telephone number is 01235 766 366 and when you speak to reception, let them know that you are part of the "Blues Group at The Beacon".

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