WORKSHOPS - Acoustic Blues Weekend, The Beacon, Wantage March 2022

Acoustic Blues Weekend of Workshops, Jams and Performance
The Beacon, Wantage South Oxfordshire OX12 9BX
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March 2022

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 Eddie Martin (bottleneck slide guitar), Sonny Black (country blues guitar), Michael Roach and Abie Budgen (country blues 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
EDDIE MARTIN, Bottleneck Slide Guitar
With 16 acclaimed album/DVD releases, Eddie Martin has been called the 'Ambassador of British Blues'. He was the finalist as 'Best Blues Guitarist' of 2019 in Music Republic Magazine and won 'Best Solo/Acoustic Artist' in the European Blues Awards in 2018. For the weekend, Eddie will explore the sounds and techniques of slide guitar through songs by Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Son House and Barbecue Bob. He will improve your playing and have fun in the process. The workshop will focus on basic techniques so you can use your thumb and fingers independently, how to use the slide accurately, and using damping to hone the sound. Everything will be touched on from simple to more detailed levels. Also, the class will jam and Eddie will give everyone useful tips on improvising.

SONNY BLACK, Country Blues Guitar
Sonny Black first picked up the acoustic guitar in the late 1960’s after hearing ‘San Francisco Bay Blues’ by the great Jesse Fuller. He now performs a blend of roots music that includes fingerstyle blues, ragtime, old time country and original compositions. For the weekend, Sonny will be teaching a Mississippi John Hurt inspired version of the old folk/blues song 'Delia Oh Delia' and in open D tuning, the class will look at 'Living With The Blues' which can be played with or without a slide and has some chord embellishments which takes it out of the normal 12 bar format. Also, Sonny will be available all weekend to help with any specific individual playing related problems to advance your playing. He will give tips on arrangements, improvisation and expand on chord ideas.

MICHAEL ROACH and ABIE BUDGEN, Country Blues Guitar 
Michael Roach spent several years learning directly from such well-known figures as John Jackson, John Cephas and 'Philadelphia' Jerry Ricks.  With 7 albums to his credit and an instructional DVD (An Introduction to Country Blues Guitar), Michael is firmly established in traditional blues music circles. Abie Budgen 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 recognized as a respected guitarist, performer and recording artist. She has been teaching blues guitar to all levels of ability for 15 years. For the weekend, Michael and Abi will be focusing on songs in the key of E, helping you build a repertoire of licks, techniques, chord voicings and exploring the subtle nuances that take you away from the usual clichés. They'll look at songs by Shirley Griffith, Blind Boy Fuller, Carl Martin, Luke Jordan, Baby Tate, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Bill Broonzy and others by starting out with a simple version and adding in the details bit by bit, while suggesting ideas for coming up with your own variations.

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).  Will has won over audiences from all around the world and has thousands of fans who subscribe to his YouTube channel.  For the weekend, Will's classes will focus on rhythmic playing, keeping time and laying down a groove. He will be working on the tongue block technique to create a good shuffle rhythm and looking at examples from classic Chicago blues players.  Everyone will work on 1st, 2nd and 3rd position blues scales and put to practice how they can all work together over the 1,4,5 chords of a 12 bar blues.

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.  However, we prefer that you 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" to get the discount.



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