WORKSHOPS - Blues Week 2024


Blues Week 2024

28th July to 2nd August 2024
University of Northampton, Northampton NN1 5PH


The Programme

Blues Week 2024 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

Arrival is Sunday and check-in is at 3 o'clock. Dinner will be provided at 5pm and there will be an orientation session at 7:30. Classes will begin on Monday morning and run through Friday afternoon. There will be 2 sessions (one for beginner/intermediate and the other for intermediate/advanced) 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 include Friday night accommodation and check out is 10am Saturday morning.

The Staff

GUY DAVIS, Country Blues Guitar
Guy Davis is an American blues guitarist, banjo player, two-time back-to-back Grammy
Award nominee for Best Traditional Blues, an actor, author, and songwriter. For Blues Week,
Guy will be conducting one beginner/intermediate and two (intermediate/advanced) guitar
classes.
Country Blues Guitar (all levels)
Guy will teach the "lazy man" method, using only
the energy necessary to accomplish a musical task. The more of these tasks we can make
2nd nature, the more the performer can add. Whether you want to do Lightnin’ Hopkins, Blind Willie McTell, Mance Lipscombe, or Mississippi John Hurt, or maybe just sing while you play, you've got to have musical tools at your command. Guy’s approach is to teach in layers. This will allow the students with more ability, the skills to learn more complex patterns and the students with less ability, will learn the more fundamental elements. Beginners must know the B7 chord, and will get practice changing chords at an even rate.

 

LIGHTNIN’ WELLS, Bottleneck Slide Guitar and Mandolin
Lightnin' Wells is an American Piedmont blues multi instrumentalist and singer based in North Carolina.

Bottleneck Slide Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
This class will start with learning some songs and will go on to explore the open tunings on the guitar with simplified chords. The basic Jimmy Reed type shuffle chords will be taught as well as the song Poor Boy, a very basic Bukka White piece.
Bottleneck Slide Guitar (intermediate/advanced)
Lightnin’ will explore tunes from the pre-war acoustic slide guitar masters (Robert Johnson,
Kokomo Arnold, Sylvester Weaver and Muddy Waters) in this class. Tunes will be in both
open G and D tunings. Students should be familiar with basic alternating bass patterns on
the guitar.
Mandolin (all levels)
The class will delve into pre-war blues and ragtime styles on the mandolin as performed by such artists as Yank Rachell, Memphis Jug Band and the Dallas String Band. The class may also attempt some of the easier ragtime instrumentals and a few from the Appalachian country/hillbilly repertoire which were influenced by the blues.

 

RAINER BRUNN, Country Blues Guitar
Rainer Brunn recorded a series of blues guitar tutorials on Happy Traum’s ‘Homespun’ label and has found a lot of recognition by thousands of followers on Facebook and YouTube.

Country Blues Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
In this class, Rainer will cover alternating and steady thumb picking accompaniment in standard tuning and open D. Songs will include Cocaine Blues (Gary Davis), Let ́s Get Drunk Again (Bo Carter), Why Don ́t You Mind Your Own Business (Hank Williams), You Got To Move (Fred McDowell), Stealin’ Stealin’ (Memphis Jug Band).
Country Blues Guitar (intermediate/advanced)
One class will focus on songs in Open D tuning without a bottleneck and will include That's No Way To Get Along (Rev. Robert Wilkins), Police Dog Blues (Blind Blake), Malted Milk (Robert Johnson), Cigarette Blues (Bo Carter), Since I Laid My Burden Down (Mississippi John Hurt). The other class will cover Songs in Standard Tuning such as Deep Elem Blues (traditional), You Can Never Tell (Blind Boy Fuller), See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Blind Lemon Jefferson), M&O Blues (Willie Brown), Six White Horses (Norman Blake).

TOM FELDMANN, Bottleneck Slide and Country Blues Guitar
Tom Feldmann taught himself to play guitar and has become a master of many styles in the
acoustic blues tradition.
Bottleneck Slide (intermediate/advanced)
Tom will be conducting 2 slide classes each day and both sessions will cover tone and technique.
Session one
will focus on the songs and styles of the rural Mississippi region.
Fans of Son House, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Bukka White, and Fred McDowell will want to attend.
Session two
will focus on the urban styles coming from Chicago, Atlanta and Texas.
Fans of Tampa Red, Blind Willie McTell, Oscar Buddy Woods, Barbecue Bob, and Blind Willie Johnson will want to attend.
Country Blues Guitar (intermediate/advanced)
Delta Blues, Piedmont, Rags and Gospel will all be covered in this session. The class will stay in one key per session. Looking at the varying ways players used the keys of E, A, G, C and D.

SONNY BLACK, Country Blues Guitar, Bottleneck Slide and Guitar Duets
Sonny Black performs a blend of roots music that includes fingerstyle blues, ragtime, old
time country and original compositions.
Country Blues Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
For beginners, Sonny will teach a simple version of Careless Love, playing the chords first then
the melody, then some fills. For the more intermediate player, he will teach St Louis Blues, some ragtime ideas and a great instrumental from Merle Travis. In his free time, Sonny will be available to sit one to one (not a group) to help with any specific problems anyone might have.
Bottleneck Slide Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
For this class, Sonny will teach the folk/blues song The Cuckoo and Charlie Patton’s These Days as well as licks, turnarounds and open tuning chords.
Guitar Duets (all levels)
Sonny Black and Michael Roach will focus on how you can put together guitar duets to get a full sound while still leaving space to hear both parts.

 

ABI BUDGEN, Country Blues Guitar
Abi is a passionate teacher and lifelong student of blues and gospel traditions, playing many styles and innovating with her own songwriting.
Country Blues Guitar (beginner/intermediate)

Abi's class will get students playing and singing straight away. Starting at the beginning, she'll help students to master the technique of playing a steady groove on the bass strings, and then add in rhythm, licks and melodies on the treble strings.

 

MICHAEL ROACH, Country Blues Guitar and Vocals
Michael is the Founder/Director of Blues Week. With 7 albums to his credit, he is firmly established in traditional blues music circles.
Blues Guitar Duets w/Sonny Black (all levels)

Michael and Sonny Black will focus on how you can put together guitar duets to get a full sound while still leaving space to hear both parts.
Blues Vocals (all levels)
Using a selection of songs as tools, students will be encouraged to sing and find their true voice by coveringthe importance of breathing and phrasing.

 

ADAM FRANKLIN, Bottleneck Slide Guitar and Mandolin
Adam Franklin is a superb exponent of blues and ragtime from a ‘golden age’ of American music. In addition to guitar, Adam will teach a mandolin class and students are encouraged to bring their mandolin along.
Bottleneck Slide Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
This class will take students through the basics of the slide guitar style: how to get a clean sound, chords, runs, bass lines etc. The class will look at different styles of slide, from the country blues of Barbecue Bob and Furry Lewis to the more ‘Uptown’ styles of Tampa Red.
Bo Carter’s Open Tunings (beginner/intermediate)

This class will be an introduction to Bo Carter’s songs in open tunings and will look at the tunings he used and learn as many songs as we can!
Blues Mandolin (all levels)

Adam’s mandolin class will be for everyone, from the experienced players to the curious beginner. From string bands to Chicago, the mandolin is great in a jam and a fresh addition to a duo or trio.

 

EDDIE MARTIN, Harmonica and Bottleneck Slide Guitar
With 16 acclaimed album/DVD releases, Eddie has been called “The Ambassador of British Blues” and in 2018, he won ‘Best Solo/Acoustic Artist’ in the European Blues Awards.
Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)

With guitar accompaniment, video and course books, the emphasis will be on lots of playing to get you skilled at basic techniques (e.g. single note playing, tone control, breathing, 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 and others. Throughout the week the emphasis is on "less talk / more play" to develop your playing tools, improvising and accompaniment skills.
Bottleneck Slide Guitar (beginner/intermediate)
Eddie’s class will start with the basics of slide choice and guitar set up. Accuracy on single string playing will be developed learning key tunes such as Amazing Grace, You Got To Move, and Come On In My Kitchen. The class will start learning separation of thumb/finger and look at key stylists (Blind Willie Johnson, Son House, Fred McDowell) in the common slide tunings (D and G). We will work through simple tabs and study videos to introduce you to the signature elements of their right and left hand techniques, picking patterns and percussive effects.

 

WILL WILDE, Harmonica
Will Wilde picked up his first harmonica at the age of 16 and played it until his lips bled. His live show has been described as “A masterclass of blues harp playing, bar none.” (Blues in the North West).
Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)

Will’s beginner class will focus on improving your core blues harmonica skills; tone, vibrato, bending, hand technique, tongue blocking, blues scale, and improvisation. We will break down songs by Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter and Sonny Terry and identify key licks that make each of them sound unique.
Blues Harmonica (intermediate/advanced)
This class will break down songs by the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter and Sonny Terry and identify key licks that make each of them sound unique. Additionally, the class will look at how to improvise in the style of each of these artists and use them as inspiration to make up our own solos.

 

DENNIS GRUENLING, Harmonica Dennis Gruenling, 3-time Blues Music Award winner and Alligator Recording artist, is one of the most respected blues harmonica performers and educators today.
Blues Harmonica (beginner/intermediate)

Dennis’ beginner class will cover all of the basics, but broken down in the way needed for the quickest growth and deepest understanding, laying the groundwork for years of development to higher levels of playing. Topics and techniques covered include single note embouchures (lipping and tongue-blocking), tone development, breath control, foundational scales, rhythmic technique & chording, establishing a groove, and getting the most out of your practice routine. Appropriate for beginners as well as intermediates who need a better understanding and better foundation.
Blues Harmonica (intermediate/advanced)

The intermediate/advanced classes will be covering all different aspects of not only how to build up your chops and repertoire, but also how to KEEP UP your chops and repertoire. Topics covered in Class 1 will include scales, Chicago Blues vocabulary for 2nd, 1st, and 3rd position (licks from Little Walter, Big Walter, George Smith and James Cotton), plus all the skills needed to be a better ensemble player within various group contexts, and to lead your own songs. Topics covered in Class 2 will include improvisational practice and approaches, the art of the solo, how to accompany better, thinking outside of the ‘blues box’, working with different grooves, and practicing like a pro.

Registration Fees 2024

On Campus: £765 and includes all classes, activities, 6 nights accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner

Advance registration is required and is on a first come first served basis. A deposit of £365 will reserve your place. Once you have made a payment, can you please send us an email with your details. We have an exclusive ‘Online Access’ page on our website and once we have been notified of your payment, you will be given the password to view the teaching resources we have on offer. The videos cover all of the classes from different teachers and all levels of ability. Also, we will be offering ‘free’ Zoom lessons to everyone who pay to attend this year. All lessons will be recorded and posted to the ‘Online Access’ page for future reference. The balance of payment is due by 1st July 2024. Any cancellations will be refunded (minus a £100 administration fee) if you withdraw before 1st July 2024. After the 1st of July, all payments are non-refundable. If you are sending us a cheque, please include your registration form along with your payment in British Sterling.

Off Campus: includes all classes and activities £400

Per Day Rate: includes all classes and activities £150

Please make payment to: Euroblues Promotions Limited, P.O. Box 1333 Cheltenham GL50 9AS

For bank transfers, our sort code is 20-20-15 and our account number is 60473928. Space is limited and it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

We will send confirmation of your deposit upon receipt of payment. On 1st July, we will be posting to all participants the complete details of your stay during the week. Fees include all classes and activities, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Accommodation consists of a private single en-suite room.

Our John Jackson Youth Scholarship Fund will provide 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.