This year, come July, you won't find me at Folketshouse. You won't find me in the Laundry Pit, or even at the Kugen. In '05 and '07, that's where I'd be, and since this is an odd year (aren't they all, though?), I'd originally planned to try and make Herrang happen. But this year, something has come up. Something wonderful.
This year, from July 12-17, I'll be teaching blues dance at the Augusta Heritage Center. Located in Elkins, WV, Augusta Heritage is home to a 5-week long music camp, each week offering a different theme. You can probably guess which week is blues. So what makes this so exciting? Partly, there's still the thrill of going to camp, in a way. Partly, there's the fact that everyone at that camp is there because they love blues music in the same way that I love dancing. And partly, there's a chance to be surrounded by some of the most talented blues musicians on the planet.
Not to brag, but here's a sample:
Fiona Boyes: About Fiona Boyes
She's the first Australian to win the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. She's also the first woman to win it.
Phil Wiggins: Wiggins's music
W.C. Handy Ward for Blues Entertainers of the Year and Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year
Saffire- the Uppity Blues Women: Saffire's Songs
Louisiana Red: Louisiana Red's Songs
He's played with some ok guys... like John Lee Hooker.
Courses offered during blues week include: Fiddle/Mandolin and Vocal Repertoire, Guitar, Harmonica, History of the Blues, Mandolin, Piano, Songwriting, Teen Band, and Vocals. Since my class is a mini-course at night, it doesn't conflict with any of these courses... guess where I'll be spending my day.
Aside from the obvious, there's something else here. There's opportunity. If we could get together this many blues musicians, and a bunch of blues dancers, in an environment where everyone's working and learning and generally hanging out... I feel like good things, great things, are bound to happen.
So, if you're interested in learning blues music and/or dance, and want to be part of something, but don't have the cash to fly to Sweden, think about dropping by West Virginia. Fiona and Iverson are doing it....
For more information: Augusta Heritage Blues Festival
See you on the dance floor,
Whether it's grand themes of life, or what I had for breakfast, here's where I'll tell you what I think.