October 7-11, 2020

Co-Sponsored by Cascade Blues Association

Join us for a 100% online event. (Due to the considerable risks of in-person gatherings we're playin' it safe this year.)

Jim Kweskin, Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, Kristina Olsen, Mary Flower

Immerse yourself in a long weekend of classes, conversations, and music-making with four world class blues players/teachers.

You'll be able to attend up to 12 classes via Zoom AND you will have access to the other 12 class recordings for a year! That's 24 classes! Each teacher will teach 6 different classes -check out the variety and the depth of experience of these instructors.

In the evenings we'll have "Jams"!

Q: "Wait, we can't play and hear each other like in-person. What do you mean 'jams'?"  

A: True. We can't play and hear each other but we can take turns and pass the songs around. Thursday night Mary, Jim, Sunpie and Kristina will pass some songs around. Friday night we'll open it up to participants taking turns. We'll list the songs and have some lead sheets so we all start from the same page.

Saturday night will be a staff concert followed by participant open mic.

We'll build in some ways to talk and interact with each other. (More on that coming soon.)

Q: "How much for all this?"

A: $300

Q: "Ooof, I can't swing $300."

A: Contact Lori@menucha.org

Cost to Attend

Register Now!
Full participation in the live Zoom classes $300

+ evening 'jams', concert, open mic

+ access to all recordings for a year!

Cancellation Policy:

If 90+ days out, canceling a registration results in a full refund minus a $50 handling fee.

If 46-90 days out, 65% refund.

If 30-45 days out, 50% refund.

If fewer than 30 days out, there is no refund available.

Payment Plan Option:

You may choose to divide the cost across several months, depending upon how far in advance you are registering. Options will automatically appear in the online registration process. The cost is only $5 per month.

Scholarships:

Thanks to the generosity of previous students, several partial scholarships will be available. If you would like to apply, send a short email to lori@menucha.org, asking for the scholarship application form. There's no need to go into your story in this email - that's what the form will be for.

Schedule

Zoom 1 -- “Wright Hall”

Pacific Time/Day

Zoom 2 -- “Greenhouse”

Wednesday, October 7

5-6 pm

Participant Tech Check & Zoom orientation
Welcome & Meet the teachers, Q& A with teachers

6-8 pm

Thursday, October 8

Mary Flower

9-10:15 am

Jim Kweskin
Bruce Sunpie Barnes

10:30-11:45 am

Kristina Olsen
Lunch hangout (no teaching, just hangout and talk)

12 –1 pm

Mary Flower

1:30-2:45 pm

Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Kristina Olsen

3:00-4:15 pm

Jim Kweskin
Staff Jam

6:30- 8 pm

Friday, October 9

Jim Kweskin

9-10:15 am

Kristina Olsen
Mary Flower

10:30-11:45 am

Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Lunch hang

12 –1 pm

Kristina Olsen

1:30-2:45 pm

Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Mary Flower

3:00-4:15 pm

Jim Kweskin
All-Camp Jam

6:30-8 pm

Saturday, October 10

Bruce Sunpie Barnes

9-10:15 am

Mary Flower
Jim Kweskin

10:45-12 pm

Kristina Olsen
Lunch hangout

12 –1 pm

Bruce Sunpie Barnes

1:30-2:45 pm

Mary Flower
Kristina Olsen

3:15-4:45 pm

JIm Kweskin
Staff Concert

5:30-6:30 pm

Class Descriptions

Bruce Sunpie Barnes 

Life Accordion to Sunpie, Introduction - We will discuss who and what is Sunpie and the difference between the genres of music know as zydeco and blues. How are these musical styles similar, yet not quite the same.

Zydeco vs Blues Shuffles - we will explore the examples of shuffles in zydeco and blues using songs like Tous les Temps son Temps in Eb and Key to the Highway in C.

Two-steps and One-steps  - what are the rhythmic bass patterns that help to create the Louisiana Two-step and One-step.

Creole Waltz - we learn to play accompanying parts for the Creole Waltz.

Harmonica Blues  - playing the blues with a harmonica player in mind. How to accompany songs such as Big Boss Man and Troubling Mind.

Playing Mambo rhythms - while accompanying accordion and harmonica.

 

Kristina Olsen 

Slide Guitar  - Come learn the seductive sound of the slide guitar! We'll focus mostly on blues and mostly on slide played in open tunings. Slide guitar is a great class to take when your left hand fingers are sore, no calluses needed! You don't need any previous experience playing slide, but you do need fundamental knowledge of the guitar.

More Advanced Slide Technique (continuing from previous slide class) - We’ll look at right hand muting in depth, and altered tunings.  For students who have already been playing slide guitar.

Guitar Soloing for people with no clue: (Level 2-4)  - Do you freeze up when someone says 'take it!'  Do you have no clue how to go from playing chords to playing single note leads?  Do you worry that your guitar playing friends will start to talk behind your back?  Come to this class and learn how to dazzle those same nay sayers with your new skills.  We'll start with building a solo out of just a few notes in a safe and un-terrifying way with just enough theory to have some comprehension but not too much to confuse.  

Groove, Grunt and Gimme (Level 3) - Hidden treasures stolen from jazz, funk, and soul to make your blues irresistibly sexy!  Dig a groove so deep you don't know how to climb out of it yourself!  Put some grunt behind your right hand to make your blues shout gimme gimme more!!  You should be competent at fingerpicking and know basic chord and some barre chords and be able to make chord changes in time for this class.  

Fretting Away Your Time or Practice Makes Perfect - Practicing techniques for your fretted instrument.  How to get the best workout in the limited amount of time you have to play.  We’ll do practicing together of scales, intervals and arpeggios, and investigate all aspects of a practice session, such as how to break down a difficult piece into manageable chunks and how to create a scheduling round robin to work though all the modules you want to touch on. 

Get to know Kristina Olsen  - Jokes and anecdotes from a life spent playing music all over the world.

 

Jim Kweskin

Three finger pickingI’ll break this down for  beginners and work my way though some of my tunes and arrangements.

Songs & Sources - I’ll take a song I do and start by playing about 30 seconds of the recording I learned it from. (Examples - Wreck Of The Tenn. Gravy Train by Uncle Dave, Eight More Miles To Louisville by Grandpa Jones and Merle Travis, Blues In The Bottle by Prince Albert Hunt and also The Holy Moly Rounders which is where I learned it. I then talk about why I chose to learn it, how I play it and how I arranged it to fit my picking.

Who is Jim Kweskin? Get to know Jim Kweskin whose career is quite the story.

 

 

Mary Flower

Mary Flower’s immense fingerstyle guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of the inventive, the dexterous and the mesmerizing. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story.

An internationally known and award-winning picker, singer/songwriter and teacher, the Midwest native relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene in in 2004. She continues to please crowds and critics at folk festivals, teaching seminars and concert stages domestically and abroad, including Merlefest, Kerrville, King Biscuit, Prairie Home Companion and the Vancouver Folk Festival, among many.

A finalist in 2000 and 2002 at the National Finger Picking Guitar Championship, a nominee in 2008, 2012 and 2016 for a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award, and many times a Cascade Blues Assn. Muddy Award winner, Flower embodies a luscious and lusty mix of rootsy, acoustic-blues guitar and vocal styles that span a number of idioms – from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with stops in ragtime, swing, folk and hot jazz.

Flower’s 11 recordings, including her four for Memphis’ famed Yellow Dog Records — Bywater Dance, Instrumental Breakdown, Bridges and Misery Loves Company — show a deep command of and love for folk and blues string music. For Flower, it’s never about re-creation. Her dedication to the art form is a vital contribution to America’s music.

"Flower is a renowned guitar instructor, teaching at music camps and festivals, offering lessons via Skype, and frequently crafting articles and tips as a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar. But she cannot be narrowly defined. Livin’ with the Blues Again showcases her talents as a complete artist, deeply versed in an array of vernacular styles for which she demonstrates an abiding love that underlies her quietly jaw-dropping technique. She may not sing with the soulful grit and urgency of Rory Block, Maria Muldaur, or Bonnie Raitt, but her stylistic range is broader, approaching that of David Bromberg or Ry Cooder. What fun for those who don’t know her music to discover her here."  —Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Jim Kweskin

In the 1960s Jim Kweskin led the groundbreaking Jug Band, admired and imitated by everyone from folk and blues musicians to rockers like the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Grateful Dead. They had Janis Joplin (with Big Brother & The Holding Company) and Linda Ronstadt (with The Stone Ponys) as opening acts. Bob Dylan co-billed with Kweskin in Greenwich village.

Kweskin's band played blues and ragtime, good time jazz and novelties, reaching back to the roots of American music: field recordings from the Library of Congress and the rural artists reissued in the 1950s on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Kweskin played alongside masters like Mississippi John Hurt, Sippie Wallace, Maybelle Carter, and Clayton McMichen, artists who grew up in times and places where this music was an integral part of their communities.

Since this auspicious start, Kweskin continues to break ground with his incredible guitar work and vocals, while keeping American music traditions vibrant. He has toured and recorded with long-time friends and collaborators (among them, Jug Band co-founders Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur, and Bill Keith) as well as newer faces in the folk world (Samoa Wilson, Meredith Axelrod, Juli Crockett).

As Kweskin says,“We are the elders now, whether we want to be or not. And we like a lot of different styles, and play a lot of different things, but we feel like we have a duty to introduce younger people to this music, to keep the tradition alive.”

"The rock historian Ed Ward went so far as to place the Kweskin Band alongside the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Byrds as that period's most influential groups."
  Alex Ward, The New York Times

"Kweskin virtually single-handedly created what was a significant musical genre in the USA in the early 1960s...”   Iain Patience, Elmore Magazine

Fun fact: In the 1970s, Kweskin recorded some vocals for the popular children's TV show Sesame Street, most notably, "Ladybugs' Picnic."

Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes

Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes was born and raised in Gravel Hill, Arkansas, and moved to Louisiana in 1987 to work in the Jean Lafitte National Park’s Barataria Preserve. Since 1999, he has been an interpretive park ranger and archivist for the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.

Barnes plays accordion, harmonica, piano, rub board, talking drum and more. Combining a love of Delta blues, zydeco, and West African music, he founded Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots in 1991 to create music inspired by Afro-Louisiana and his travels playing music around the world. They’ve put out six albums and played in more than 30 countries, from Europe to Africa to Central America. Once the National Park Service was nice enough to grant him a two-month sabbatical so he could accompany Paul Simon and Sting on tour.

In 2010, after participating in the culture of music and parading in New Orleans for many years, he began working on documentary photography projects. He is currently working on an album that is a culmination of the past two decades of his musical journey, as well as a book on music education with traditional jazz musicians in New Orleans, in partnership with the Neighborhood Story Project.

“Bruce is without doubt the best-known zydeco bandleader who calls New Orleans home.” — Scott Aiges, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation

Fun fact: After college, had a brief career in professional football with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

Kristina Olsen

Kristina Olsen is a powerfully engaging multi-instrumentalist with a blues raw velvet voice, brilliant guitar skills (on acoustic and steel-body slide guitar) and a fine way of crafting a song, from hilarious tales of love-gone-wrong to seriously compelling songs of rare insight and compassion.

Raised in the musically fertile San Francisco of the 1960s, where she was exposed to blues, psychedelic rock, folk, and a variety of other styles, Olsen is as comfortable with a self-penned acoustic ballad as she is with a gritty, classic blues tune by Robert Johnson. Olsen plays guitar and piano, but also plays 13 other instruments, most of which can be heard on her various recordings, which feature well-known traditional songs and blues as well as her own compositions.

"To begin with the songs, they are those wonderful gems of song writing which don’t rely on any particular genre for their beginnings. Olsen builds melodies, not styles. She can wind them into unpredictable combinations which then become lovely melodies or she can deliver them in straight lines which become jazz- or blues-oriented pieces. Her guitar stylings are wide, ranging from delicate, complicated runs to aggressive direct blues runs. She’s a sharp guitarist, able to provide herself with both the rhythm and lead pieces she needs to give her songs solid solo support. As a storyteller, Olsen is similarly wonderful, mixing earthy observations about herself and those around with the occasional comment about society’s various shortcomings. Most of all, though, Olsen is funny, noting those things which innocently point out where she and all of us provide material for comic relief. She’s talented, funny, and observant, and consequently she becomes the witty friend who shares her life with you, not preaching to you or insisting on our praise to maintain the friendship."  Roots & Reel

"Olsen is an eclectic artist worthy of much more acclaim."  Los Angeles Times

Fun fact: Won the New Folk contest at the Kerrville [Texas] Folk Festival in 1985.