Following last year’s resounding success, we again have blues workshops and tutorials taking place at the Festival, all kindly sponsored by Magnox from the company’s socio-economic scheme. Places are limited on these free workshops – so booking in advance is essential.
BEN HEWLETT – HARMONICA WORKSHOP
Ben has been a full-time music teacher since 1995 and has worked with many schools and Music Service Hubs in the area teaching harmonica. Three years ago he started writing video courses for www.playharmonica.co.uk and other sites, and now has 85 video courses and 24,000 students globally. Along with co-authored ‘how to play the harmonica’ books and an on-line harmonica store, Ben also plays in several bands.
For Wotton Blues Festival, Ben will be teaching an easy-to-learn 12-bar blues with all of its own shuffles and licks. Please bring your own harmonica (10 hole) or you can buy one on the day at the workshop.
UTEA Centre • Saturday 22 September • 10:30am start
PHIL HARRIS – ACOUSTIC GUITAR WORKSHOP
This is an acoustic blues picking workshop where Phil, a local guitarist, teacher and performer, will be taking you through a blues in E – how to maintain a groove but still throw in lead blues licks. All welcome, just need your acoustic guitar.
UTEA Centre • Saturday 22 September • 12:00pm start
MARK FAULKNER – KEYBOARD WORKSHOP
Blues playing Mark Faulkner brings a great wealth of knowledge when it comes to keyboards for the blues. Come along and learn from one of the best in Gloucestershire. In the last year, Mark has played gigs and festivals with his three bands. He has also produced a children’s musical. His love for the blues remains as keen as ever, and he has been listening in particular to some of the New Orleans piano greats.
UTEA Centre • Saturday 22 September • 1:30pm start
STEVE PAGE – BLUES SLIDE GUITAR WORKSHOP
Steve’s workshop was the most popular at last year’s Festival, and he’ll introduce you to the more traditional ways of playing the blues. The blues wouldn’t be the blues without slide guitar. Steve will introduce you to slide guitar techniques. that you can use however, whenever and in whatever songs you like!
We will start with tuning your guitar to “open G” and “open D” and basic chord shapes in open tuning. Then we’ll be ready for some slide guitar. On the way to learning some great guitar licks we will cover what finger to put your slide on, the difference between different types of slide, using vibrato to make notes and chords last longer, sliding into notes and damping.
Whatever your standard of playing you’ll go home with enough new ideas to put you on the road to being the next Robert Johnson without selling your soul to the devil. Bring along a guitar and slide.
UTEA Centre • Saturday 22 September • 3:00pm start
STEVE PAGE AND BEN HEWLETT – BLUES TUTORIAL
A tutorial session with Steve Page and Ben Hewlett, performing “the Story of the Blues”.
Steve Page and Ben Hewlett have teamed up to tell the story of the blues from its origins in Africa and Asia all the way through to 1950s Chicago via work songs, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly and some Vaudeville all performed on guitar, banjo, harmonica and Jew’s harp.
Along the way we’ll find out why the banjo was never played by bluesman, how useful the blues can be if you’re chopping down a tree and how you can get from a blade of grass to sounding like the whole damn railroad in three easy steps!
Steve Page is front man for Americana band the Open Secrets, Ben Hewlett is chair of the National Harmonica League. Both are running workshops (slide guitar and harmonica) at the festival and may be performing together as well.
UTEA Centre • Saturday 22 September • 4:15pm start
HOW TO BOOK YOUR WORKSHOP PLACE