Hornby Island Blues Workshop



2017 Workshop Descriptions


Community Connection:

Suzie Vinnick

Each year during Blues Week we invite a musician to become more intimate with our community by having them go into the Hornby School and play some music, talk about Blues and Roots ideas with the children, and generally have some fun. This Blues-In-the-School musician also becomes our island’s Blues-Week-Busker and Music-Jam Mentor who further liven up the charged atmosphere of Blues Week. This year we have invited Hornby favorite Suzie Vinnick back, as Suzie was one of the first Blues Workshop musicians who helped to shape this important community role.

Suzie’s career has seen triumph after triumph. She has won 10 Maple Blues Awards, 1 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Vocalist of the Year and is a 3X Juno Nominee. She was a finalist in Solo/Duo Category at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN; and in the past has won the CBC Saturday Night Blues Great Canadian Blues Award and the 2012 Sirius XM Canada Blues Artist of the Year. Suzie has toured nationally with Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café and the John McDermott Band, and performed for Canadian Peacekeepers in Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. She was also the voice of Tim Horton’s for 5 years. How cool is that?

Watch for her blues midweek busking shows at the Coop Porch and remember be generous!

Suzie also will have her own community showcase at Sea Breeze on the evening of May 11. Tickets are available in advance at Sea Breeze. She will also perform at our island Workshop concert stages where she will join our all-star instructors in both the Acoustic Concert and the Electric Dance show, and be part of our showcase Odyssey review.

Finally, if you want a great one-on-one teaching experience take advantage of Suzie’s private lessons in music or voice during Blues Week. For advance communication and arrangements — suzie@suzievinnick.com



Harpdog Brown - Blues Harp

Major
I will determine where my students all are in their harp skills in the first minutes of the first class and take them as they come. I want to help players reach more ‘vocabulary’, and strengthen their bends and smooth out their lack of imagination when it comes to speaking through the instrument. I am also willing to help with amplification, and mic technique as well, but most importantly is the need to understand our instrument before we plug in.

Tuesday Minor: Serious Bending in 1st position and Cross Harp
Level: Beginner to Advanced
In this class we will look into the three main positions of blues harp playing: Cross harp is what is known as the 2nd position, and is the most popular position in all blues/folk/and rock n roll; 1st position that is a little more difficult with its demands for strong use of deep draw bends at the low end of the harp. but is nevertheless very effective in being more interesting and less repetitive; and 3rd position that is used when playing minor harp, or when playing the Chromatic, and very interesting to use when the band is in a major tuning.

Wednesday Minor: Filling In The Holes
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Filling in the holes - what a harp player should do and not do when backing up a vocalist. Every harp player has to learn when to speak and when to keep a zipper on it. It's very important as an accompanist to know where to speak and what to say when you do. In this class we will learn the do's and don'ts so you won't be shunned the next time you ask to join musicians on stage.

Thursday Minor: Amplification, and Mic Technique
Level: Beginner to Advanced

This class I will show you how to set up your amp to get tone without feedback... and mic technique - choking the mic, or opening it up, and other tricks of the trade. 


Jack de Keyzer - Guitar

Major: Texas Flood - SRV
Level: Beginner to Advanced

Stevie Ray was undoubtedly the most influential blues guitarist of the past 30 years. In this major we will learn as many of the rocking tunes from Stevie’s landmark first album, Texas Flood as we can. Love Struck Baby, Pride and Joy, Rude Mood, Mary Had a Little Lamb. Learn tons of great licks and learn Stevie’s unique rhythm/lead approach. Tons of fun for all levels. Don’t forget to tune down to Eb!

Tuesday Minor: Rhythm, Riffs, and Reed-Jimmy Reed
Level: Beginner to Advanced

Jimmy Reed wrote more blues hits than anyone. We’ll learn the classic 2 guitar interplay of Jimmy’s most beloved tunes , Baby What You Want Me To Do (Peepin n Hidin) Big Boss Man , Bright Lights, Big City, Ain’t Got You. Learn some great turn arounds, riffs and rhythms!

Wednesday Minor: Robert Johnson Eh?
Level: Beginner to Advanced Electric Guitar

Learn Robert Johnson’s slide songs in open A (with capo) Walking Blues, Crossroad Blues, Terraplane Blues. Learn the classic riffs and technique to play like RJ! bring slide and capo (*Selling your soul optional) 

Thursday Minor: Howlin' For My Darlin'

We’ll learn 3 or 4 or 5 of the Wolf’s (And Hubert Sumlin’s) greatest riffs during this class. Killin’ Floor, Ain’t Superstitious, Smokestack Lightning, Spoonful, Red Rooster (bring a slide)


Paul Deslauriers - Guitar

Major: Blaze Your Blues!
Intermediate to Advanced. What is it about the playing of people like Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, Derek Trucks, Albert King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Peter Green, SRV and Gary Clark Jr. (to name only a few) that can give you goose bumps when you hear them? They’ve all mastered the art of playing from the heart and the gut, how to harness their feelings and transfer their muse to their muscles and turn it into a thing of beauty.  In this class, we’ll show you how to get out of your head and into the music by examining techniques that help you to get away from just running scales and familiar licks and get into telling a story with your playing. We’ll look at how to construct solos and rhythm patterns that carry emotional weight and take the listener on a journey. If B.B. could slay you with one note, imagine what he’d do with 100!! Soon you’ll be wrenching your neck till it screams for mercy and caressing it so gently that it begs for more!

Tuesday Minor: Bottle, Knives, and Steel.
Level Beginner to Advanced.
From Blind Willie and Robert Johnson to Bukka White, Elmore James and Duane Allmann, the mysteries and majesty of playing slide guitar in Open D tuning have seduced many a player. In this class, we’ll look at the grittier side of this tuning and how the old masters made it sound like sometimes there were two or three players going at once. We’ll look at how to slap and snap the strings with the right hand like on  Bukka on Aberdeen Mississippi Blues and examine how to chord and slide at the same time. Bring your slide weapon of choice!

Wednesday Minor: The Holy Trinity: Guitar, Bass and Drums
Level Beginner to Advanced.
In this very special class, we’ll look at why three heads are better than one as we bring together Paul DesLauriers, Lisa Rae Simons & Sam Harrisson’s afternoon classes for a fun afternoon of group playing! From the mighty power trios to bands that combine two and even three guitars with crack rhythm sections, we’ll examine what it means to play as a unit whether you’re three or even six players laying it down. We’ll talk about trio playing as opposed to playing in larger groups. We’ll go into what it means to play “tight” and how to build dynamics and support each other’s playing as well as go into the “push-and-pull” that made the magic happen for some of the greatest bands we all love.

Thursday Minor: The Fine Art of Jamming - all players and singers welcome!
Level Beginner to Advanced.
Once again we’re combining Paul DesLauriers, Lisa Rae Simons & Sam Harrisson’s afternoon classes to delve into what it means to be a successful jammer. Ever wonder how a group of people who’ve never played together get onstage and play like they’ve been doing it together all their lives? We’ll examine the dos and don’ts of getting together with other musicians and making music at the drop of a hat. We’ll be talking about things like calling songs, verbal and non-verbal communication, supporting the singer or soloist, staying out of each other’s register, leading the band, stage presence and the eternally important dynamics. We’ll discuss why respecting the groove and each other is oh-so-cool and fun. Everybody gets to play and/or sing. WARNING: this can become addictive!!!


Melisa Devost - Vocals

Major: Singing with Soul: Your Body Is Your Instrument
Experience Level: Beginner to Experienced
“The voice is the organ of the soul” – Longfellow

Singing is all about breath, as breath is the power source of the voice. In this class we will look at letting go of some of the holding patterns that impede the breath and explore a whole body approach to singing. We will look at ways that we can unstick the voice and access higher highs, lower lows and new colours and textures with ease. We will be playing with different styles of singing with a lean toward gospel blues and soul, working toward performing a collaborative song. There is room for both soloists and doo-woppers!

Tuesday Minor: Gospel Blues Sing Along!
Level Beginner to Advanced.
There is good science that supports the benefits of singing, especially in a group, and there’s no better way to get a group singing together than with gospel music. In this class we will be learning and singing gospel songs together.

Wednesday Minor: Vocal De-bunk and Care
Level Beginner to Advanced.
In this class, we will talk basic vocal anatomy and answer questions like “what does breath support actually mean?” and “why does my voice always break at that one spot?” We will also be trouble shooting some common vocal issues and offering some tips on vocal care, maintenance and healthy vocal practices.

Thursday Minor: Gospel Blues and Soul Harmony
Level Beginner to Advanced.
In this class we will break apart vocal arrangements of Gospel Quartet and Classic Soul songs, isolating the different harmony parts. We will look at the connections between Gospel and Soul and attempt to sing some of the arrangements.


Cécile Doo-Kingué - Guitar

Major: On A String
Level: Beginner to Advanced
The workshop aims at giving participants the necessary tools to truly feel at one with their guitar and express their creativity with as little impediment or inhibition as possible, and maximum control. Focus is on wellness, both spiritual and physical, to maximize the ability to unlock ideas and fluidity in playing through ear training, active listening, reinforced technique and drilling of common blues figures, progressions, and articulations.

Tuesday Minor: Beyond Words
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
This workshop aims at exploiting different vocal colors and building vocabulary by focusing on lifting instrumental lines. Participants will expand their vocabulary and broaden their riffing and soloing options through ear training, dynamics, and timbral exercises.

Wednesday Minor: Connect the Dots
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
This workshop focuses on the extra grease used to connect sections, whether passing chords, reharmonization, turnarounds or embellishments used to augment the dynamics of a tune or part, for both rhythm and lead playing. Intermediate

Thursday Minor: Testify!
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
This workshop focuses on 6/8 and 12/8 feels, as well as a few common gospel chord progressions and figures applied to a blues context.


JW-Jones - Guitar

Major: Less-Is-More Improv And Building Solo Intensity
Level: Beginner to Advanced -Recommended for All Soloing Instruments
Learn how to play great blues solos using very few notes and various rhythmic patterns over Shuffle, and Rock’n'Roll grooves.  We will discuss at least two different types of rhythm guitar approaches on the shuffle (Chicago and Texas), and compare the different rhythm and lead approaches on two classic slow blues styles (B.B. King vs Muddy Waters).  We'll be looking at rock'n'roll styles in the approach of Chuck Berry and Jimmie Vaughan. There will plenty of 'turnarounds' on these sessions, from Jimmy Rogers and Jimmy Reed to Freddy King.  Finally, we'll take it up a notch and work on how to take a solo from simple and sparse to powerful and intense. 

Tuesday minor: The King Of The Blues - B.B.  KING!
Level: Beginners to Advanced -Recommended for Electric Guitarists
We'll start with B's stinging 1950's style, moving into 1968's extremely influential 'Live at the Regal', and then into the King's more recent approach.
While our focus will be BB King, keep in mind that B.B. King has influenced the guitar playing of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimi Hendrix.

Wednesday minor: Blues & Pop
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Many swinging blues guitarists are influenced by horn players like Charlie Parker.  We'll look at some Parker lines and tunes that can be played over the 12-bar form, as well as intermediate sweep-picking and arpeggios.

Thursday minor: Lose the Pick
Level: Beginners to Advanced
Hubert Sumlin was fired by Howlin' Wolf for using a guitar pick, and wasn't welcome back until he stopped using it.  Other great blues guitarists like Albert King, John Lee Hooker, Lightning Hopkins, and modern guitar heroes like Jimmie Vaughan each have their own way of getting different tones out of the guitar with their hands.  It can be extremely expressive to pull the strings away from the guitar with intensity, or tone it down and play soft and slow.  Let's explore the subtleties of NOT using a pick, as well as how to go back and forth between using a pick and using your fingers.


Rick Fines - Guitar

Major: Beyond Inspiration: The Job of Songwriting
Student Level: Beginner to Advanced

We'll explore ways to flush out good ideas and turn them into finished songs. Bring your ideas, pencil, paper and a portable recorder (your phone will probably work). Let's have fun and leave you with more tools to work with. We'll write some songs together. We'll get some ideas for how to turn an idea into a song. We'll dig deep. Let's make this the starting point for a new inspiration to get those songs written!

Tuesday minor: Ain't Nobody's Dirty Business (Mississippi John Hurt)
We're going to spend the afternoon working on this one song. There are a couple unique phrasings that John used that we'll look at for those who can pretty much play that style. Also this is a good introduction to his style if you you're just heading down that road.

Wednesday minor: Rick's Slide Guitar (acoustic)
Basic to advanced, we'll be looking at slide guitar in standard and open tunings. If you need more slide guitar in your week, here's a good place to spend your afternoon.

Thursday minor: Beyond 3 Chords (but keep it the Blues)
We'll look at some classic blues that steps outside of the 3-chord, 12-bar... and we'll look at a few "outside" chords that fit well in a 3-chord, 12-bar. 

Things You Need To Know To Play The Acoustic Blues:
This is meant for players that are primarily electric players. Leave the electric behind, bring an acoustic with you and learn a few ways to approach the blues differently. 


Sam Harrisson - Drums

Major: And The Beat Goes On!
Student Level: Beginner to Advanced. What do drummers Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Art Blakey, Charlie Watts, and Bernard Purdie have in common? They all have amazing shuffles and an understanding of blues music and its roots. This makes me believe that if you can play and understand the blues, you can play any style of music. Our role as drummers is to provide a solid pulse, to play with great dynamics and inject a good dose of drama into a song. This also means listening attentively, supporting and having a musical conversation with our fellow musicians. In order to achieve these goals, we will focus on developing a steady groove, playing appropriate drum fills, and getting a great drum sound at all levels of dynamics through good technique.
Topics :
-Blues forms
-Blues drum grooves :
-Shuffles
-Slow Blues
-Funk
-Rock n Roll
-Train beats
-Drum fills in all styles of groove
-Dynamics on the instrument and within a song
-How to develop listening chops and respect the music and styles.
-Drum techniques (positioning, rudiments, exercices) to achieve our goals

Tuesday Minor: Hand in Glove with Lisa Rae Simons
Beginner to Advanced. When the bass and drums "lock in" to the groove, the world becomes a better place! These two players have been the backbone to countless world class performers for a combined 60 years plus.... Solid bass and drums create the perfect platter for the featured singers and instrumentalists to "have at 'er". The unsung heroes of any great band, usually in the background, can stand/sit proudly knowing that doing their jobs well often means being UNNOTICED! 

This dynamic class will demonstrate subtleties and power of what makes a groove sizzle underneath the rest of the band. Some elements to be discussed that significantly impact the music include:
- communication between bassist and drummer
- dynamics, the HUGE difference note length and lead hand choice makes
- why bass and drums need to play together as well as off each other 
- developing and increasing intensity throughout the song to give it life
- creating tension for optimal release 

Wednesday Minor: The Holy Trinity: Guitar, Bass and Drums
Level Beginner to Advanced.
In this very special class, we’ll look at why three heads are better than one as we bring together Paul DesLauriers, Lisa Rae Simons & Sam Harrisson’s afternoon classes for a fun afternoon of group playing! From the mighty power trios to bands that combine two and even three guitars with crack rhythm sections, we’ll examine what it means to play as a unit whether you’re three or even six players laying it down. We’ll talk about trio playing as opposed to playing in larger groups. We’ll go into what it means to play “tight” and how to build dynamics and support each other’s playing as well as go into the “push-and-pull” that made the magic happen for some of the greatest bands we all love.

Thursday Minor: The Fine Art of Jamming, all players and singers welcome!
Level Beginner to Advanced.
Once again we’re combining Paul DesLauriers, Lisa Rae Simons and Sam Harrisson’s afternoon classes to delve into what it means to be a successful jammer. Ever wonder how a group of people who’ve never played together get onstage and play like they’ve been doing it together all their lives? We’ll examine the dos and don’ts of getting together with other musicians and making music at the drop of a hat. We’ll be talking about things like calling songs, verbal and non-verbal communication, supporting the singer or soloist, staying out of each other’s register, leading the band, stage presence and the eternally important dynamics. We’ll discuss why respecting the groove and each other is oh-so-cool and fun. Everybody gets to play and/or sing. WARNING: this can become addictive!!!


Paul Pigat - Guitar

Major: Finger Picking!!
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
In this class we will explore the art of finger style guitar.   Topics such as "dead thumb”, alternating bass, counterpoint and variation will be discussed.  We will look at tunes from the Country Blues idiom as well as the beginnings of what is later to become the "Chet Atkins" style

Tuesday Minor: Rockabilly 101
Level: Beginner to Advanced

Get your hair grease out and roll up yer shirt sleeves!!    This class will look at the forerunners of Rock n Roll.   From Scotty Moore to Grady Martin, we will look at what they did to change the world.

Wednesday Minor: Ragtime Part 1
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Together we will explore some of the basic progressions that make up ragtime idiom - both strumming and fingerpicking ideas and techniques will be looked at.

Thursday Minor: Chickenpickin the Blues
Level: Beginner to Advanced

Let’s put a little country into your blues!!   We will look at doublestops, bends and other traditionally country techniques that can easily be added to your blues playing to give it a "southern" flavour!


Lisa Rae Simons - Bass Guitar

Major: Bass Power
1. BASS POWER: "Without a solid foundation, you'll have trouble creating anything of value". The power of the root note in any music is vastly under appreciated (no pun intended, or maybe so) Bassists have more power than anybody in the band, yes, even that freakishly awesome guitarist… You can make or break a song, a moment with a single note! As a bass player, we must use this power for GOOD, not EGO!
2. POWER IN NUMBERS: Know this simple system and be in command of any chord progression in any key.
3. ON THE GIG: "Heads up hockey!" We'll learn what to watch for and to speak and understand the lingo and terminology of the blues and music in general... Time is tight in those few moments before count in and instantaneous once we're in the song!
4. PENTATONICS: 2 "Scale Elixers" to create stellar bass lines from the ethers...
5. CHARTED TERRITORY: What to do if you get handed a chart at the gig/jam. It's actually pretty easy!
6. PATTERNS, PATT ERNS, PA TT ER NS: It's all about patterns! Ok, shapes too...
7. SUPERSTRONG STRUCTURE: A tight groove with the drummer is an impenetrable force of nature.
8. IT'S NOT YOU: ....But it is! How to make the soloist sound/feel like a superstar.
9. YOU'VE GOT STYLE, PROGRESS & YOU FEEL GOOD! A look at the most common blues styles, chord progressions, and song structures.

Tuesday Minor: Hand in Glove with Sam Harrisson
Beginner to Advanced. When the bass and drums "lock in" to the groove, the world becomes a better place! These two players have been the backbone to countless world class performers for a combined 60 years plus.... Solid bass and drums create the perfect platter for the featured singers and instrumentalists to "have at 'er". The unsung heroes of any great band, usually in the background, can stand/sit proudly knowing that doing their jobs well often means being UNNOTICED! 

This dynamic class will demonstrate subtleties and power of what makes a groove sizzle underneath the rest of the band. Some elements to be discussed that significantly impact the music include:
- communication between bassist and drummer
- dynamics, the HUGE difference note length and lead hand choice makes
- why bass and drums need to play together as well as off each other 
- developing and increasing intensity throughout the song to give it life
- creating tension for optimal release 

Wednesday Minor: The Holy Trinity: Guitar, Bass and Drums
Level Beginner to Advanced.
In this very special class, we’ll look at why three heads are better than one as we bring together Paul DesLauriers, Lisa Rae Simons & Sam Harrisson’s afternoon classes for a fun afternoon of group playing! From the mighty power trios to bands that combine two and even three guitars with crack rhythm sections, we’ll examine what it means to play as a unit whether you’re three or even six players laying it down. We’ll talk about trio playing as opposed to playing in larger groups. We’ll go into what it means to play “tight” and how to build dynamics and support each other’s playing as well as go into the “push-and-pull” that made the magic happen for some of the greatest bands we all love.

Thursday Minor: The Fine Art Of Jamming, all players and singers welcome!
Level Beginner to Advanced.
Once again we’re combining Paul DesLauriers, Lisa Rae Simons & Sam Harrisson’s afternoon classes to delve into what it means to be a successful jammer. Ever wonder how a group of people who’ve never played together get onstage and play like they’ve been doing it together all their lives? We’ll examine the dos and don’ts of getting together with other musicians and making music at the drop of a hat. We’ll be talking about things like calling songs, verbal and non-verbal communication, supporting the singer or soloist, staying out of each other’s register, leading the band, stage presence and the eternally important dynamics. We’ll discuss why respecting the groove and each other is oh-so-cool and fun. Everybody gets to play and/or sing. WARNING: this can become addictive!!! 


David Vest - Piano and Keyboard

Major: Blues Piano
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

This is a hands-on workshop. Everyone is welcome, but folks who can already play a bit will get the most out of it. Blues piano playing is fun, and boogie-woogie playing is over-the-top fun, so we'll spend time on both.

Apart from the basics, if you have some specific things you're hoping to learn, you'll get a chance to ask about them and we'll work on them for sure. Otherwise, I will just suggest different patterns for you to play, make sure everyone understands them, and then we'll just jam away.

We'll look at how to play solo and also how to play with others, which includes not only soloing but comping and playing fills and turnarounds.

In addition to your keyboard (and amp if needed), bring some headphones (cheap ones are fine). There may be times when you want to linger over something while the class is doing something else.

Tuesday Minor: The Pioneer Blues Rockers
Beginners to Advanced
We'll hear examples of the unique styles of Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnnie Johnson, Ray Charles and Little Richard, and see how they got some of their signature sounds.

Wednesday Minor: Unsung Heroes of Blues Piano
Beginners to Advanced
There have been many great blues piano players who labored in the shadow of other, better-known artists. One such example is Lafayette Leake, who worked in Chicago at a time when Otis Spann was much more famous. Others we'll look into include Cousin Joe Pleasant, Ivory Joe Hunter, Walter Roland, Bill Doggett and Ann Rabson.

Thursday Minor: Gulf Coast Piano Styles
Beginners to Advanced

A crash course in the stylings of Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Katie Webster, Marcia Ball, Allen Toussaint and others.


For more information:

Hornby Island Blues Society
3500 C Shingle Spit Rd
Hornby Island BC
Canada V0R 1Z0
Email:

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