I’ve been at music camp all week in beautiful Pt. Townsend Washington and reentry is proving to be rough. After a week of making music and visiting friends we’ve returned to sweltering temperatures and gasp, work! I’m not sure which one is worse.
Music camp focused on the blues and while guitarists (male) outnumbered others by a probable 4 to 1 ratio there was still plenty to do. I had five intense days of vocals and songwriting and picked up the washboard as a percussive instrument. Vocals included in-depth sessions with Maria Muldaur whom some of you may remember from the 70’s and 80’s and who has a remarkable blues voice. Joining other volunteers, I sang to the class on each of three days, getting feedback from Maria as well. That was scary! But I did open my eyes while I sung which is a great improvement as to how I usually approach this kind of thing. The only way to overcome insecurity and fear is to keep doing what I’m afraid of I guess.
I also dabbled in gospel with the inimitable Ethel Caffie-Austin and Delnora Roberts. Ethel is West Virginia’s First Lady of Gospel. I am not a particularly religious person and certainly no church-goer but this music was fun to sing and Delnora’s warm ups helped extend my range and breath control
My class in songwriting gave me some new tools and a very, very sad blues number that I am still working on. Washboard Chaz Leary was a patient teacher in getting a dozen or so of us tapping and scraping rhythmically (tunefully?) on washboards!
Music was all around including jam sessions, incredible blues musicians, and of course, dancing.
The weather was perfect, if a bit maritime cool, and the company was fabulous.
We did a fair amount of free-writing in the songwriting class which for me formed itself into poetry, not necessarily song. This, however, could turn into a song:
leave you mind open, let the sounds come in
leave your breath open, let the smells come in
hot cedar, your body, warm bed, no regret.
leave your hands open, let the heart come in
leave your heart open, let the love come in
warm breath, sweet sighs, your soul’s satisfied.
let your ears open, let the tune come in
leave your mouth open, let the words come in
warm lips, sharp teeth, soft tongue, too sweet.
leave your mind open.
I nearly missed Hat Attack (www.stylecrone.com) due to being away and all. But here I am in my Monday finest.
Not a hat, but had to throw in a pix of my new shoes. I think I am finally done with shoe shopping as this and another pair I bought should serve for my trip.
I had intended to add to my hat wardrobe with a stop at the Wandering Wardrobe in Pt. Townsend. (http://wanderingwardrobe.com/). Alas, though the selection was fabulous, most of the hats were just a little too dear cost-wise for me at the moment. My week’s wardrobe, wandering from Portland to Pt. T was a hit and I received several complements on my layered approach to looking good.
I’m still learning the ins and outs of blogging and photo sessions. Please feel free to drop me a line about my posts, whether you love them, are lukewarm, and of course, how to make them better.