Eleventh Annual Workshop Experience 2020
June 09, 2020 - June 12, 2020
Hopson Plantation and Shack Up Inn - Clarksdale, MS
Workshops are open to the young and young at heart - adults welcome!
Announcing Our Interns For 2019
Musical Director - Bob Margolin
I’ll ramble through the piano, harmonica, and guitar workshops and impart the how’s and why’s of “playing well with others.” I’ll tell personal stories, more than history, about the Blues legends who are my friends — from Muddy and Pinetop to Stevie Ray to today’s Blues stars. I’ll meet, jam, and socialize with the workshoppers to help them find their own Blues and get what they want from the classes and our real Blues Club concert at the famous Ground Zero Club in Clarksdale.
It’s a thrill and honor for me to be teacher, collaborator, and friend with the workshoppers and their families. The Clarksdale Blues ghosts smile down on all of us.
Harmonica - Phil Wiggins
I will teach traditional Piedmont and Delta blues as well as some classic blues from folks like Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong as well as some swing standards.I will also teach some string band and jug band songs. I will teach by breaking the songs down phrase by phrase and encouraging people to use their ear and also to sing the songs in order to get the melodies down
We will also focus on playing rhythm and accompaniment. The classes will be customized to suit the ability levels of whoever shows up. And the main focus will be to have a good time and celebrate the blues.
Piano - Anthony Geraci
Pinetop Perkins piano playing has always meant a lot to me as a musician. He would often stay at my house and we’d play piano together-probably not even knowing how much I was watching his every move on the piano keys!. When playing Blues Piano you really need to understand what it means to be an ensemble player. Pinetop epitomized that group/ensemble type of playing as good as anyone ever has-and that can transcend to any instrument. That is something we will talk about and work on together at the workshop. Building a solo is also something we will also work on together. I have been thrilled to be nominated for The Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award by the Blues Foundation in 2016/2017/2018!
Guitar - Fiona Boyes
I am honored to join you all at the 2018 Pinetop Perkins Foundation Workshop. My musical journey began in Australia, deeply bedded in the country blues finger-picking style. Starting as a solo acoustic performer, it was not long before I took up electric guitar too. As a songwriter and musician, I appreciate the inspiration that comes from different instruments, sounds and textures, so it seems natural to play both. I made my first visit to the US in 2003, winning the solo/duo section of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Winning the IBC opened up some wonderful opportunities, enabling me to spend more time in America. Not only did I get to meet some of my blues heroes - including the legendary Pinetop Perkins - but also had the invaluable chance to play, listen and learn from them. Pinetop recorded a song with me on one of my albums, and we spent some time hanging out in Austin too. These moments, along with visiting and touring with Hubert Sumlin are some of my sweetest memories.
Over the years I’ve toured widely, performing at blues, jazz, and guitar festivals, clubs, and cultural centers in16 different countries. I’ve received 7 Blues Music Award nominations, across traditional, acoustic and contemporary categories, and recently won a Blues Blast Music Award for my latest album ‘Professin’ the Blues’.
A reviewer once described my music as a ‘blues road trip’ with influences from many traditional styles of blues; acoustic, electric, West Coast, Chicago, New Orleans, Delta, Mississippi Hills… Recently my albums have also showcased some interesting instruments such as National Reso-Lectric baritone and unique cigar-box guitars.
Previously, I’ve taught guitar and blues songwriting courses at Augusta Blues Week and Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch - and in my experience there’s something about getting an enthusiastic bunch of like-minded musicians together in the same place that creates a great energy. I’d like to explore some of my musical influences with workshop participants – including the hallmarks of different blue styles, incorporating double stops, bends, dissonance and dynamics – with the aim of extending ourselves musically and having fun.
Inspiration comes in many packages – let’s play the Blues!