I lucked into a workshop and house concert that Roy Book Binder is doing in Durham this weekend. Both are full and were originally closed when I first heard about them. There was a cancellation, so it looks like I'm good to go.
What little I know about playing country blues, I've mostly learned from Roy's Homespun DVDs. I ordered a CD from him a while back and he had my email address from that transaction, so contacted me about the workshop because it was nearby.
Is anyone else from this group going to be there? Roy's teaching style is great on the DVDs and I'm confident it'll be an enjoyable and helpful workshop. And the concert after should also be a lot of fun.
I'll update people here after the events.
Well, the workshop was great. Roy's an amazing player and has lots of great stories about the time he has spent with blues legends. His approach is that playing the blues involves a number of tricks that add interest and complexity. These include knowing a handful of different chords but being able to play them in multiple neck positions. He also emphasized some licks, runs, and turn-arounds that can be played in multiple positions and thus have a lot of utility. He's also just a lot of fun to interact with.
Alas, I can't say anything about the house concert. I got lost a bunch of times trying to find the address right in the midst of downtown Durham. It was dark, I was getting grouchy, and I decided a quiet evening at home with my wife was looking better and better. When I got to within a block or so (as best as I could tell) I hoofed it around a bit trying to find the building the host and hostess lived in but it was impossible to see any building names, so I just bagged it and headed back home. I'd sat about 6 feet away from Roy for over two hours hearing him play and explain his playing. I also picked up several of his CDs. So, I felt that I'd gotten ample exposure to his exceptional talent. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the concert but at that point, frustration won out.
I assume that many or most of you are familiar with his music. He does East Coast ragtime/blues, largely in the instrumental style of Rev. Gary Davis (Roy took lessons from Davis and was his driver in the 1960s). If you haven't checked him out and you have any interest in that style of music, you owe it to yourself to give him a listen.