Early blues comes to life at Lakeland
Student Life - posted on 1/12/2006
Looking to get your foot stomping before lunch? Michael Lee Ammons and the Water Street Hot Shots will present a morning of hot old-time blues as they play and discuss the hard driving, kick-up-some-dust acoustic blues styles of the 1920's and 30's at Lakeland College.
The presentation, part of Lakeland's Lecture Series, is Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. in the college's Bradley Fine Arts Building. The performance/lecture is free and open to the public.
The Water Street Hot Shots specialize in performing the rousing styles of bluesmen Son House, Muddy Waters, Booker White and Robert Johnson. Their original and traditional string tickling also sets toes to tapping in the traditions of Willie McTell, Blind Boy Fuller and Memphis Jug Band.
This lecture will see more playing than talking as the group demonstrates and discusses the styles of early 20th Century (1920s and 30s) string band music - blues, jug bands, ragtime and pop - by performing representative musical pieces from each of these musical styles.
The band will highlight the similar and different instrumentation of these musical styles - parlor guitars, resonator guitars, mandolin, fiddle, banjo-mandolin, washboard, stringed bass and kazoo.
The Hot Shots will discuss the music that has influenced many of today's popular R&B, rock and country musicians. Don't be surprised if they perform some early blues songs in their more original style - popular songs that have been covered by more contemporary artists/bands like Eric Clapton, Cream and Led Zeppelin.
The group is made up of Michael Lee Ammons on the traditional blues guitar and harmonica, Rich Higdon, who is consider the hardest working percussionist in Door County, on the washboard, Jarrod "JR" Fenner on the string bass, Tim Dekker on the fiddle and Alan "Doc" Mock, Lakeland's own associate professor of sociology, on the mandolin, guitar and vocals.
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