Event Title

Legacy of the 1969 and 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festivals

Mentor 1

John Stropes

Location

Union 240

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:20 PM

Description

In 2011, the Finger-Style Guitar program at UWM began a research project which focused on the Avant Garde Coffeehouse, a Milwaukee music club which, from 1962-68, was the locus of the folk/blues revival in Southeast Wisconsin. James Barker, one of the co-owners, photographed the historic Ann Arbor Blues Festivals in 1969 and 1970. In 2012 we received negatives of 62 black and white photographs taken by James Barker at these festivals, and in 2017 we received a collection of 700 color slides. Together, these beautiful images represent a good portion of the leading electric blues guitar players of the time and many of the seminal acoustic blues guitar players who were still touring. In the past year, a remarkable cache of material has surfaced that provides new perspective for our research: Michael J. Lamb, an avid collector, has contributed audio recordings, programs, photos, and other ephemera of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. These materials have been digitized in the Conversion and Archiving Lab at UWM, and a narrative has been developed which brings together audio recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and the powerful, unreleased photographic images. A comparative analysis of the technique of the finger-style performers at the 1970 festival gives us an appreciation of the contribution that country blues has made to contemporary finger-style guitar. This research provides content for classes and studio lessons and material for further research and the continuing development of a unique component of the guitar program at UWM. It deepens our understanding of the development of electric blues guitar in Chicago and the significance of the proximity of the Avant Garde Coffeehouse in Milwaukee and the Ann Arbor Blues Festivals of 1969 and 1970.

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Apr 27th, 12:20 PM

Legacy of the 1969 and 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festivals

Union 240

In 2011, the Finger-Style Guitar program at UWM began a research project which focused on the Avant Garde Coffeehouse, a Milwaukee music club which, from 1962-68, was the locus of the folk/blues revival in Southeast Wisconsin. James Barker, one of the co-owners, photographed the historic Ann Arbor Blues Festivals in 1969 and 1970. In 2012 we received negatives of 62 black and white photographs taken by James Barker at these festivals, and in 2017 we received a collection of 700 color slides. Together, these beautiful images represent a good portion of the leading electric blues guitar players of the time and many of the seminal acoustic blues guitar players who were still touring. In the past year, a remarkable cache of material has surfaced that provides new perspective for our research: Michael J. Lamb, an avid collector, has contributed audio recordings, programs, photos, and other ephemera of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. These materials have been digitized in the Conversion and Archiving Lab at UWM, and a narrative has been developed which brings together audio recordings of the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and the powerful, unreleased photographic images. A comparative analysis of the technique of the finger-style performers at the 1970 festival gives us an appreciation of the contribution that country blues has made to contemporary finger-style guitar. This research provides content for classes and studio lessons and material for further research and the continuing development of a unique component of the guitar program at UWM. It deepens our understanding of the development of electric blues guitar in Chicago and the significance of the proximity of the Avant Garde Coffeehouse in Milwaukee and the Ann Arbor Blues Festivals of 1969 and 1970.