A Good Report from Blues Camp

Holly Berry and Her Ruby Red

I spent last week at a music workshop that I call “Blues Camp”  (check it out here:  http://centrum.org/port-townsend-acoustic-blues-festival-workshop/)  My “first annual” visit was in 2001, so this year was my 15th!  I’ve learned that if I want motivation to do something creative, I need to do it in a community, and BOY is this a great community of musicians!

For many of those years I’ve been taking Zydeco accordion from my guru, Sunpie Barnes (he toured with Paul Simon in 2014 and 2015!) and every year I’ve gotten a little bit better.  But remember my Oompah Band?  I’ve been motivated to practice and I’ve gained a tremendous amount of facility with my instrument.  I couldn’t wait to see if it helped me with Zydeco music.

At the first class, Sunpie greeted us warmly and started the class; when it was my turn to play solo, you should’ve seen the look on his face!  Kinda like, “DAMN, girl!”  After class he asked me, “What happened?  What have you been doing?”  I told him about my new band and how I’ve been picking up that (heavy) accordion 2 or 3 times a day.  “Well, you’ve made a QUANTUM LEAP in your playing ability.”  Yippee!

This is just one more reminder that my new way of living — making and keeping good habits, one day at a time — is working!


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