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Updates

Summer (#2) 2014

My band, Southeast Expressway, has a big show on the north shore next Wednesday, July 30th as part of the Swampscott By The Sea Summer Concert Series. We will be playing on the Swampscott Town Green in front of Town Hall, located at 22 Monument Ave., in Swampscott, MA 01907. We will be playing from 6 until 8 pm, and we hope you can join us! The rain location is the First Church, located at 40 Monument Ave. in Swampscott, and you can get more info by visiting www.swampscottconcerts.com

Because of this concert, there will be no teacher-directed jams in Cambridge next Wednesday, but I am going to be offering an additional jam next week only on Thursday starting at 8:30 pm. And of course there will still be the weekly slow jam on Monday provided enough folks are available. Also this week I am announcing four upcoming classes in Lexington and Harvard Sq. (see below for details).

And for those of you who are planning on joining us on Sunday, August 3rd at State Park in Kendall Sq. in Cambridge, we have added another band to the line-up: Men in the Kitchen will be starting at 8 pm, followed by High Strung Reunion at 8:30, followed by us (Southeast Expressway) from roughly 9 until 11:30 pm. Please see below for details about this show, and of course if you have any questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

NEXT WEEK'S JAM SESSIONS


Here is a listing of next week's jams, and more details can be found at the bottom of this e-mail, and on-line at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/jam_sessions/:

NEW! Mondays at 7 pm - Level 2 - "First 4 Songs Slow" Jam Session
- every Monday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy and Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 65 cpm (slow)

Please note: there will be no jams next Wednesday. Please come see us in Swampscott, and join us for the jams on Thursday.

Thursdays at 7 pm - Level 3 - "First 4 Songs Medium" Jam Session
- every Thursday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy, Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 70 cpm (slow)

NEXT Thursday at 8:30 pm - Level 5 - "Songs 5-10 Fast" Jam Session
- next Thursday ONLY from 8:30 - 10 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Billy in the Lowground, Fireball Mail, Whiskey Before Breakfast,
Wayfaring Stranger, Blackberry Blossom and Gold Rush
- average tempos starting at roughly 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Space is limited in the jam sessions; see below for further details, and e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com if you're interested in joining us or have any questions whatsoever.

UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway in Swampscott NEXT Wednesday, July 30th -- Southeast Expressway has a big show on the north shore next Wednesday, July 30th as part of the Swampscott By The Sea Summer Concert Series. We will be playing on the Swampscott Town Green in front of Town Hall, located at 22 Monument Ave., in Swampscott, MA 01907. We will be playing from 6 until 8 pm, and we hope you can join us! The rain location is the First Church, located at 40 Monument Ave. in Swampscott, and you can get more info by visiting www.swampscottconcerts.com

Southeast Expressway at State Park (near Kendall Sq.) on Sunday, August 3rd -- Southeast Expressway is excited to be returning to play the Sunday night bluegrass show at State Park near Kendall Sq. in Cambridge on Sunday, August 3rd. UPDATE: We will be joined by two bands formed during our recent band classes: Men in the Kitchen (starting at 8 pm) and High Strung Reunion (starting at 8:30 pm). We (Southeast Expressway) will go on around 9 pm, and play until 11:30 pm.

For those who haven't heard of State Park yet, it's a new "dive bar" and kitchen opened by the team at Hungry Mother (the only three-time winner of the Boston Globe's Munch Madness people's choice award for best restaurant in Boston). Hungry Mother has always offered a lower-priced version of their amazing "French-influenced Southern food" on their late-night bar menu, but now they've opened up a whole bar/restaurant expanding on this idea. We played the inaugural bluegrass night at State Park, and we're thrilled to be returning to one of the newest, hippest, and already best restaurants in Boston! We really hope you can join us for some fine food, adult beverages and bluegrass music. State Park is located below The Friendly Toast in Kendall Sq. in Cambridge, and you can find more details at http://statepark.is/

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

The Bluegrass University will be offering classes at both Pemi Valley in NH, and Podunk in CT. These are two of the best festivals in New England, and are coming up the first and second weekends of August respectively. I will send out further details of The Bluegrass University next week, but in the mean time if you're interested, please check us out on-line:

http://thebluegrassuniversity.com/pemi_valley/

http://thebluegrassuniversity.com/podunk/

UPCOMING CLASSES

(1) Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead at Passim School of Music -- Starting on Thursday, September 11th I will be teaching a six-session mandolin course at Club Passim's School of Music in Harvard Square. The Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead class will meet from 6:30 until 7:45 pm from September 11th through October 23rd with no class on Thursday, October 2nd. The cost is $120 for Passim members ($140 for non-members), and further details can be found athttp://www.passim.org/school/beginning-bluegrass-mandolin-rhythm-lead-tony-watt

The Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead class is intended for those who are new to playing bluegrass mandolin, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this class we will learn the basics of bluegrass mandolin, both rhythm and lead. We'll begin with a discussion of right-hand technique, and then quickly get into playing lead and rhythm on the mandolin, as we learn to play both instrumental and vocal tunes common in the tradition. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), how to play fiddle tunes and take breaks on vocal tunes, and get an introduction to improvisation. The primary goal is to provide you with the skills needed to play solid bluegrass mandolin and participate in bluegrass jams. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don't need to be able to read music. Students should bring a playable mandolin and a pick. Handouts and corresponding mp3's will be provided and while students are welcome to bring a recording device, it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes.

(2) Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar at Passim School of Music -- Starting on Thursday, September 11th I will be teaching a six-session guitar course at Club Passim's School of Music in Harvard Square. The Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar class will meet from 8 until 9:15 pm from September 11th through October 23rd with no class on Thursday, October 2nd. The cost is $120 for Passim members ($140 for non-members), and further details can be found athttp://www.passim.org/school/beginning-bluegrass-mandolin-rhythm-lead-tony-watt

This class is intended for those who are new to playing lead bluegrass guitar, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), how to play fiddle tunes and take breaks on vocal tunes (including carter style, crosspicking, and single-string soloing), and get an introduction to improvisation. The primary goal is to provide you with the skills needed to play lead bluegrass guitar and participate in bluegrass jams. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don't need to be able to read music. Students should bring a playable acoustic guitar (ideally with steel strings) and a pick. Handouts and corresponding mp3's will be provided and while students are welcome to bring a recording device, it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes.

(3) Beginning Lead Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin at Lexington Community Education -- Starting on Tuesday, September 23rd, I will be teaching a one-hour, four-session course for both guitar and mandolin at Lexington Community Education held in the Lexington High School. The Beginning Lead Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin class will meet from 6:30 until 7:30 pm on September 23rd, October 14th and 28th, and November 25th (with a make-up date of December 9th if necessary). I believe the cost is only $40 ($30 for seniors), and further details can be found at http://www.lexingtoncommunityed.org/

The Beginning Lead Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin class is intended for those who are new to playing lead bluegrass guitar and/or mandolin, or those who have been frustrated trying to learn to play lead before. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), and we will focus on learning the classic fiddle tune Old Joe Clark as means to introduce a variety of lead soloing techniques. The primary goal is to provide you with the skills needed to play lead bluegrass guitar and mandolin and participate in bluegrass jams. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don't need to be able to read music. Students should bring a playable mandolin or acoustic guitar (ideally with steel strings) and a pick. Handouts and corresponding mp3's will be provided and while students are welcome to bring a recording device, it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes.

(4) Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) at Lexington Community Education -- Starting on Tuesday, September 23rd, I will be teaching a two-hour, four-session bluegrass jamming course at Lexington Community Education held in the Lexington High School. The Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) class will meet from 7:30 until 9:30 pm on September 23rd, October 14th and 28th, and November 25th (with a make-up date of December 9th if necessary). The cost is $75 ($60 for seniors), and further details can be found at http://www.lexingtoncommunityed.org/

The Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) class is open to all bluegrass instruments: banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass and Dobro a.k.a. resophonic guitar, and is geared towards beginner and intermediate musicians who are interested in learning how to play with other musicians. We will focus on the basics of bluegrass jamming such as keeping time, non-verbal communication and jam etiquette. The primary goal is to provide the students with the skills and experience needed to participate in bluegrass jams. There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to play leads on your instrument, sing, or read music. Students should be able to play melodies and/or backup parts (i.e. guitarists should be able to switch between chords comfortably). Students are welcome to bring a recording device, however it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes. Limited to 10 students.

FALL CLASS VOTING

There has been a lot of interest in new classes lately, especially in a Harmony Singing class and another Bluegrass Band class. This fall I hope to offer a variety of classes and jams starting as early as early- to mid-September. Below is a list of potential classes I could offer (and some course descriptions can be found at http://tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/):

1. Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class
2. Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing
3. Bluegrass Mandolin: Beyond the Basics
4. Beginner/Intermediate Lead Guitar & Mandolin (joint class)
5. Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar: Basics and Beyond*

Classes usually (but not always) cost $135 for BBU members, $145 for non-members, and often include a corresponding book and companion CD. Also, please remember that I offer substantial discounts for students who are interested in retaking classes they have taken before, or classes covering similar material. *Enrollment in courses marked with an asterisk includes a year-long BBU membership (a $15 value for only $10), therefore you should not sign up for BBU membership prior to enrolling in classes.

Please let me know if you're interested in any of these classes, and if so, which day(s)/time(s) would potentially work best for you. Please note that your reply does not constitute a commitment on your part to attend a particular class, but instead is just a way to increase the chances that you might be able to attend a class that you're interested in. If you don't see a class listed that you'd be interested in taking, or if you have any other questions, please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com.

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Thanks so much!