Travelled to Dallas to visit daughter Megan and her husband Brad for the July 4th weekend and since my other daughter, Erica and her husband Danny were also there and son John was with us, it presented one of those rare moments when all our immediate family were in one spot. Really nice when that happens.
What was also nice is that Brad has taken enough interest in the guitar to begin taking lessons and is progressing quickly. In between hanging a ceiling fan and running errands, we spent a bit of time hanging around with guitars being plucked by Brad and Danny (who picked up playing tips from his ex-college roomies) and they tweaked son John's enthusiasm by getting him to work through some chords. Brad even treated us to a trip to Guitar Center's Stratothon sale and to a vintage furniture store that had quite a collection of vintage microphones.
The highlight of the evening, and the reason I was asked to pack my harmonicas along, was the arrival of Brad's teacher and Megan's boss, John Sanger and his wife Vicki. After a bit of dinner and a little chit-chat, John pulled out a Baden acoustic guitar which is produced by T.J. Baden, who while an executive with Taylor guitars got the itch to put his own spin on things. John explained that Baden got French luthiers together with a Vietnamese manufacturer to produce a might fine sounding product--in John's hands anyway. He was as good as Brad had told me he was and had quite an infinity for the blues.
John effortlessly went from picking a generic shuffle to spot-on Blind Blake Piedmont finger picking blues and rags to exquisite Robert Johnson. When he slipped a bottle-neck slide on his finger, he did amazing job on Johnson's Come On In My Kitchen and proved that he can sing also. I tried my best to work something in and around his picking with my harp, but I'd have really rathered just sat and listen to his intricate techniques. Brad added what he could during the proceedings and at one point he swapped his Martin with John's Baden. Of course, the Martin went through a transfiguration in John's hands. I could have listened to his playing all night, but they had to go too soon. He and Vicki had attended a ukulele society function prior to coming over (seems that if it has strings, then John's all in) and were tiring. It was a blast and I'm looking forward to our paths crossing again.
We didn't spend a great amount of time visiting, but with the time that we did have I learned that John also has an interest in playing the harmonica. He attended one of Jon Gindick's harmonica jam camps that featured artists such as Dennis Gruenling, Richard Sleigh, Brian Purdy and others. Matter of fact, he has one of Brian Purdy's made-for-harp amplifiers. So, John knew a bit about my instrument also and all I've got to say is that Megan's got a cool boss and Brad has a most excellent guitar instrutor. Anyway--