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RIP Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor

My old pal and collaborator Vertamae Grosvenor has died. I didn’t keep in touch with her after our work on Nyam, but that was a great experience. It was a folk opera she had written about African-American foodways. She had performed it once before with her son-in-law, jazz singer/bassist Oscar Brown III, doing the music. […]

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Review of my book from Boston Blues Society

This is a review of the current (third) edition, but I never saw it until now. Very well written review that captures well what my book is all about: http://www.bostonblues.com/features.php?key=bookBluesTraveling

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I won!

A new music store in Southeast Portland, Saint Frank’s Music, held a Guitar Solo Contest yesterday, see the poster below. I entered. Not to try to win, but to expose the audience, judges, other musicians, everyone there, to an alternate style of guitar playing, to show them that there is more to the guitar than […]

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Now on Twitter

OK, I guess Twitter must be about obsolete, since I’m finally on it. (I usually am the very last person to adopt new technologies.) Follow my tweets @SCheseborough

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Furry Lewis in Hollywood movie

I had known for years that Furry Lewis, one of my musical heroes, had a part in W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings, a 1975 movie starring Burt Reynolds, but had never seen it, because it has not been released on DVD, so it’s not on Netflix or at video stores or anywhere. Well, now it […]

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Playing Little Hat Jones songs

OK, I guess I’m a late enrollee in the Little Hat Jones fan club. Been digging, playing and teaching “Kentucky Blues” and “Bye Bye Baby Blues” lately and thought I’d chime in about them on here. What beautiful, unusual and different-from-each-other songs those two are! In “Kentucky,” the singer is an expert at escaping from […]

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Dad, the Giants and the blues

My dad, Doug Cheseborough (1921-1997), was a Giants fan. He grew up in New York City and used to go see the Giants play when they were still based in that city. I don’t think he ever forgave them for moving to San Francisco, but he remained a fan. When I was a kid, Dad […]

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Blues and poker

As some of you know, I’m almost as avid about poker as I am about playing the blues. Is there any crossover between the skills required in each of those pursuits? Or, do bluesmen make good poker players? I’ve heard, in TV interviews, people claim that their professional backgrounds help them in poker. Everything from […]

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Mowing the lawn acoustically

I housesat for a friend for about a month this summer, and he had a grassy lawn and a push mower. (Grassy lawns are out of style in Portland, where the trend is to kill the grass and replace it with native, mostly edible, landscape, but my friend hasn’t quite got there yet. He does […]

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The Three Ps

Practice, play, perform. Those are pretty much the three ways to make music. And the words create different feelings in musicians or music students. “Practicing” sounds like drudgery, delayed gratification. Doing something dull now so that you can do the exciting stuff later. “Playing” sounds like fun, of course! Kids play all the time; grownups […]

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