DJ set notes | The Joker, May 15 2019

Katie Bradley & Dave Ferra | Photo by andrewjohnsimpson.com

I’m always happy to play at the weekly blues social at The Joker, Islington, especially when there’s a chance to play alongside great musicians like Katie and Dave.

I don’t plan my set in advance, though I do have a think about the kind of style I’d like to play.

I’ve heard Katie sing many times and she also plays harmonica, so I knew I wanted to play a warm up set that included classic Chicago blues featuring harp, plus other songs with female vocals and a duet.

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A scrapbook of blues

Blues is, and always has been, music about the tapestry of life.

I feel lucky to have such a rich stream of inspiration that brings me much enjoyment, as a reader, writer and a listener, as well as a DJ and a dancer.

Being part of a wider community of blues musicians and dancers makes my life considerably more interesting, and I feel lucky to get to travel to different places to play beautiful music for people to dance to.

One of the things I love most is that feeling of complete immersion that I get from blues music and dance. DJing and dancing allow me to be in the here and now; it almost feels like a meditation practice for me at times.

My Blues Journal

I write long-hand most mornings and I have a special journal that I take away with me to blues weekends. This morning I was looking back through that journal, plus another one that I took with me to MezzJelly Blues in New York this summer.

I was inspired to begin a blues scrapbook this year, to collect writings and music notes, tickets, passes, postcards, photos and other memorabilia. I feel quite excited to do that. I’ve already decided that I need to buy a new hardback journal, especially for that purpose.

That idea, in turn, has inspired this post today.

I was going to write a different post, but this idea found its way into my imagination and I had to give in.

Memories of 2017

I would like to offer you a window into my world through a scrapbook of notes, photos and people who’ve inspired me in my blues world this year.

Here we go:

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