Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Juke Joint Jam Academy -- Clarksdale, Mississippi

Whilst Adrian Kosky and Carla Maxwell have been in Clarksdale, Mississippi, they have been finishing up the revitalisation of The Holy Moly. As of this last week in January 2015, the construction work is nearly complete and the fun bit is about to begin!

Adrian and Carla have been collaborating with Mary Hilts, Blues Program & Development Manager at the Centrum Foundation, to create a related event to Clarksdale's Juke Joint Festival, bringing the first music event to The Holy Moly.  The Juke Joint Jam Academy will be held during Clarksdale's Juke Joint Festival week, April 9th, 10th, & 11th.
This three-day, fun, learning-adventure brings together portions of Adrian's musical journey with parts of Carla's past musical path, in a manner that makes sense for the Table Hill duo.  

Adrian has been playing all-things-with-strings, most of his life.  Adrian says that when he was 13, the hair on the back of his neck stood up, the first time he heard a Muddy Waters song. It was a real, raw, Mississippi Delta Blues sound, that captured Adrian's young heart & soul. Fast-forward 30+ years, and Adrian had an opportunity to learn more about playing the blues.

In 2006, Adrian attended a workshop at Centrum, whilst visiting his friend Robert Force in Port Townsend, Washington. There at Centrum, Adrian enjoyed hearing and learning from blues legends of the Mississippi Delta. The experience was profound for Adrian and helped him continue on with his music interests with an increased love for the blues of the Mississippi Delta. In 2015, nine years later, Adrian is now living in Mississippi as a permanent resident, encouraging others to do what he did and go down to the Delta. There's no devil at the cross roads of highways 49 & 61, Adrian found, but down in the Delta there is great opportunity to face your cross roads and move forward…ever so slowly….but, at least, there is live music every night of the week in his new home town!

In 2000, Carla had just earned her degree as a primary school teacher when she decided to pursue more music education with a mountain dulcimer.  Having only a cappella music, childhood piano lessons, and a high school clarinet in her music history, she attended a week-long dulcimer camp at the Swannanoa Gathering at the Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, where she learned more about the only string-instrument she had ever played.  At the end of her week of leisurely learning in morning and afternoon classes and having gained inspiration from musician/teachers jamming in the evenings, Carla participated in a student/teacher mountain dulcimer stage performance -- her first! -- with her teacher, Larry Conger.  In 2002, Carla wanted to help breathe life back into the former Memphis Dulcimer Festival (which was no longer being organised/held). She organised and hosted the "Memphis Dulcimer Gathering with Larry Conger," her first attempt at creating a workshop with a leisure-learning format.  For Carla, life has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, as she is living in Mississippi, happily married to an Aussie bloke, and together they are getting ready to host this first gathering -- the Juke Joint Jam Academy -- hoping that other people will want to do what she has done….combine learning with a whole lot of fun!

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