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Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Human Link to Our Legacy

After the blues got prayed in, many of us went into the parish hall at St. Paul’s to eat blue beans and rice, and hear Michael Birnbaum give a presentation on his unique friendship with Mance Lipscomb. Birnbaum had fallen in love with blues, the mother of all American music, and someone told him to listen to Mance. He ended up picking with him backstage at a concert Lipscomb gave in California. Just a kid, he made trips out to Navasota, Texas to play and learn from Lipscomb, who he described as a genuinely kind and decent human being. Eventually Birnbaum got it, and today is considered one of the most reliable music experts about Lipscomb’s style and techniques. He and his daughter will be playing at the opening of the Bluesfest Friday night, but more importantly, Birnbaum will be teaching those blues techniques at the Bluesfest Saturday morning. This is a rare opportunity for anyone that would like to learn from a master who learned from a master.

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