woensdag 30 november 2022

 Last year I taught a series of lessons on the blues

When I showed the class a recording of Robert Johnson, a student exclaimed that he was going to put his hands over his ears because he couldn't stand this kind of music.😎
"I don't know why," he said, "But this kind of music makes me feel really miserable..."😥
But he had to participate in the lesson. The kids had to write (and perform) a blues, he did a good job, though👍 and I wrote a song about this student's reaction; a reaction that I found very pure.
Mario and I played that song at the shopping centre in Amsterdam.

woensdag 26 oktober 2022

New permit to play with an amplifier in Amsterdam

 I have good news!

😄 The municipality of Amsterdam has extended my permit! With special thanks to Mr. A. of the Noord district; after a short chat it took him only a day to honor my request 👍😘which is pretty fast for this kind of requests.
Applying for a license for amplified music is apparently very unusual by Amsterdam standards. It is forbidden to play amplified in Amsterdam, but I have the idea that recently musicians are no longer sent away by the police as quickly as before the lockdown. That’s great, let's keep the streets alive!🎸🎼🎷

zondag 1 mei 2022

Short busking trip to France

Hi folks!

I got this license to play in the metro of Paris and that is why I go now and than to that city. I bought a train ticket for only 35 euros and i wanted to go there in Januari. But than i got Corona so i changed tickets. Actually i did not feel like I would spend a lot of time in the metro so i decided to travel a little further: I took a TER train to Tours. 
It was quite hard to find a good spot, the old city has restaurants and lots of poor begging people, did not feel right to play there. I walked around when i arrived late at night and decided to play next day in front of the Monoprix in a large street with trams. that night I bought some wine and cheese and spent the night in this two stars hotel which was fine. 
My first night in Tours 
Next day i had some coffee ( 4 euro) and then I went to the Monoprix.  Iwas almost ready to perform when this security guy sent me away. I felt like a beggar from my song Beggars. 
 I looked for another spot which was difficult because of pretty much people with this little cup, asking for money. Finally I played at the end of the street, it was pretty quite but i did a good set and the preople reacted friendly. 
I took a break and at the end of the afternoon i did another set at a more crowded place, in front of a banque. I went allright, but this Bulgaria guy chased me, actually i heard him playing and so i moved to another spot. But then after a while he came to me and d as is that he wanted to play. I tried to explain that i just moved because of him but he did not speak French or english. Hè became angry but left. After 29 minutes he came back and started to play a scale, just on the side of the street. I felt very uncomfortable but again he left. I was done and wanted to look for another spot. I saw him playing and i thought: lets give him a big smile and tell him he can play anywhere hè wants. Hè asked me if i was married, if i got kids and then he wanted to kiss me on the cheek, i shook hands. 
I looked for another spot but there was this begging lady who shouted at me that i could not use that spot. It was sort of sleeping spot, i did not understand but it was clear she was defending that spot  it was in front of a closed magasin, i think it was the home of a homeless person. 

I left that space but then I returned to the woman who was smoking on her fishing chair with her money cup in front of her. Actually she looked like a nice lady. Suddenly I felt really tired and spoke that up out loud. She said ' we all are'. Yeah sure, who am I to complain, i am not a beggar, i am a songwriter who is travelling and busking. 
my view from my hotel in tours: sunset 

Later at night I met her again in the old centre where she was begging, and i spoke to her again. She has a tough life but does not complain and brothers nobody. Just sitting there patiently with some charisma around her. A strong woman. 
I did not sing anymore, i went to a bar with really good music, some French guys were jamming and i really liked their music. 
I drank some wine and went to the hotel. 
Next day i took a TGV to Paris. I wanted to play at metrostation République but there was this woman singing some soul. Good voice, so i did not mind waiting for her to finish. 
But after one hour I asked her when she would leave and she told me she would stay another two hours! My god, so i left the station and looked for the hotel I booked. 
That was near Place de la République so i could return easily to the metro. I did some shopping, had my dinner in the hotel ( just a piece of bread and some wine) and went back to the station praying no musicians on my favorite spot. And yes, i could play. I played untill 9.30 om untill a guy stole some money from my hat. 
That's never happened before, i felt not so safe anymore. 
So i went back to the hotel. Then i decided to go to an open mic for singers. It was a 20 minute walk from my hotel and i am very glad i did go because i had a great night! This was not an open mic, but a singing jamsessions. There are books with french lyrics and english lyrics and everybody can sing along with an acoustic band. I thought what the heck, i just go for it so i sang from the top of my longues :) 
It was really late as i finally fell asleep in my nasty room in the hotel :) 
When I woke up my first thought was: yes! Today I am going Home! :))
Now it maybe seems like I did not like this trip at all, but you know, I díd like it. I mean, to travel all by yourself you get to know yourself really good and sometimes it feels real bad, but I got my iphone and internet so I can always call my best friends anywhere. 
And when I came home I felt so damn rich, I mean, I got a house, I got food , I got work, I got everything I need. And my love Mario was waiting for me. Actually that's the best of all. 

me playing in the 'tram street in Tours

my hotel room in tours

I had a rosé at a bar where was live music


TGV back to Paris

Place de la Republique

Hotel Exelsior near place de la republique

my room

coffee in the morning

dinsdag 22 februari 2022

Keep Streets Alive | Annette Vogel

 Afgelopen Sunday hebben we 's morgens om 9 uur in weer en wind dit clipje gemaakt.
Winkelcentrum Buikslotermeerplein in Amsterdam-Noord, daar spelen we regelmatig op straat. 
Van onze CD Keep the Streets Alive!

vrijdag 7 januari 2022

 Vandaag opgenomen in mijn lokaal. Het nummer is opgenomen door Hans in zijn studio 66 en Mario speelt de bas. Maandag beginnen de scholen weer. Gelukkig gaan de basisscholen weer open. Ik verheug me er op. Ik ga muziekgeschiedenis geven en ik begin bij de oorsprong van de blues.