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Mississippi Delta Blues Slide Guitar comes to Toledo!

Walker T. Ryan, Courtesy photo


Walker T. Ryan is offering a Mississippi Delta Blues Slide Guitar workshop on Saturday March 18th from 1 to 4pm at the KYAQ studio in Toledo Oregon at 321 SE 3rd in the Floweree Community Center.

The workshop is designed for guitar players who want to learn what makes the Delta Blues the Delta Blues. All you need is a guitar, a slide, a recording device and paper. Class size is limited to 6 players, so personal attention and an intimate atmosphere is guaranteed. Players do not need to be professionals or even advanced to participate, just have a basic working knowledge of the guitar and the desire to learn Delta blues style of playing. Walker uses Robert Johnson’s classic song, Walking Blues and works it from the ground up to get to the bone and the meat of the rhythm and chords and then spices it up with basic techniques to make it more than just the notes.

Walker is well regarded as a master of the Delta blues. He started playing guitar as a folk singer and when his family moved to New York City, he found himself immersed in the pre-hippie folk scene of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Dave VanRonk. But Walker got bit by the blues bug when he was exposed to the music of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Lightnin Hopkins, Son House and Fred McDowell.

Walker was a rambler most of his life and he played his music in bars, dives, churches, on the streets, bakeries, and bordellos; wherever there was a gig. When he moved to Eugene in the 90’s, in addition to playing the blues, he worked with kids at risk. Walker still plays every day and makes regular trips to Clarksdale Mississippi. He is essentially retired from the stage and spends his time working on musical projects.

Dave VanRonk, said of Walker, “That boy’s got a soul of his own.” Cost of the workshop is $50.00, and interested players can contact Walker at wtryan@gmail.com to reserve a place or to get more information.

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