The case to build on the Centrum “Experience”

ex·pe·ri·ence [ik-speer-ee-uhns]

The observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time: to learn from experience; the range of human experience.

When I started to think about what my first posting would be about it didn’t take long.  The fact is, that I count the days to the next Country Blues workshop (if you are wondering, as of today, March 20th, there are 128 days to go). As the event draws nearer, the excitement builds, almost to giggly schoolgirl proportions.  When the event is over, a sense of mourning comes over me as I drive out of the gates of Fort Worden to head back to Seattle and “life as we know it”.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a good life and I love my family more than words can say, but that’s just how it is. 

But why, I mean it’s just a workshop right?  Great question and I’m glad you asked.

In short, NO, it isn’t “just a workshop”.  Without a doubt, in the majority of cases, the workshop sessions are an incredible way to learn the music from the masters right up close and personal.  Not only that, but there are the porch jams, the impromptu jams, the nightly shows and the “just hanging out with the faculty” moments be it at the Jook, the Commons or elsewhere on the Fort, and to crown it all off, there’s the blues festival at the end of the week.  But the real reason why this is no ordinary workshop is the quality, diversity and mutual respect of the other students, many of whom are from across the globe.  You really get to know people especially if you are lodging in the “noisy” dorm (like, I mean really) and spend long nights jamming, chilling out on the porch, trading/debating riffs, licks and entire songs or just chewing the fat about nothing in particular.  As a student of the workshop I learn as much outside the classroom as within it.  The overall “experience” is one of total immersion in the blues and for me that translates to total relaxation. 

However, the workshop is only 1 week out of 52 and while there are many ways to prolong the experience (do a web search on “blues forums” and “blues guitar workshops” and you’ll see what I mean) it is all pretty much disconnected from Centrum.

So, to kick things off, I’d like to see faculty, students, alumni, educators, and promoters (and others I have inadvertently missed) start to blog here so that we can create a virtual connection to keep the Centrum spirit alive for the other 51 weeks of the year.

C’mon – what do you say?

My name is Son Jack Jr. and I am a “Centrum experience” junkie. I’m not ashamed of it, but I could use some help.