The People You Meet: Alwyn Wright, Violin Virtuoso

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Alwyn  is a first call studio musician around Los Angeles recording with everybody, including Paul McCartney at one point. Sometimes she is classical, playing with Yo Yo Ma, and some times she is pop going on the road with Rod Stewart and, more recently Josh Grobin.

The last time we saw her, she was disembarking at Valparaiso, and jumping on the overnight flight to LA to rehearse Josh Grobin’s new show the following morning at 10am. It all worked out and the results ended up on a PBS ‘Live From Lincoln Center’ special. 

For more about Alwyn, and some REALLLLLLY nice music (I love her performance of ‘Oblivion’ on her recent CD!!) click here.

Rules for Singing/Playing the Blues

1. Most Blues begin “woke up this morning.”

2. “I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in right away:
I got a good woman—with the meanest face in town.

3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.
I got a good woman—with the meanest face in town.
I got a good woman—with the meanest face in town.
She got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weighs 500 pounds.

4. The Blues are not about limitless choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch; ain’t no way out.

5. Blues cars are Chevies, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Other acceptable Blues transportation modes include Greyhound buses and southbound trains. Walkin’ plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die. Blues don’t travel in Volvos, BMWs, or SUVs. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain’t even in the running.

6. Adults sing the Blues. Teenagers can’t sing the Blues. They ain’t fixin’ to die yet. In the Blues, “adulthood” means old enough to get the electric chair when you shoot that man in Memphis.

7. You can have the Blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont, Tucson, or North Dakota are just depression. The best places to have the Blues are still Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City. You cannot have the blues in any place that don’t get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain’t the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg while skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg when your broken-down pickup truck rolled over on it is.

9. The following colors do not belong in the Blues: violet, beige, mauve (unless you’re truly desperate for a rhyme).

9. You can’t have the Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is just plain wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places to have the Blues: the highway, a jailhouse, an empty bed, the bottom of a whiskey glass. Bad places to have the Blues: ashrams, gallery openings, weekends in the Hamptons, golf courses, Tiffany’s, and Ivy League institutions.

11. No one will believe it’s the Blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man—and it’s an old black suit.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues?
Answer “Yes” if:
a. your first name is a southern state—like Georgia
b. you’re blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis.
d. you can’t be satisfied.
e. you’re older than dirt
Answer “No” if:
a. you once were blind but now can see.
b. you’re deaf
c. the man in Memphis lived.
d. you have a trust fund or an IRA.
e. you have all your teeth
f. you were once blind but now can see

 
13. Blues is not about color, it’s about bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues; Gary Coleman could. Ugly old white people got a leg up on the blues. Julio Iglesias and Barbra Streisand will never sing the Blues.

14. If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it’s the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are: wine, whiskey, muddy water, beer, black coffee. Blues beverages are NOT: mixed drinks, kosher wine, sparkling water, Snapple, Starbucks Frappuccino, or Slim Fast. Although Rubber Biscuits and the Wish Sandwich are famous blues snacks, better stick to common blues grub like Greasy Bar-b-que, Fatback and beans, and Government cheeze. Blues food is never: Club sandwich, Sushi, or Crème brule.

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it’s a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a Blues death. So is substance abuse, the electric chair, or being denied treatment in an emergency room. It is not a Blues death to die during liposuction or from tennis elbow.

16. Excellent names for female Blues singers: Sadie, Big Momma, Bessie, or Fat River Dumpling. Excellent names for male Blues singers: Willie, Joe, Little Willie, Lightning, or Big Willie. Singers with names like Muffy, Sierra, Auburn, Alexis, Gwenyth, Sequoiz, Brittany or Rainbow are not permitted to sing the Blues, no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

17. The Build Your Own Blues Singer Name Starter Kit:
a. Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, Asthmatic)
b. First name (from above lists) or name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi)
c. Last name of a U. S. president (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
Examples: Blind Lime Jefferson, Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Okay, maybe not “Kiwi”…)

18. I don’t care how tragic your life; if you own a computer, you cannot sing the Blues.
You’d best destroy it. Fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or shotgun.
Maybe your big ass woman just done sit on it. I don’t care

19. Hey there, you can READ! This too be a big ol’ problem. Most folks singin’ the
Blues ain’t never had much a chance for education. In the Blues… the three R’s stand
for Railroads, Runnin’ and Rehab.

20. It gots to be dark to sing the blues, preferably after midnight. Singin’ da blues at noon is forbidden.

21. If none of the above works, try one last, pathetic stab at authenticity: name your guitar. Remember, Lucille is taken.

22. Epitaph on a blues musician’s tombstone: “I didn’t wake up this morning”

A Day In The Life Of A Bar

A C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar. The bartender says: “Sorry, but we don’t serve minors.”

So the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them.

After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and the G is out flat.

An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, “Excuse me. I’ll just be a second.”

Then an A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor.

Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims, “Get out now. You’re the seventh minor I’ve found in this bar tonight.”

The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes.

The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says, “You’re looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development.”

This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au natural.

Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he’s under a rest.

The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility.

On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.

The bartender decides, however, that since he’s only had tenor so patrons, with the sopranout in the bathroom, and everything has become altoo much treble, he needs a rest, and closes the bar.