Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blues Muse Recap

In the name of full disclosure I should start out by mentioning I’ve got a vested interest in Blues Muse since it was originally my baby in 2008 and the LAB organizers in Philadelphia have agreed if they should decide not to continue it, I can take it on the road; plus I’m one of the event DJ’s. So one could accuse me of being a bit biased when I say this year’s event again showed Philadelphia is the city that knows how to throw the east coast’s most awesome blues party.

Of course, the big story for east coast blues scenes for much of this year was NYC and DC simultaneously locking into blockbuster events on the Blues Muse weekend and being forced to split the pool of dancers. Thankfully, Philly organizers were able to shift the event two weeks later to October 16-18, which meant everyone came back together in the middle with the opportunity to share what they’d picked up two weeks earlier.

Once again this year’s lineup of muses was first rate. While last year’s event featured an all east coast lineup, host muses Carsie Blanton and Mike Legett this year brought in Boston’s Julie Brown and the Pacific Northwest’s Abby Kunnecke and Karissa Lightsmith. Rounding out the instructors were dude extradinaire Reuel Reis, and locals Jon Darvill, Stuart Collins & Jesse Young. Not only were the instructors from a wider range, but the organizers had California’s Cid Galicia join “the Mid-Atlantic Big 3” of Mike Marcotte, Corey Wright and I as DJ’s. Plus, Chicago’s Ruby Red stepped in to cover DJ’ing on Friday night for a while since the rest of us were caught in traffic or looking for parking.

In a nutshell, this year’s event was bigger, smoother, and better than last years debut success. The Ethical Society is an awesome venue for classes. Philly continually does late night food like no other place I’ve seen (although Atlanta’s crepes are pretty cool) and the locals are some of the most enthusiastic, friendly and best educated dancers around. Bringing in some of the best instruction from elsewhere in the country just helped put the cherry on top.

Nicely done once again Philadelphia!

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