Jean Paul Dangy aka 'JIPES', Blues Artist

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Blues Blowing Down the Hall

By Jean Paul Dangy aka "JIPES"

I was nineteen years old at the time, passing through the subway in the very long hall of Chatelet les Halles in Paris. My mind was busy thinking about the hard day of Biology lessons which were awaiting me. To my surprise, I heard a very unusual song 'specially for the subway. I ended up standing in front of two streets musicians who were playing for handouts. It was quite a shock for me, the combined sound of the guitar of Tao Ravaro and the harp of Andy Forrest filling the space

At that time the only music I was listening to was classical guitar (NarcissoYepes, Andres Segovia etc. . . ) and some light opera, this music had a strange effect on me - I was like hypnotized. After some time, Andy and Tao paused and finally Tao start talking to me 'cause I was standing there in front of them while everyone else was just going about their business. Tao ask me if I like their music and I didn't know how to answer. I was probably looking at him a bit stupidly, anyhow that's how I started to play the Blues. Andy and Tao gave me my first lesson on a blues harp and my first goal was to go to a music store and get a Hohner Marine Band.

That's what I did, and that's how I started to play blues and buy some LPs of the Chess Blues Master series. After quite some time, I quit playing harp and switched to guitar, I had the chance to take some lessons with the great bluesman Mickey Baker, who was living in Paris at the time. I will always remember my first lesson with him, he was sitting in front of me with his little Martin acoustic guitar. The guitar was like a toy in his large hands with big rings...he show me the minor pentatonic scale, explained to me two or three licks and then we spent the rest of the lesson talking about stories from his early days in music. He told me about his first gig with other blues musicians and how he end up in a jail as he crossed into another state.

I realize then that the Blues is much more than three chords or a blues scale! Twenty two years later here I am, still playing the blues on my Telecaster and paying my dues to the masters, trying to perpetuate and spread the love of this music throughout the concerts I do with my blues band, Mojo.

Jean Paul DANGY aka Jipes

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from the bookTouched By the Blues

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