Do you love great live music? What if you could see artists from many of your favorite bands at the same place on the same night? Wouldn't it be awesome to hear these musicians from such diverse bands and backgrounds jamming together?
Guess what? You can, and it happens every week in Shreveport, LA! Get together with us each Monday night at 8 p.m. for the famous Monday Night Blues Jam. The folks are friendly, the atmosphere is carefree, and you'll enjoy listening to some amazing musicians play tunes that will have you "hollerin' for more"!
The Monday Night Blues Jam is hosted by Shreveport's own Jerry Beach, extraordinary bluesman, Grammy- nominated songwriter and LA Music Hall of Fame inductee. Jerry is joined in hosting by a group of Shreveport/Bossier's best-known and most talented musicians (who also happen to be some of the nicest people around). They include: Danny Wilder (guitar), "Kid" Mims (drums), Ted Lindsay (bass), Stan Hoffman (keyboards), Don "Dirty Red" Crenshaw (trumpet), and Karen "Blue" Martin (congas).
How Does It Work?
The hosts generally play the first set (Jerry often jokes "we're the ones who play until the musicians get here"). After the first set, musicians from all around the area (and all over the South) sit in to jam with each other and the hosts. At any given time there might be a singer, two lead guitars, drums, bass, congas, keyboards, two trumpets, sax, trombone, and a harmonica. Occasionally you'll hear some Blues Flute or Blues Clarinet, and one time we even had some Blues Violin! And if someone else is drumming, you're likely to hear Kid on the cowbell- he's got rhythm in his bones, he has to be playing something!
These players are so skilled and the songs are so tight you'd think they've been together for years, when in fact some of them may have just met for the first time that very night. They're just that good, and the whole place comes alive with the music!
The "Hollywood" Connection
As most of you know, the Shreveport/ Bossier City area is home to some of the best musicians in this part of the country. In recent years it has also become one of the most active regions in the nation for Hollywood filmmakers. What you may not realize is that many of the nice folks from "out west" are big Blues fans... you never know who you may run into, as they say. And for any of our film industry friends who haven't visited yet, be sure to drop by, we guarantee you'll love it. Just ask anyone who's been to The Jam before!
Is Blues Music depressing? Will going to the Jam "bring me down"?
Renowned drummer Brady Blade & our own
Ted Lindsay during a Nov 2008 Jam
Not At All! Quite the opposite, in fact. Many of the great blues artists wrote these songs in order to get those feelings out. Listening to a good Blues set will lift your spirits, and it's the perfect way to get that Monday "back to work" feeling off your shoulders. It's been said many different ways over the years, and it still holds true: If you're feeling bad, great music can make you feel good, and if you're feeling good, great music will make you feel even better! Perhaps an example will help to show what I mean: You may be familiar with a song made famous by Albert King which starts out with the lines "If you're down and out, and you feel real hurt/ Come on over, to the place I work/ And all your loneliness I'll try to soothe/ I'll play the blues for you"... that song is called "I'll Play the Blues for You" and it was written by our host himself, Mr. Jerry Beach.
Is The Blues Jam Just A Bunch of Slow 12-bar Tunes?
Perhaps a $100 bill
in the Tip Jar...
The format of the Blues Jam is fluid- the scope of "Blues music" itself is very broad, and many modern jazz, rock and country songs have their roots in The Blues. Although nothing beats a good, slow-grinding 12-bar piece, the range of music is as diverse as the artists who play it. So don't be surprised if you feel yourself moved to slow dance with your honey when Jerry sings "Rainy Night In Georgia", realize you're tapping your foot to Red and Danny leading the way with "Grazing in the Grass", or discover emotion you didn't know you had when you hear your own voice screaming approval as Stan leads the entire Jam into a house-burning rendition of "Superstition"!
Red sings "Black Magic Woman"
The Blues Jam is a celebration of creative music. The night is about The Blues, and you won't hear much mainstream rock (although late at night the players have been known to patiently back a tipsy visitor slaughtering "Me & Bobby McGee" or any number of other standards). But as long as a song has room for these musicians to explore, you'd be surprised at what you might hear. How about seven musicians jamming to Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta Love", done as a reggae song? (This actually fits at the Blues Jam, as the lyrics to "Whole Lotta Love" were "borrowed" by Robert Plant from blues legend Willie Dixon!)
Each Jam brings welcome visits from many of our gifted local players, and there are always some great surprises as well. Come on down next Monday night. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Clint Payne (Guitar)
Rick Willis (Bass)
Jimmy Wooten (Bass)
Eddy Hoffman (Drums)
Sid Hydro (Bass)
John Hoffman (Drums)
Mike Long (Guitar)
S'port City Council