Message from Jim: Folks! It's been a while since the last Blues Jam, and I'm pretty sure that's mostly my fault. Last year was a little busy.... something about buying and selling a house, changing firms, and generally turning my life upside down seemed to occupy the bulk of my attention.
BUT WE'RE BACK BABY!!
Due to some observations about what's worked in the past, and what could be improved upon, we've made a few changes to the format. Hopefully it will make things a little more inclusive, as well as give the opportunity for some of our less experienced"musicians to play with the more experienced"ones. (It's not just my opinion that that's what makes a blues musician better - it's a tradition that goes all the way back to Son House and has been carried on over the decades by the likes of Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, BB King, Johnny Winter and Joe Bonamassa, just to name a small few.... We all get better the same way - BY PLAYING!)
So, in that spirit we're going to put the "set leader" concept on the back burner for this jam and try something new. Here is a website claiming to identify the "20 Top Played Blues Jam Songs" ... 20 songs is a good start, but what if we increased that by 15 and fill up an entire night? So I added a few of my own and created a COMPLETELY OPEN Blues Jam Song List (attached). You may have a few ideas too, and it's OK to share!
The spreadsheet is open and editable to all (as long as you have Google Sheets), and here is the link: CLICK HERE
The "Set Leader" concept is great, and it really allows some of the more experienced players to go as deep as they'd like and show off their skills... but there's a reason why you hear the songs on the attached list all the time: BECAUSE THEY'RE GREAT BLUES SONGS! So for those folks who are used to leading a set, We'd like to ask you to still step up and be "Song Leaders", and for those newer members and musicians who might just be finding their chops, please don't feel intimidated to sign up for a song or two, or four.... you won't be pressured to play a Stevie Ray solo or a blistering harp or keyboard lead if you're not there yet! But you can't get better if you don't play!
Since this is an experiment, PLEASE OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING ETIQUETTE:
1) Please limit yourself to 4 (FOUR) songs to begin with - there may be the opportunity to play more if space on the spreadsheet allows as we get closer to the jam;
2) Please don't "stack the deck" by putting your usual bandmates on all of your songs - there's also a social aspect to this to promote interaction between people who don't often get to play together.
3) PLEASE DO NOT ERASE ANYONE'S NAME WHO HAS SIGNED UP FOR A SONG YOU WANTED TO PLAY - if they were there first, let it be (Can't believeweI even need to say that, but nothing surprises us anymore! LOL!)
4) Don't take your self so seriously -- HAVE FUN! That is the point, right? :)
We'll shoot out another email 7 days before the event, and if there are any spots on any of the songs that need to be filled, FIRST COME FIRST SERVED!! (Within reason of course, Mr. Clapton...)
At the risk of being inundated.... please let me know if you have any questions!
Jam Master Jim Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org