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Guy Goes Out To Jam

On Wednesday and Thursdays nights,
I usually go out and play at two Houston, Texas blues jams.

This site has six pages
so that the photographics aren't too memory-heavy on any one bluesjam page!

This site features RealAudio sound clip files from the musicians at the jams.

On the first page,
I feature some actual jam session group photos from the stage,
the people in charge of the jams,
and the locations of these blues jams!

Page two features the guitar players at the jams. These are the guys who show up in large numbers and wait patiently for their turn to play.

It is easier to get stage time if you can also sing, because each jam group must be planned around a vocalist (whether they play an instrument or not!). Page 3 features the front men and women - the ones that can take charge of a group of musicians and then call the songs and the keys. During the rest of the week, most of these people have their own working bands!

Page 4 features the rhythm section, the drummers and bass players! Each set that the musicians play, is dependant upon the rhythm section to lay down a solid groove that feels good and doesn't rush or drag (any more than desired for the feel).

Finally, Page 5 features photos taken at the jams, at the bar, outside, in the dressing rooms, of everyone just hangin' out! Some are musicians, and some are not.

On Wednesday, I get out late and go to 'The Big Easy' on Kirby Drive. Owned and run by Tom McLendon (a fine harp player in his own right - pictured below/left), 'The Big Easy' shares space with Tom's record shop, 'Yeah You Right Records'. The club and the record shop reflect (and feature) Tom's love of New Orleans, the blues, zydeco, and New Orleans rhythm and blues.

At The Big Easy, I find a group of regular musicians each week, and some irregulars and new guys, with the calibre of musicianship often very high.

Rick Lee has been organizing the jam for the past few months (since Allison Fischer moved to Savannah, Georgia). He plays the first set with the Wednesday night house band - The Big Easy Boogie Band (consisting of Rick on guitar, Snit and Cletus - both of THE HOLLISTERS - on drums and bass, respectively, and Teri Greene on guitar) - for a set from 9:30 'til 10:30pm. During that first set, musicians filter in and sign up to be placed, by Rick, into arbitrary groupings (Rick sticks close to 'first come - first serve'), and put onstage for a few tunes to jam.

I show up at 11p-12a on most nights. I'll show up earlier if I sub for Cletus as the house bassist (once every 6-8 weeks - if he's got a road thing or a session). The festivities last until closing time.

On Thursday evenings, I am often the house bass player at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar. A converted house on East 24th Street in the Houston Heights, this bar features a fine collection of 30-40 Dan Electro vintage guitars on the walls.

Dan's is fun to play at because of the patio/garden out back (a respite from the volume and smoke), and because Doctor Zoomack and Nancy keep it musician friendly (including a good sound system in the place) and Jo runs sound and monitors in an attentive fashion. The monitors are good, and the stage is solid (and sizeable enough). Here, I also find a regular group of musicians each week, along with some new guys, and the calibre is also quite high.

Teri Greene has been running this jam for seven years! For the first set, at 9:30 - 10:30pm, Teri Greene, daring as he is, finds someone new each week to front the house trio (Teri Greene on guitar, someone on bass - it's been me a lot lately; about three weeks out of the month, and one of several drummers), always unrehearsed . It is almost always good, and sometimes magical. Only after this set, can musicians sign up to be placed, by Teri (the self described "list nazi"), into various groupings, and put onstage for a few tunes to jam.

Dan Electro's features eclectic live Texas music 4 nights a week, including a country jam on Sunday. The equally eclectic band in which Zoomack (using his full name "Dr. Poison Zoomack" - pictured at right) plays, 'BEANS BARTON & the BIPEDS', usually performs once or twice a month.

The Dan Electro's jam also lasts until closing time.

This is Teri Greene!

It's possible that the less I say about Teri, the better...we work together a lot! Here's what another local musician wrote:

Teri Greene is one of the most respected guitar players in Houston and Austin. He is the consummate local (he stays close to home) guitarslinger. Musicians often go to jams just to hear his playing, only to rush home and see if they can learn what they had just seen. Hundreds have been inspired by his soloing and rhythm playing, both of which make any blues jam into a festive blues celebration. Ask any local guitar player, and the chances are good that they count Teri as one of their all-time favorites.

Thanks to Teri's involvement in several local jams, we've all received the opportunity to practice, display or share our musical ideas on stages made available by his hosting of blues jams in Houston.....JC7/97

There you previously stated, he's a very, very fine guitar player, plays with all sorts of people, and has run the jam at Dan Electro's for 8 years! More about Teri on the Guitar Players Page!

Rick Lee, our fearless 'keeper of the list' at the Big Easy jam, and leader of 'RICK LEE & the NIGHT OWLS'. I say fearless, because Rick plays no favorites at the jam. It's strictly first come - first serve! That way, it's always a jam!

Rick answers the musical question "Can a Chinese man really sing the blues?" with his song by the same name.

Rick can! He's a bit of a blues historian, and always gives his all when it comes to putting on a show.
Click here to listen to a RealAudio file of Rick singing Junior Well's "Messin' With The Kid", featuring Tom McLendon on harp solo, Teri Greene on guitar, Brian Turner on drums and me, Guy Schwartz, on bass.

GO TO to the Jammin' at the Blues Jam Page

GO TO to the Blues Jam Page 2 (guitarists)

GO TO to the Blues Jam Page 3 (the people that front the band)

GO TO to the Blues Jam Page 4 (drummers & bassists)

GO TO to the Blues Jam Page 5 (hangin' wit friends & guests)

This site features RealAudio sound clip files from the musicians at the jams.

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last modified: July 1, 1998


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