A massive thank you to our 13 Jammers and quite a few Listeners who somehow managed to arrive this week despite the horrendous traffic snarl-up in East London. Vera and I were locked solid at the Green Man roundabout in Leytonstone for nearly an hour, hence our arrival time of about 8.00pm. The gridlock was due to a serious accident on the A406, I later found out. I just hope no-one was seriously hurt!
Thankfully our houseband guest Emanuele Fizzotti arrived by the underground, as did most of our Jammers & Listeners, but our MC Mike Dearing and Reg Patten also fell victim to the big snarl-up which meant they too arrived very late.
Despite my initial fear of cancelling this week's jam we were able to get the evening started, albeit not until approximately 9.30pm. Emanuele (affectionately known as Manny) got us underway with the instrumental "Hideaway", quickly followed by "That's Alright" and "Blow Wind Blow". It was such a pity we started so late because on any other occasion we would've loved to have heard at least three more numbers from Manny. Unfortunately I had to cut short the houseband set but not before squeezing just one more number from our special guest with a great rendition of "Killing Floor". On the plus side, Manny kindly agreed to perform amongst our Jammers - partly due to a lack of vocalists. In fact, all members of the houseband took part in the jamming session.
It quickly became apparent that we had no alternative but to reduce the jam-sets to two-numbers-per-set rather than our usual three numbers, but through careful management of my Missus Vera we were able to put on six jam-sets, first jam-set headed by Simon Durham accompanied by Reg Patten and myself.
Nice to see a couple of excellent guitarists from Lithuania in the form of Domes Matulis and Andrius. My apologies to Andrius for not being able to read or understand his full name on the signing-in sheet, but their presence here was very much appreciated - hope to see both of them more often!
Shock of the night was seeing my old friend from the Heathcote days, namely John Carroll, and what a pleasant surprise it was too! With only two bass players here this week and knowing they would each be performing two jam-sets each, I took the opportunity to join John on stage, teaming up with drummer Steve Panteli at last. We also included Manny Fizzotti too. Although I knew John Carroll was going to include the instrumental "Sleepwalk" I had no idea he was going to perform J.J.Cale's "Magnolia" as another instrumental (much to my surprise he had told me he was going to sing), but what a sweet and tasteful interpretation he made of both numbers I have to say - and excellent drumming from Steve Panteli too!
Excellent jam-sets also from the rest of our Jammers, led by Erik Pattison, Mike Dearing and Manny Fizzotti, which included another two newcomers in the shape of guitarists Doug Baker and keyboard-player Alex Leith, both of whom played exceptionally well - hope we see them back here again!
Our special thanks to all our Jammers, who contributed towards another quality night's entertainment. Time to call...
The Roll Of Honour:
Special thanks also to Manny Fizzotti for a thoroughly enjoyable opening set and for cheerily getting amongst our Jammers - such a genuinely nice guy too!
Special thanks extended to Ernie King for setting out the equipment and of course to Queen Bee Vera for arranging all the jam sets and taking photos.
Next time at Leytonstone Blues Jam:
Our houseband guests next week will be Dave Richards and Steve Taylor. Dave, I am reliably informed, will also be performing a couple of acoustic numbers and I'll be looking forward to playing them. Take note, keyboard-players: we'll have a keyboard set up for you. Please arrive early - traffic permitting!
Something for the weekend:
Blues night continues this Friday 15th at St Harmonica's Blues Club when their featured band will be "Big Mam's Door", for further details, see: http://www.thevintage.org.uk/st-harmonicas-blues-club.html or The St. Harmonica's Facebook page
On Saturday 16th at The Manor Arms, 150 East India Dock Road, E14 0BP the charismatic and amazing Jamie Rowan will be guesting with Ronnie Collins' Last Project starting at 3pm through to 6pm. It's always a special treat to see and hear Jamie - this Saturday will be no different I'm sure - and all for free!
Thanking all our Jammers and Listeners,