A very heartening attendance this week, considering how unappealing the weather was last Monday night, but I have no doubt our much appreciated Jammers and Listeners were well rewarded by a classy performance from our special houseband guest James Daniell.
A special word of praise to our MC Mike Dearing who kinda winged his way through two mini-sets without having the benefit of checking through the set-list beforehand - seems like James' copy of the set-list was lost somewhere in the ether during the afternoon. James and the houseband's opening number was "Swamp Night" which, as the title suggests, had a Tony-Joe White/John Fogerty feel about it. The second number, "Early In The Morning", was far more traditional and rootsy and not what I expected - pity I didn't have an upright bass at hand. James upped the pace with his third choice, "Sadie", before calling out "Smokestack Lightning" and suddenly morphing it into The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" - a very cleverly inspired decision which worked a treat.
A quality performance from James was brought to a close with "St James Infirmary" - yet another traditional number, this one dates way back to 1700s we are reliably informed by the knowledgeable James Daniell. Had we not got off to a late start we would've loved to heard at least one more number from James but time was fast ticking away.
Fortunately we did have the pleasure of seeing James back on stage at the end of the night with two more gems. The final number was a stonking rendition of "Tall Skinny Mama" to send us home happy. James goes away with our sincere thanks for gracing our stage with wonderful harp-playing and superb vocals. We'll be delighted to see him back guesting with the houseband very soon.
Only three vocalists here this week but it did enable us to give Jake Maxwell an extra jam-set and once again Jake entertained us with a fine and competent display of his abilities. When it comes to abilities, I am always mightily impressed with Raf, who not only gave us a fantastic bass solo on Dave Richard's set, he also rewarded our efforts in bringing out Steve Taylor's keyboard and playing some great stuff on Jan Fielder's set - we're always happy to set up the keyboard if we know it will be put to good use. There was a distinct lack of bass-players here this week which meant an extra set for Dave Taylor …and nice playing from him too, I have to say.
Just as I was wondering what bass-player should accompany Jake Maxwell on his second set, a eureka moment came to me. I had seen the gifted guitarist Tony Myers play bass at The Hot Hob jam, but then I remembered he was left-handed. No problem for Tony, who gladly took my Precision and played it upside down, just as competently as if he was playing his Strat!
Another welcome newcomer was bassist Terry Smiles who nearly took my place on Phil Hughes' jam-set owing to our MC Mike's announcement in calling up just "Terry" without adding my surname - a mistake easily made but no mistaking who has the Smiles! A great pleasure it was to see and hear Terry S's bass-playing on the aforementioned Michael Goulding's set, which also included Lithuanian guitarist Andrius Tomasmuza back here after a long absence (hope I got his name right!).
No shortage of drummers I'm pleased to say - especially of the quality of who were here this week. A nice surprise was to see Vladimir Kosansky paying us a visit after a very long absence. I had thought he had suddenly left early, but someone said he had merely gone downstairs to vape - ah, Vlad The Inhaler I thought to myself !
Time to call…
The Roll Of Honour:
Thanks as always to everyone who helped to set up and pack away the equipment, especially to Ernie King who single-handedly positioned the heavy gear on stage before my arrival. Our thanks also to Queen Bee Vera for arranging the jam-sets and getting behind the camera. A word of appreciation to our barman Colin for serving our needs and allowing us to run beyond our closing time.
Next time at Leytonstone Blues Jam:
It's always a genuine pleasure to see Phil Hughes at the jam at any time. Better still, Phil will share the guest-spot with snappy dresser Malcolm Smith next week, which will be a bit special I'm sure. Unlike this week, we do hope to get off to our preferable time of 8.30pm, so please arrive nice and early and grab a seat.
Something for the weekend:
It'll be a very busy time for Jimmy C this weekend. On Friday 13th at St Harmonica's Blues Club in Southgate he will be joined by his Blues Dragons to play two full sets at this extremely well-organised venue starting at 8.30pm. Half-time support comes from Graham Hine (brother of Malcolm Hine). Full address : The Southgate Club, 17 Chase Side, N14 5EN (entrance in Crown Lane).
Jimmy will be back in action on Saturday afternoon (14th) at The Manor Arms, 150 East India Dock Road, E14 0BP when he'll be guesting with Ronnie Collins' Last Project. Start time of 3pm through to 6pm. Great to see Jimmy back entertaining everyone after a lengthy period of chemotherapy - onwards and upwards from now on!
Thanking All Our Jammers & Listeners,