Another truly fabulous turn-out of Jammers & Listeners this week to welcome our three houseband guests - perhaps our biggest attendance since last December's Christmas jam! The much loved and respected Graham Vickery, aka Shakey Vick, performed six no-nonsense Blues numbers in the opening set, superbly supported by my fellow band-mate Steve Taylor and a certain Mr Alan Vincent, whose guitar-playing I could listen to all day. Particularly satisfying this week was seeing so many people arriving nice and early, which enabled us to start the houseband set very near to 8.30pm, so not only were we able to hear Shakey Vick & Co entertain us with six cracking numbers, we had enough time to fit in six jam-sets for our Jammers (and three numbers-per-set, too!).
Our houseband guests opened up the first set with the instrumental "Swing In A" (not sure if that's the correct title but it was called out by Shakey Vick). It did however demonstrate his wonderful harp-playing. After that it was straightforward non-stop Blues all the way to "Key To The Highway", which was the final number of the first set. The guys were back in action at the end of another very busy night, just the one number was initially planned but after hearing "Help Me", by popular demand we squeezed one more from our houseband guests.
Speaking on behalf of all our Jammers & Listeners, it was a genuine privilege to have these three guys here this week, so thank you Shakey Vick, Alan Vincent and Steve Taylor - we'll have you all back here later in the year for certain!
As previously mentioned, six jam sets were managed this week - and quite comfortably, too. This was due in part to so many numbers not having a multitude of 12-bar solos within their sets while maintaining the quality which prevailed throughout the whole evening I have to say.
That quality was I'm sure all due to the excellent rhythm sections comprising our five drummers and bass-players. On the bass-playing front, great to see Pete Feldon back here; another bass-player who was very impressive was newcomer John Pead and as a newcomer we were pleased to give him an extra stint on Phil Hughes' set - and once again, Phil gave us another classy performance!
Yet again I must give credit to Erik Pattison who generously declined to jam with us, rather deferring to our six other vocalists - and after Erik's much appreciated stint as MC last week it was also good to see our regular MC Dave Thomas back after the trials and tribulations that were the cause of his absence.
After quite a worrying few months of very poor attendances, particularly at the beginning of the year, our fortunes appear to be on the up and up, and so too does the standard of jamming - so our thanks to all our Jammers who have supported us through thick and thin. Time to call...
The Roll Of Honour:
My thanks to Ernie King, Richard Stenhouse, Jan Fielder and everyone who helped to set up and put away the equipment, thanks and appreciation to Queen Bee Vera for arranging the jam sets and providing this week's batch of photos. Ernie King's videos can now be seen on his YouTube channel (see below).
An update regarding our good friend Jimmy C:
Following Jimmy's operation to remove cancer from his pancreas, I was very pleased to see him back on stage last Friday with The Blues Dragons - amazing, so soon after such a serious operation, but he was bang on form and playing extremely well. He will need to undergo chemotherapy over the next few months, but on behalf of us all at The Leytonstone Blues Jam we sincerely wish him a speedy recovery and send him our very best wishes. We're hoping to see him guesting here around September/October time.
Next time at Leytonstone Blues Jam:
I'm so much looking forward to seeing our long-lost friend, Harp-man Tim Hill making a rare appearance here as houseband guest - and I'm more than delighted to see regular visitor and staunch supporter of the Blues jam Richard Stenhouse accompanying Tim on guitar. To further ice the cake, John Crowther will be playing mandolin - just how good is that! It will be another fabulous night I'm sure, so please arrive nice and early.
Something for the weekend:
On Friday 19th at St Harmonica's Blues Club in Southgate : The highly-rated "Cinelli Brothers" will be performing two full sets at this warm and friendly venue. Half time support is provided by "Sky Wood & Jesse Thomas (Two Man Job)", Jesse is the son of our MC Dave Thomas and a very talented musician he is too! For further details, please check out THE ST HARMONICA'S WEBSITE.
On Saturday 20th another extremely talented musician can be enjoyed at The Manor Arms, 150 East India Dock Road, E14 0BP when Davide Sanna will be guesting with Ronnie Collins' Last Project"- start time of 3pm through to 6pm. Well worth getting along to!
Thanking all our Jammers and Listeners,