Jerry Beach is the host and patriarch of The Monday Night Blues Jam. He’s been performing live for over 40 years, and in addition to hosting The Jam, he still plays regularly with The Jerry Beach Band and is currently also performing with the internationally- recognized group The Bluebirds.
Jerry was nominated for a Grammy for his 1972 song “I’ll Play the Blues For You” (made famous by Albert King). He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 1998, Louisiana Living Legends in 2000, and the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. He has performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and has appeared regularly at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jerry has played with the likes of Ike and Tina Turner and toured with the traveling production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Of course, he’s also still remembered around here for his wild days playing the famous Bossier Strip with Danny Harrelson as “Dan and Jerry” in the 1960s!
Connor, the son of Doc and Paige who so tirelessly work to keep WickedTickle.com the fabulous music forum that it is, has qualified for the U.S. Fencing Junior Olympic Championships in Albuquerque, NM next month.
They are accepting donations to help cover the considerable expenses of the equipment and travel required to compete in this prestigious event. Please consider visiting the information page and donating to this worthy cause. If you’ve not been and donated yet, then I’ve already beat you to it and you can consider this a challenge! Thanks!
The first time I heard Danny Wilder play was in about 1995. It was at an event called The Monday Night Blues Jam (imagine that) at the old Tommy’s Place, and he was hosting along with Jason Coffield, Kevin Smith and some bassist in flip-flops who drove an old Volvo :-).
I remember thinking as I listened, “Damn, that guy over there on the right is great. I wish his amp were about six or eight decibels louder.” Danny’s playing is always tasteful and often understated- anyone who knows him knows how good he is, but I think sometimes people fail to appreciate how complex and melodic his rhythm and solo playing are, simply due to the fact that other musicians can get between his amp and the audience. I asked him why he didn’t just crank it up more, and he said, “I don’t want to go deaf!”… I think he’s got a point there.
No such problem last Monday night. Danny had the Les Paul sounding great! Just check out the very first number the hosts played. It’s Freddie King’s “Hide Away”, and you’ll hear Danny and Jerry Beach on lead guitars, Ted Lindsay on bass (didn’t notice if Ted’s toes were showing), Dirty Red on trumpet, Kid Mims on drums and Stan Hoffman on keyboards. Click here to listen!
Thanks to Ken for the pic!
(Forgive the lack of a picture… It ain’t that Danny’s not a great-looking guy, it’s just that the side of the stage where he and Stan play is forever in the shadows, and it’s hard to get a decent picture without firing a flash in their faces. Perhaps Ken could email me one?)
Jam - extended musical improvisation over rhythmic grooves and chord patterns (the key word here is improvisation, which distinguishes these solos from those which are rehearsed).
Jam Band - an organized musical group with regular members whose live performances and albums are known for extended jams. The most recognized “Jam Band” in history is probably The Grateful Dead.
A Band that Jams - an organized musical group which records and performs structured, rehearsed songs but which often breaks into extended jams in a live performance. A good example might be The Allman Brothers Band or any number of jazz, blues or reggae bands.
The Monday Night Blues Jam - an event where musicians from many different bands (some of whom may have never met each other) spontaneously pick a song or groove and perform extended improvisational solos over it. This results in a unique performance each time, even if the song is well-known.
Lots of folks have heard Ron Johnson’s wonderful jazz numbers on his albums or from the samples on his MySpace page. Some have noted that I refer to him on the Blues Jam home page as “The Amazing Ron Johson”. Others may have become curious after reading Erin’s profile of him a couple of weeks back.
The question: What does it sound like when this guy cranks up the amp and really lets that blue guitar wail?
I’ve got the answer. This is a sample from a recent Monday Night Blues Jam when 8-10 musicians were doing “Black Magic Woman”. Even on little computer speakers it sounds great, but if you’ve got headphones or run it through a good stereo, I bet it’ll give you chills. Here’s Ron’s solo from that song. Enjoy.
Happy Birthday Jerry! The man we all know and love, host of The Blues Jam, frontman for The Bluebirds, the living legend of Shreveport/Bossier since the 1960s and still going strong, is celebrating another year of playing, singing and raisin’ hell!
The Bluebirds will be playing tonight at Lee’s Lounge, celebrating Jerry’s birthday with what they’re calling The Beach Party. The Bluebirds will be awesome as always- with Jerry, Bruce Flett and Brady Blade, how could they be anything else?
Get down to Lee’s tonight and help Jerry celebrate. You never know who might show up and join in the music, and with it being a “Beach Party”, I bet some folks will be getting Lei’d !!
This young lady visited The Jam and lit the place up with her Tina Turner- inspired performance of Proud Mary. Her name is Renee Caldwell, and she has a soaring, powerful voice. For your listening enjoyment, here’s a little taste of what you missed (crank it up!). You may also hear Jerry Beach serving as band leader and singing harmony, plus Big Rick Alstork channeling Ike Turner in the background (you should have heard them doing that slow, grinding lead-in!)
We look forward to seeing Renee on future Monday nights, and hearing more of that great voice!
Shreveport City Councilman Michael Long came by the Blues Jam last Monday, and even took the stage for a set which included International Folk Alliance Director Louis Meyers (considering this area as a possible new home for the conference?) as well as Shreveport Asst. Economic Development Director and world- renowned drummer Brady Blade Jr.
But I know the big question on your mind: How well does the Councilman play that thing? Well, I’d tell you how good it was, but better yet, here’s a little clip of Stan Hoffman tossing to Mike, so you can just listen for yourself! (As always, it’s better through headphones and/or cranked up really loud.)
With talented musicians like these guys working in the local government, and with great sites like Trudeau on Shreveport and WickedTickle keeping a spotlight on the treasure trove of artistic talent we’ve got around here, hopefully we’ll continue to see increasing support for Northwest Louisiana’s arts and music community.
As we say, you never know who’s gonna show up at the Monday Night Blues Jam!
This past Monday one of our surprise visitors was Louis Jay Meyers, one of the original founders of the South By Southwest Music and Media Conference and Festival (aka SXSW) in Austin, TX, which rapidly became one of the major music-industry events in the country.
Louis is also known as the man who created the Louisiana Music, New Orleans Pride (LMNOP) conference, which for years was held between the weekends of the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
More recently, Louis has been working in Memphis as the Executive Director of the International Folk Alliance, which is now one of the five largest music conferences in North America.
Another credit on Louis’ resume’ is that he was at one time the manager for an Austin reggae band called The Killer Bees which become internationally- acclaimed and which included our own Stan Hoffman! (Maybe instead of “Visitors” I should call this series “Six Degrees of The Monday Night Blues Jam…”)
I didn’t know Louis before Monday night, and all I knew until later was that this stranger sure played the heck out of Danny’s Les Paul. We’re very glad he stopped by, and hope he gets a chance to visit us again soon!