Because I had expected Dave Thomas to be playing bass I was looking forward to sitting amongst the audience and enjoying what was being served up by Dave Thomas & John Crowther, but to my surprise Dave arrived with just an acoustic guitar, which kinda put me on alert. Just as well I'd had the foresight to set up and tune my bass. As it transpired I was happy to join the houseband at Dave & John's request because their set-list consisted of some of my favourite tunes, beginning with "Dream On My Mind", which featured some tasty slide-guitar playing from John Crowther. Just to prove the versatility of J.C., the next number saw him playing some sweet-sounding mandolin on "Don't Ease Me In" - as popularised by The Grateful Dead. Yet another favourite of mine was Leadbelly's "Midnight Special", quickly followed by "Truckin' Little Woman". Perhaps the best number was saved till last when Dave gave us a brief prologue to Blind Alfred Reed's "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live" - which was recorded way back in 1929 at the time of the Great Depression - with added lyrics from Dave & John which very much reflect these modern times.
Eventually I did get the opportunity to sit and listen to Dave & John at the end of the night when, rather than finish the evening with a closing set from the houseband, we decided to let our headliners loose with our Jammers, featuring guitarists Ian Hammond and Pete Sawula, Richard Stenhouse on bass and Marc Turner on drums - another three great numbers and a perfect way to end an excellent night. Thank you, John Crowther and our MC Dave Thomas: a fabulous show from you guys!
Although this week was only a slight improvement on last week in terms of attendance, we were not lacking for great entertainment - although there were too few vocalists once again. Only Simon Durham and Erik Pattison's names were on the signing-in sheet! Simon, in fact, was the first of our Jammers on stage with yours truly and Reg Patten - a bit risky playing George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", especially when I couldn't quite remember one or two chords after the first two verses! You won't see any photos of Simon this week because Vera had forgotten to take 'em - a very rare mistake from the missus it must be said, and apologies to Simon!
With only two Jamming vocalists in the house we gave two jam sets to Erik Pattison. The first set saw guitarist Pete Sawula (hope I've spelt his surname correctly) making what I think his first appearance, and very well played too. One jam set, led by our MC Dave Thomas, featured Bob Dylan's "Meet Me In The Morning". If you hear a nasty clunk on the recording towards the end it was because my mp3 recorder suddenly threw itself on to the floor - no doubt bowing in appreciation of Kevin Molyneux's guitar solo!
Good to see Dave Mason back here after a fairly lengthy absence and also nice to see Joel Letort returning after discovering us last week. We were hoping to see Raf making use of the keyboards but alas no. Instead he chose to play bass - and what an amazing rhythm section he made with Marc Turner on Dave Thomas's jam set, drawing much praise from Dave - and rightly so! Time to call...
The Roll Of Honour:
As ever, Ernie King's videos can be seen on his YouTube channel (see below), and you'll find a selection of mp3s in the Audio Player.
My thanks to Ernie King and Richard Stenhouse for helping to set up and pack away the equipment at the end of the night with special thanks to Vera for arranging all the jam sets and taking some of this week's photos.
Next time at Leytonstone Blues Jam:
Next week's guest will be Conrad Di Ianni, with whom I am particularly looking forward to sharing the stage. All being well, I'm also hoping to include an extra special guest to join him. Please arrive early and grab a seat - and oh, more vocalists please!
Something for the weekend:
Last Friday's inaugural Blues night at St Harmonica's new Southgate location proved to be an enormous success with a massive attendance, the entertainment continues this coming Friday (18th) when Big Alan Craig and his Anglo/Aberdonian band "The Disclaimers" will be celebrating an early Burns Night including helpings of haggis, neaps and tatties ! Full Address : The Southgate Club, 17 Chase Side, N14 5BP (please use function room entrance in Crown Lane). For further details, please VISIT THE ST. HARMONICA'S WEBPAGE
On Saturday 19th January there'll be much fun and games at The Manor Arms, 150 East India Dock Road, E14 0BP when our good friend Jimmy Gaynor will be guest of honour with Ronnie Collins' Last Project. Start time 3pm through to 6pm - great free entertainment at this cosy and friendly little pub.
Thanking all our Jammers and Listeners,