After a four week absence from the jam it was good to be back in Blighty, although both Vera and I wished we could've brought back the sunshine we had been enjoying for the past month! Having picked up and brought along our houseband guests Phil Hughes and Malcolm Smith, I must admit to wondering whether the surge in attendances we had been receiving these past few weeks would ebb away on this Guy Fawkes night. I needn't have worried, because with 20 Jammers and plenty of Listeners I can honestly say it was a night to remember for all the right reasons and it was the perfect antidote to the post-holiday Blues. At this juncture it gives me the opportunity to thank Jan Fielder, Kevin O'Brien, Ernie King and Richard Stenhouse for helping to keep the Blues jam running smoothly in the absence of Vera and myself.
Our steady increase in attendances over the past few months has been enormously encouraging. This I feel is largely due to our MC Dave Thomas's excellent hosting and making everyone feel welcome - and not forgetting John Crowther's much appreciated input it must be said! But ironically on the night that Vera and I returned Dave Thomas was unable to attend owing to engagements in Leicester with his wife Chrissie, so although John Crowther was willing and able to MC and host the jam it was our houseband guest Phil Hughes who took the reins for the evening - and very busy he was, too!
Phil, along with sharp-dresser Malcolm Smith, gave us a wonderful opening set, just as we would expect from these two master musicians - and it was a pleasure to be back on stage with Reg Patten once again! Five quality numbers were played in Phil & Malcolm's opening set ,which seemed to pass by so quickly - if we'd had fewer Jammers in the house I'm sure no-one would've objected to Phil & Malcolm playing an extended set.
Surprisingly with 20 Jammer's names on the signing-in sheet we only had four recognised vocalists, but on the positive side, it did allow us to hear Phil Hughes vocalising on one of the jam sets (is there any better vocalist in our fraternity?) which included guitarist Tony Myers, Alan Vincent playing bass and drummer Bryan Wall. Also included was guitarist Rag, who occasionally visited us at the Coach & Horses but now making his first appearance here in Leytonstone and has since became a doctor - many congratulations, Rag - or more precisely Doctor Rag!
Very pleased to see my ex band-mates Alan Taylor and Kevin Molyneux back here, which also reminded me to arrange a guest-spot for them in the New Year - two first-class guitarists from "Hungry Joe" in need of a front-line vocalist I've been informed. Anyone interested, please contact their Facebook profile.
Nice to have a good selection of rhythm section Jammers here this week, I'm not sure if it was bass-player Keith Mack's first appearance here but a warm welcome to Keith nevertheless. Always a pleasure to see the ubiquitous Wayne Worrell making regular appearances here. Unfortunately we've yet to see him playing drums - and does he ever stop smiling?!
A bit disappointing to see John Crowther leaving earlier than expected and not seeing him amongst our Jammers, but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy what was being served up on stage, as did our many Jammers and Listeners, to whom I must give my whole-hearted thanks too. Further thanks to our houseband guests Phil Hughes & Malcolm Smith for initiating a fabulous night to warm the cockles of Vera's and my heart. What better time than this to call...
The Roll Of Honour:
Ernie King's videos have now been uploaded on to his YouTube channel (see below). Apologies for the lack of mp3s and photos while I have been away, but this week we'll be back to normal when our Webmaster Ken Cumberlidge will be uploading a fine selection of mp3s and our regular photo slide-show will be up and running too.
Special thanks to Ernie King and Richard Stenhouse for helping to set up and pack away the equipment and - last but not least - to Vera (Queen Bee as dubbed by Keith Geddes) for arranging the jam sets and taking some of the photos.
Next week at Leytonstone Blues Jam:
Next week's guest will be the multi-talented John Parry, taking time out from his busy schedule to be with us. We're hoping that he brings along his gifted bass-playing son Kyle. John Parry will be supported by our own guitarist John Crowther. Please arrive early: the earlier we start, the more time we'll have for jamming!
Something for the weekend:
There's always quality Blues entertainment to be enjoyed at St Harmonica's Blues Club every Friday. This week (9th) The Hill Street Blues Band will be playing two full sets with half time support from our good friend Emanuele Fizzotti, who will be playing a solo set. For full details, VISIT THEIR WEBPAGE
By sheer coincidence, John Parry will be guesting with Ronnie Collins' "Last Project" on Saturday 10th November at The Manor Arms, 150 East India Dock Road, E14 0BP from 3pm until 6pm - free of charge and it's never dull at this very lively but friendly little pub!
Thanking all our Jammers & Listeners,