Thursday, January 19, 2006

art of the jam 35

the evening started out on a sad note, with the news that elvis, the bartender from "wreck west," was in the emergency room at j.p.s. (that's john peter smith hospital, for out-of-town folks). hope you're better soon, bro. we played "maggot brain" for you.

again this week, there was actually a crowd that hung around for most of the evening. (mini-hype from a factor? _you_ decide!!!) among 'em: black dog tavern bartender shaggy; sunward gtrist jerko (pronounced YAIR-ko), who's playing in denton this weekend with a radiohead cover band; fred's outlaw chef terry chandler, whose fiery valentine's day feast looks like it might give the one he cooked up on new year's eve some competition for the honor of "best meal i eat this yr;" and rose marine teatrista claudia acosta, who sez teatro de la rosa's upcoming production of casa rio opens january 20th and sounds like one not to miss. (claudia said she was improvising spanish rhymes in her head during "maggot brain;" maybe next time she'll get up and do it on-mic.) one audience member even tipped the band generously (a first), and bought a cd of last week's jam that wreck room wizard o' sound andre edmonson had handed me earlier in the evening. i hadn't even listened to it. hope it didn't disappoint.

not many jammers this particular night, just gooduns. joe "drumzilla" cruz had been fighting a nasty strep infection since the previous weekend, so jam-meister lee allen's fort worth academy of music pardner dave karnes stepped in on traps, while ron geida of kulcha far i / jasper stone fame is becoming a jam reg'lar on gtr. i've been kinda gettin' my ass kicked this week by work / life stuff, but any opportunity i get to listen to ron geida shred all night qualifies as a winner. for my money, he's the most inventive rawk player in town, with exquisite chops, beaucoup fretboard knowledge, and a fair degree of humor in his ripping solos. karnage, of course, never half-steps, whether it's rawk or jazz he's playing, and it was a kick seeing his reaction to the poster ray liberio designed to promote his jazz gigs (the next ones are at machenry's on the 2nd and 23rd of february).

absent carl pack, dave's pal riley shaw did the vocal honors on "come together" and, um, "hotel california." besides "maggot brain" for elvis, there were several other developing jam traditions honored: p.j. fry's vocal turn on his band sally majestic's "bobo;" the "pepper"-into-"sweet emotion" segue; an ultra-abbreviated "back in black;" a deja vu reprise of "war pigs" with geida 'n' karnes (proving that what you don't think is possible can become a habit if you let it). kulchafarian john shook took over the jam-meister's 5-string bass for part of the last set, steering it through an uptempo blues ("messin' with the kid") and a _s-l-o-w_ "chameleon," in contrast with the jammers' usual "speed-metal" version. dre was testing some new toys, and i had fun playing with the harmonic feedback from the monitor, altho it took me awhile to get used to its in-yr-face sound (and playing standing up again, minus "das boot").

we started late, and the next thing i knew, it was last call. no matter what else is going on, it's _always_ better to play than not to play.


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