Triple Played: Blues on Tuesdays
“Well, the blues had a baby and they named the baby Rock n’ Roll” — McKinley Morganfield aka Muddy Waters.
Anyone who thinks there is no good music to listen to in Grand Junction during the week, and I have heard that complaint many times, has not attended Blues Jam.
If you are a musician, and you don’t think that there is any place for you to play or sing during the week, even if you are a solo act, you should attend Blues Jam.
After going to the last two Blues Jams with my son Matthew, I know for sure that some of the finest musical talent Grand Junction has to offer performs every Tuesday night from 8–10:30 p.m. at the Mesa Theater and Lounge for free to a mostly empty house. That has got to change.
Most of the musicians who I watched the past two weeks have been residents of this valley for decades and are obviously passionate about their music because they perform for basically no compensation.
At times there is at least 120 years of experience on the stage together, and only four players. Although the evening is called Blues Jam, the music includes blues-based rock and even some Pink Floyd and Moody Blues covers.
I can’t think of anywhere else in town where you can see musicians from different bands and different styles of music play together, maybe for the first time ever and sound incredibly cohesive.
Egos are put aside for the sake of the song, and it is more about the music than it is the story. I know for a fact that there were Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Christians and atheists on the same stage, working together, for the sake of song.
The amazing thing to me is how good it sounds, as if these folks actually rehearsed together. This past week I heard one of the finest versions of the blues classic “I Would Rather Go Blind” sung by the amazing Miss Emily, backed by Bobby Walker on guitar, Pete Langford on bass and drummer Joe Kendrick.
Check Triple Play Records’ Facebook page for videos Matthew posted from this week’s show.
Blues Jam was started in 1997 by Bobby Walker at the Station Coffee House at Seventh and Main streets and owned by Charlie and Debbie Campbell. Since then Blues Jam has had homes at Station 234, Blue Moon, Boomers, G.J. Scores, Tenacious Brothers Pub and now the Mesa Theater and Lounge.
“I can’t imagine any local cat not wanting to come down here on a Tuesday night and blow off some steam,” said Blues Jam’s host Bobby Walker on Tuesday.
Walker has hosted Blues Jam when he is in town and over the years it has been hosted by many local bands and musicians including Jerry Schaefer, Terry McGovern and the Uranium Blues Band, Desert Moon, Ofey Soul and J.T. and The Big Dogs.
Several fine examples of what Blues Jam is all about were related to me with several stories of young boys and girls who were not old enough to drive being brought by their parents. It was there where they were tutored on the guitar and shown licks by players sometime three times their age. Later in the same session, these young players were allowed to show their licks with a solo.
If you want to see some great music for free — who doesn’t? — do yourself a favor and get to Blues Jam on Tuesdays. Everyone says the jam on Dec. 18 will be something special. Hope to see you there.