Thursday, October 26, 2006

October 26 2006 Jam

The night started out tried and true with Prinetime and John A. our resident folk singer. John brought his usual fare to the stage but added a bit of new spice with a sweet Texas rendition of the tune, “Abilene.”

Set two began with Robobert Howard on electric, Special Ed on electric, Loren on acoustic, Gary on Drums, Pat on bass, Paul on harp, Cuba on congas, and Matt on acoustic, Loren, the infamous “man with the human voice,” became a man of wild abandon and sang, “I’m in Love With Her and I Feel Fine” and then led jammers into “Boys of Summer” with Jam Master Hammer moving to mandolin and then straight into “Fire on the Mountain” with freedom flag a’waving and Michelle on tambourine. Then the group launched into “Black Magic Woman” with Dean Reaves moving in on percussion and Jam Master Hammer moving to flute.

Where’s Doc’o? … me don’t know… perhaps heading for Seattle… in route to a boat?

Where’s Rachel Renae? Why, she’s in LA…

Set three brought the Valley boys to the stage. Big welcome to Valley Matt on electric, Tre on drums and Jackson on guitar joined by Pat Rat, Cuba and Paul. From Johnny Cash’s “Good Hearted Woman” to a sweet virginiaish tune to “Loving is What I Got to Matt’s original “Angel in the Sand” these young men rocked the house. Big welcome goes out to Jackson as this is his first jammin’ night…

A quick-change brought Paul, Ed, Loren, Gary, Cuba and Michelle up to join Jam Master Hammer for “Devils and Dust” and then we moved south for “Tupelo Honey.” Special Ed stepped main stage to sing, “Flip, Flap and Fly” with Bob Howard joining and then Special Ed sang “All of Me” in his big daddy voice. A little “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke” in which I got to do a little huffin’ and puffin’ and then we slipped south to “Atlanta.” We “Turned the Page” and before you knew it we were “Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and once more another night of jamming came to a close.

Live long, love much, laugh often…and play music!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

October 19 2006 Jam

Good-Byes and Boo Hoos: Laurie, one of our favorite Walmart women, leaves for Carolina this evening and joined us for a good-bye celebration. Take care, Laurie, be safe, we will miss you and the energy you bring to the jam! And Tony Wright, our Stanleytown man, heads out to Virginia soon. A big thank you goes out to Tony who co-anchored the corner bar seat with Steve and supported us during his tenure in Alaska. Thank you, Tony, we will miss your smiling face and great support!

The core Matt Hammer Band hit the ground running with a tried and true Prine trio. Jam Master Hammer then launched into “One Belief Away” and his own “Ballad of Tammy & Jimmy” then sang “Leaving on a Jet Plane” in honor of Laurie’s parting, adding Special guest host, Bo Porter to the mix.

Matt reminded everyone that Rachel Renae was now in LA tending her music. Good luck and best wishes go out to her from all of us in Alaska on her music quest.

John A joined Bo and the band for “Worried Man”, “Sloop John B” and “Greenback Dollar” with three acoustic guitars a’playing and loosy, goosy-legged Bo dancing up on the main stage.

Where’s Doc’o? …cleaning in Chico?!?!! …and soon to return…

Set two began with Robobert Howard on electric, Gary on drums, Pat Rat on bass, Paul on harp, Cuba on congas and special guest host, Bo Porter. Bo is one of Eagle River’s own, or as he affectionately calls his home, “Buzzard Gulch.” Huge welcome to Bo. Bo sang, “I’m ready” and “That’s What Love Does to You Baby.” He dedicated the song, “Rose in Paradise” to the Freedom Writer and then launched into “Six Days on the Road.” Moe joined in on keyboards and Jam Master Hammer on flute. Bo then sang, “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “Big-Legged Woman.” Robobert had some sweet, sweet licks on this tune. A drinking song, a Bobby Bear “Another Man Done Gone Song” and set two came to a close.

A big welcome also goes out to Vederan, the Croatian sensation, listening in tonight, not singing, due to a sore throat.

Special Happy B’day to our favorite bartendress, Jessica, and then one big party for Jessica began. Happy b’days went out to Greg, too.

Set three began with Special Ed on electric, Gary on drums, Mike Olson on electric, Pat on bass, Tom Lambert on the Hammond B-3, Paul on harp, Cuba on congas, and Bo on acoustic. Mike led jammers into “Betty Lou’s Getting Out Tonight.” Then Bo launched into a bit o’Bo humor that only Bo could tell. In Bo’s musical travels into the bowels of Nashville he met many stars, attended many star-studded parties, and rubbed many elbows with many a’Nashville crooner… while in Targe’ (for those of you that haven’t traveled lately to the Lower 48, that’s French for Target, the local department store a’la Fred Meyer). While shopping in Targe’ who did Bo run into but the infamous man in black himself, in the flesh, up close and personal… Bo asked him a most poignant and probing question, “Do you know that you’re Johnny Cash?” And with that segway, Mike had no choice but to launch into a tune written by the man in black, himself, Johnny’s own, “Folsom Prison blues” with a Hank Williams back and then became “King of the Road.”

Jam Master Hammer stepped center stage and led the band in “Tupelo Honey.” Mr. Paul Hennes, a new jammer, stepped center stage. Paul brought something completely different to the stage with his own rendition of a Dave Matthews tune followed by a slow soulful tune. Welcome Paul, please come back and play in our sandbox again.

Bo then consulted his memory which he told us consists of a series of post-it notes of downloads of pieces of paper as he paused to load up the ol’ hard drive. Bo launched into “She’s the Sensitive Kind” joined by Michelle on tambourine. In honor of summertime jammers played “Summertime’ and then humored me by playing “Atlanta” so I, too, could play some in the sandbox. Mat the led jammers into the powerful Bruce Springsteen tune, “Devils and Dust.”

Big thank you to Dan on sound and Jessica behind bar and a big thank you to all of the many audience members. The jam is beginning to feel like one big family reunion on every Thursday night.

An encore moment brought special guest host, Bo Porter, back to the state for “We All Get Together on a Saturday Night” and once again another night of jammin’ came to a close.

Live long, love much, laugh often and … play music!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

October 12 2006 Jam

In, Out and About

Alaska Musicians…Alaska’s own, in, out and about musicians traveling the Lower 48.

Back to Alaska, for a moment, Bo Porter is the guest host jammer on October 19 at the North Slope. We are all in for a treat!

Best wishes to Gwen and Reggie, Reggie is the drummer for 1Enemy3, going on tour in the Lower 48. They hit the road on Sunday. To track their adventures, check out their blog at

Best wishes to Shannon, our favorite Wasilla bartender, formerly bartending at the Great Bear Mat-Su Resort. Wow, what a set of pipes on this long, tall blonde. She treated us to her own phenomenal rendition of “Summertime” at our gig on Saturday evening at the Mat-Su and brought down the house. Who knew…she was amazing! And we didn’t even know she sang. Shannon heads out to Sacramento to join her band in the studio for a demo and then they plan to make their way on down to the city of Angels. Shannon doesn’t have a link for us, but she promises to stay “connected” so we’ll keep y’all apprised of where she is… in case you get to LA and can stop on by and say hi.

Mike K., the guitar fiddler on the roof, is still in Vegas town, continuing to play music. No location yet.

Our own Rachel Renae heads for LA this week to perform in a contest geared for talented new musicians, songwriters and singers. Check out Rachel tells us she plans to enter several categories there, including songwriting…we’re anxious to hear some of those originals when she returns to Alaska. Good luck Rachel, you make us proud!

Back to Alaska on Sunday, our own Doc Schultz…make sure you make it to the boatdock, Doc. We all look forward to your return to Alaska…you and your mando player, take care, have fun, and be safe. We look forward to you knockin’ on our door once again.

Michie, our “our house” clarinet player, has settled in at the University of Oregon, connected with a group of college jammers and is happily playing music in Oregon.

And let’s not forget, young Kyle, our own alto saxophone prodigy, (we’ve all adopted him I think). Kyle heads for the windy city soon to learn more from some of the great blues masters.

Stars may be out, Brian Bowers may join us at the “Best of Matt Hammer Jam” on autoharp. Brian lives in Seattle and tours the Pacific Northwest and is, perhaps, one of the best autoharpists in the nation, perhaps in the world.

Birthday Party for Jessica, our favorite Anchorage bartender, on Thursday (her birthday is actually 10/18). Cake, gift, covered… talk to Bea, Linda or Bill if you want to help cover costs or just come on down to make it a birthday party to remember for Jess.

Congratulations are in order…for our own Gary Price, who got married a Friday or so ago! Rumor has it he’s bringing “the wife” to the gig on Thursday as they are moving into their new digs! Best of luck to Gary and his lovely wife!

Kudos to Dan, our superb soundman for his continued vigilance in setting the sound and making us sound good on every Thursday night!

Kudos to Pat O., our bar manager…thank you Pat for your hard work and support!

Set one began with Matt on vocals and acoustic guitar, Gary on drums, Paul on harp, Special Ed on electric and Pat Rat on bass.

A bit’o Prine, a bite o’Buffett and John A. joined the group, singing his classic folk songs… he tells us that “some things are priceless”… like singing with the band every Thursday.

Young Kyle is back on sax, welcome back, Kyle, we missed you! D’mitri joined in on electric, and a new drummer named Ron. WELCOME RON! The group was joined by Matt, lona, Ed, Pat, and Paul for a little “T-Bone Shuffle.”

And yet another new jammer joined the stage this night, new to our stage but the man who makes all our jamming possible, a HUGE WELCOME TO MIKE, North Slope owner, and a berry, big saxophone player extraordinaire. Whew… these guys were smokin’… A tribute to Albert King, a born in Chicago kind of song, “Change your Evil Ways,” with Michelle joining in on tambourine and Gary back on drums. “Midnight Radio”.

Guest host jammer D’mitri main stage. He was joined by Ed, Kyle, Pat, Ron and another new jammer, with another new instrument.

A big North Slope WELCOME to “horn doctor” horn master Justin on trumpet. Wow, this boy can trumpet that trumpet!

And then we added a dash of Bo Porter to the mix…google Bo, he’s a star…he is all over the web. Bo led jammers into a Taj Mahal tune. Ah, takes me back to Arkansas. Some “Hey Joe,” Jimmy Hendrix style, with Paul literally hurling himself onto the stage to play on this number! Dancers and more dancers this night made for busy North Slope staff. Wow, we even caught Don Hicks dancing with a TV star, our own Linda Stewart is now doing a Mall Commercial…yeah, she be walking/talking the mall…catch her on prime time TV…

Set three began with Dean Reaves on drums, Mike Olsen on electric and vocals, Pat Rat, Ed, and Bo. Matt ordered Schlomer to “bring his lips to the stage,” which was quite a surprise, usually he’s ordering Jose around. Mike led jammers in “Moving on Over” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Bo led jammers in “That’s All Right.” And then jammers launched into a song initially wrote on a white piece of toilet paper, entitled “Leave It Alone.” Wow, inspiration can strike in the oddest of places! This is a great song, no bathroom humor intended.

Some “Simple Man” and Rachel Renae stepped center stage. Dane moved in on bass, Moe moved in on keyboards, with Ed, D’mitri, Dean, and Paul. Rachel launched into “Give Me One More Reason” and “What’s Up.”

Then we noticed that Tom Lambert, Hammond B3 player extraordinaire was hiding in the audience and we did the “musician shuffle” and got Tom to tickle the keys of the ole Hammond.

After more shuffling with Gary now back on drums, Matt on flute, Pat Rat back on bass, and Justin trumpeting, Rachel launched into “Moondance” and guest host jammer D’mitri launched into the encore song, Dire Straits’ “I am the Sultan” and all too soon another edition of the Matt Hammer Jam came to a rousing close.

HUGE THANK YOUS go out to our audiences and our jammers, thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 5 2006 Jam

From the “Music Aficionados” in the audience (you know who you are) comes the following joke. “Do you know what you call 10 rabbits in a row walking backwards? (scroll to the bottom of this blog entry for the answer)

A big welcome went out to Stu Schulman, our guest host jammer of the evening. Stu is one of the finest musicians in Alaska… or for that matter… anywhere in the nation. Thank you Stu for sharing your talent with us!

Set one began with Jam Master Hammer on acoustic guitar and vocals, Gary on drums, Pat Rat on bass, Stu on electric guitar, Paul on harp, and Cuba on congas.
A once-again Priny quartet of tunes, backed with a trio of solid folk tunes. A new tune to the stage, Bonnie Raitt’s “One Belief Away” with Dean Reaves on drums, rocked the house…

Wow, multiple stars were in our midst this night. Big welcome goes out to Bo Porter. Bo is visiting from the Lower 48 where he’s played at Dollywood and a number of other locales. Bo was joined by brother Butch, a superb local electric guitarman, Stu moved over to bass, and Gary joined them on drums, Pat on harp, Cuba manning the congas, and Matt played flute.

Jam Master Hammer takes some time off to pay attention to more important matters (Mrs. Lona Hammer)

Bo played acoustic guitar and sang a Mexicale tune called, “Riding My Thumb to Mexico,” followed up by “Must Be Jelly,” and “See Me Shine.” Wow, what a tight group, sweet sweet licks and a strong rhythm bass holding down the bottom end and Bo’s melodic voice made this music “melt in your mouth” perfection like a fine piece of imported chocolate. Bo will be the guest host jammer on October 19th… come and join us that night… a night that promises to be a sweet treat!

Matt then launched into “Tupelo Honey” with Gary, Pat, Cuba, Stu and lah. Kathy Claiborne, aka the K from the band MAK and lah launched into the “not so hard” tune entitled “Viagra in the Waters”… a tribute to men (and their women)…everywhere…

A big welcome goes out to our fans from Norway… welcome, welcome…they told us that we could work in Norway… wow, I could legitimately have a “blonde” moment there…and no one would notice (more blondes there, I’m told)…

Wow, the phone rang and the Doc was in… volved… in a moment of music…he wanted Matt to play his “Taxi,” the song, “Pioneer Love Song”… first set, Doc, Pioneer Love is a first set tune.

Set three brought the Bo show back for an encore moment times two. Bo sang, by request from our Freedom Writer, the tune, “Rose in Paradise” and another sweet Johnny Winter’s tune. A little “For What It’s Worth” and then Miss Rachel Renae stepped center stage, in her high class shades… Sang her heart out for standing ovations times three, Rachel treated us to “Bobbie McGee,” “What’s Up,” and “Stormy Monday.”

A little “Wild Nights” and Dmitri slipped in at the last moment for “Sometimes It’s Gonna Rain” with Michelle joining in on tambourine. One more, on the fly tune from Dmitri and another night of jamming was complete.

Notable Notes of Interest: Our own Rachel Renae has been invited to perform in Los Angeles on October 20-22 for America’s Best New Talent. For more information go to: Be safe Rachel, our prayers, hopes and dreams go with you! You go girl, don’t falter, we know you already know how to knock their socks off!!

Birthday announcement: Our own bartendress extraordinaire, the lovely Jessica’s birthday is October 18. We’re planning a birthday celebration for Jessica at the Jam on October 19th… bring her gifts and/or tips!

Answer: …a receding hairline!

Live long, love much, laugh often…and play music!