Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30 2006 Jam

This jam night started out with the core band accompanied by Cuba on congas and featuring Michelle on tambourine. Jam Master Hammer launched into “Devils & Dust.”

The Freedom Writer celebration of sobriety was a great success on Sunday Night! Thank you, Bill, for allowing us to be part of your special moment.

Jam Master Hammer then mixed it up with a little “Crazy as a Loon,” “Two-Fourteen,” “Glory of True Love,” “Long Monday,” and “One Belief Away” and ended the set with a fractured Christmas tune entitled, “Restroom Door.” Whew, talk about energetically being all over the map… we were traveling…

Set two brought up Moe on keyboards, Mike R. on electric, Michelle, Cuba and the core band. Matt led jammers into “Tupelo Honey,” “For What It’s Worth,” “T-Bone Shuffle,” and “Steamroller Blues.”

Set three brought brought pieces and parts of those Sportin’ Woodies to the stage. Eddy Lee and Mike were joined by Robert Howard on electric, Gary on drums, Pat on bass, Paul on harp, Tom Lambert on the Hammond B3, and Cuba on congas.

Eddy sang “Holiday,” his own upbeat original, “Life without Love” and an old Chicago blues number featuring the slide guitar magic of our own Robert Howard.

Sweet, sweet licks! Then the group launched into a “blues thing” in the key of E and another original Sportin’ Woodies song entitled “Road Kill Stew.” This tune was tongue-in-cheek, dedicated to Miss Tinker! “San Diego Serenade” rounded out this set.

Dane, usually a bass player, decided to play his 12-string guitar and sing for a change of pace. He sang several of his original tunes. Good job, Dane; you are full of surprises!

The core band rounded out the night with me getting to take another bash at singing the song, “Atlanta” and all too soon another night of jamming at the North Slope came to a close.

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

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16 2006 Jam

Welcome back folks to the Matt Hammer Jam, Year 2,
Week 1!

Where’s Doc’o: Settlin’ in--in beautiful downtown Spenard!

The Jam started out with the core band launching into, “Glory of True Love,” “Long Monday,” “Son of a Son” and “A Pirate Looks at 40.”

John A. joined the core band and sang “Abilene,” “Chilly Winds,” and “Tijuana Jail” (a new song for John) and “Greenback Dollar.”

John is constantly getting better and better and bringing new songs to the table. Jam Master Hammer rounded out set one by singing his powerful rendition of “Devils and Dust.”

Our guest jammer this week is Mr. Eddy Lee and he’s sporting his “Sporting Woodies”—Mike Rierson on electric and harmony vocals, and Animal on acoustic and harmony vocals. Paul joined in on harp, Cuba on congas, Jerry on bass and Gary on drums.

The “Woodies” launched into “49 Reasons” and “It’s a Holiday” with Matt joining in on flute and then played a snappy little tune about a little light in your candle. The Woodies then sang, with feeling, the tune, “Women are Smarter.” I said, “Amen to that, brothers!” What a fun tune. A harmonica duet by Schlomer and Lee provided a sweet treat for our ears. A bit of “Road Kill Stew” with a bit’o blues for dessert brought this set to a tasty close.

Set three brought jammers Robert Howard on electric, Gary Price on drums, Charlie on electric, Jerry on bass, Cuba on congas, Jon Hansen on trumpet, Bob Parsons on electric, Matt on vocals and acoustic, and Lona on harmony vocals. Matt led jammers in “T-Bone shuffle” and “Tupelo Honey.” Bob Parsons then stepped up, with Matt offering to buy him a longer guitar strap and led jammers in his original bluesy, instrumental tune entitled, “E-Gads.” What sweet licks from Jon on the trumpet, wow! More blues tunes from our superb jammers brought this set to a close.

Marty Christiansen joined jammers on drums and round four was off. Rachel Renae stepped up center stage, singing “Give Me One Reason,” “Stormy Monday,” and Bobbie McGee.” Phil Beckett stepped main stage on electric, Nathan Gabriel aka “Brody,” slid in behind his guitar. This young man is looking for a band and is a man of many instruments! Dane on bass, joined jammers. A little “What’s Up” by Rachel and Jam Master Hammer ended the night with “Steamroller Blues.”

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

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11 2006 Jam

Ah, night three of the Anniversary Jam weekend. Oh, we’re surely going to folk it up this night.

Set one started out with Matt on vocals and acoustic, Dean on drums, Robert on guitar, electric or not, Lona on background vocals, Paul on harp, Cuba on congas, Pat on bass and Doc Schultz on banjo. “Glory of True Love,” “Long Monday,” “Son of a Son,” “Pioneer Love Song” started out the night.

Matt Hammer's youngest regular fan claps appreciatively at the end of the song; he'll soon be a year and a half old - while he cannot yet talk, he certainly knows what music he likes:

John A. one of our favorite folk maestro’s joined the band and sang “Worried Man,” “Chilly Winds” and “Sloop John B,” A little “Greenback Dollar” and “Souvenirs” rounded out this set.

Big thank you’s go out to John who help organize this anniversary celebration, supported all of the jammers and was here all three nights, as well as performing this night. We appreciate your support! Thank you, thank you!

Set two, brought Loren Arment center stage for a “Mrs. Robinson” duo with Jam Master Hammer. Key of two and jammers were off and running with a “Red, Rubber Ball”.

Robert Howard joined in for a little Mason Prophet tune about two men who were well hung, entitled “Two Hangman”.

“The boys” were joined by the “Lovely Miss Penny Lee” aka Ms. Loren Arment.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Loren sang the civil war tune entitled, “Two Little Boys.” The Arment’s sang the John Prine, tongue-in-check, lovesong entitled, “In Spite of Ourselves.” A little “Helplessly, Hoping,” a little “Teach Your Children,” “Serum Run” and “My Little Cabin” rounded out the second set. Sweet, sweet harmonies were enjoyed by all.

Set three, brought Slicker Pickers, Dan Saddler, Joel Lockman, and Mark Houle front and center and were joined by Dean and Dan. A little “Down by the River” a “Changes in Lattitude” with Mark showing his age by needing to wear his glasses on stage so he could see the frets on his guitar. Mark then launched into a tune from his “Four for Fun Just for Friends” CD entitled, “Ballad of the Beacon.” Mark suggested that if folks drank a little more that they’d sound a whole lot better…

Moving right into a Rod Cook tune and then joined by the Arments on background vocals and Michelle on tambourine, Mark launched into “Flash o’ Fire.”

Matt moved the band into the Bruce Springstein tune, in honor of Veteran’s Day entitled, “Devil’s and Dust,” I slipped in for a little “Viagra” for women everywhere.

Loren joined Doc and Matt for some Doc Schultz magic performed “Corey” and “Bugler” (for our elderly pup, Pokey).

Matt joined in flute on “Walking with My Baby By San Francisco Bay.”

The boys then launched into a little “Save the Whales” Doc Schultz and Last Frontier Band” style and ended the night with all jammers on stage, singing “Bring in the Dozers,” a Schultz & Hammer original.

See y’all when you are ready for another “Matt Hammer Jammer” fix!

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

Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10 2006 Jam

It’s blues night, night two of the Matt Hammer Jam Anniversary Celebration! The core band, Jam Master Hammer on acoustic, with the other Hammer on background vocals (that’s me), Pat Rat on bass, Paul on harp, Bob on electric, Cuba on congas and our favorite banjo player in the whole world, Doc Schultz on blues banjo!

Special thank you to John A. and Steve and Linda R., who prepared multiple momentos for jammers and the band. Wow! Jammers received pictures of a jam moment in the last year and Jam Master Hammer received photos and a BIG picture board that everyone could sign. Mike Johnson, jammer and guitar player extraordinaire, blew up the BIG board so everyone would have room to sign. Alas, his picture was not on the big board, but he notes that he “almost” superimposed his image—and, had he done that, we would all have enjoyed his superimposed face on the big board! Huge thank yous go out to our friends and jammers who helped make this anniversary celebration mightily special!

Special kudos to Jessica who wo”maned” the bar and tables, Dan, our sound maestro, who mans the sound, and a special thank you to the “Cattail Kid,” Ted Henderson, who came all the way down from Fairbanks to run the recording mix and play a bit’o bass for the Anniversary jam.

A little blues’ed up “Glory of True Love,” a little “Tupelo Honey” Hammer-style, and “Atlanta” started this bluesy jam out.

D’mitri, from Mo’Betta Blues fame, is our featured jammer this set.

With Butch slipping behind the drums, Bob Howard on electric, young Kyle on sax, D’mitri on electric, Pat on bass, Paul on harp and Cuba on congas, D’mitri led jammers into a bluesy upbeat tune where Kyle wowed the crowd with sax licks. “Crosscut Saw” followed and we added Dean Reaves on percussion. A little “My Baby Can’t be Found” had D’mitri breaking a nail. An E Major tune brought Jam Master Hammer to the stage on flute for “Midnight Radio” with our percussionist, Dean, grabbing up an implement that sounded suspiciously like an old washboard. Jam drummer Gary Price pulled himself away from his lovely wife (he’s newly wed, ya know) and joined jammers on “Oye Como Va” and “Te Lo Fuente” and D’mitri followed up with “I am the Sultan” and a tune that I failed to capture even a portion of the name of but the song spoke of it being a long time since I’ve seen your face. Wow, what fun, what great music this night.

A quick change of lead singers brought Jam Master Hammer to the mic, singing “T-Bone Shuffle.” A quick break brought blues jammers Mike Johnson on electric, Texas Jimmy D, our featured jammer, on electric, his friend Andy on drums, Patti Greene on her signature slapping rhythmic bass, young Kyle on sax and Cuba on congas.

These superb jammers were led by Texas Jimmy D. into a little Junior Parker tune in the Canadian key of “Aye” called, “What’s Going On.”

Dancers, we had dancers this night. Jimmy jumped into an Albert Collins tune, a funky, swingy thing, “If You Love Me Like You Say” and we even had folks dancing in their chairs, the whole crowd was movin’ to the music, some seated, some not! Ms. Patti Greene, stepped center stage and wowed our audience with her own soulful rendition of a little blues number about a woman, lookin’ for a man, lookin’ for a woman for some sweet, sweet lovin’. One thing for sure, Ms. Patti comes with her big magic music gun loaded, and shoots all her bullets… wow, what great jammers we had this night! A little 12-bar vintage blues, a little Freddy King tune, a bit o’ KC Sunshine and all too soon the man from Texas,’ with the long flowing hair, brought his set to a phenomenal Texas Jimmy D. close.

A short break and a quick change brought Rachel Renae to the stage, flanked by Jackson Marvin on electric and harmony vocals, Mike on drums, Pat on bass, Cuba on congas.

A little “Black Velvet” from Rachel’s velvet pipes, some “Bobbie McGee” Joplin-style, and an original tune written by drummer Mike entitled, “Alaskan Girl’s Kick (you guessed it) Ass.” A little t-shirt promo to boot! A little Bonnie Raitt tune and a little “Little by Little” rounded out the set. “A Song for Cuba,” sung by Jam Master Hammer, and a second sighting of the “Freedom Writer Dancer.” Wow!

A Happy Birthday Kyle moment…with jammers and audience alike singing to one of our favorite saxophone players!

Another quick change brought Jimmy “Jammers” Rearick to the stage on electric, joined by D’mitri and Bob, made it tres electric magic. The boys electric were joined by Gary on drums, Kyle on sax, Matt on vocals, Pat on bass, Paul on harp, Lona on harmony vocals, and Cuba on congas. A “Turn the Page Moment,” a little “Summertime” just for fun and the night came to a close with “Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

Live long, love much, laugh often… and play music! …with good friends… makes a life well lived!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9 2006 Jam

We’ve gone a little country this night. Anniversary night one began with a high energy rendition of the “Glory of True Love” by the core band … to celebrate one year of jamming with love and honesty. Our sincere thank you’s go out to all of our jammers and audience for all the support, musically, morally, mentally, and physically, and Jessica and Dan, Mike and the rest of the North Slope crew, who have worked hard to make this jam a success, moment to moment, night to night, hour by hour, and week after week. Big thank you’s to all! We couldn’t have done it without EVERYONE! And that includes YOU!

Jam Master Hammer launched into “Long Monday” for which Matt translated into Thursday!

In a tribute to women with his-story and cowboys everywhere, I sang “Angel from Montgomery.”

Folk Master John Alexandroff, working in secret with other Jam fans, created a large picture tribute to this one year anniversary of the Jam, for Matt and Lona. This was on the pool table for the next three nights for fans to sign.

The night was highlighted by a special guest appearance by Alaska state balladeer, Hobo Jim. Big welcomes go out to Hobo! Hobo sang, “Mother Queen of my Heart” an old country tune; Hank Williams’ first number one song, “I’ve Got the Lonesome, Love Sick Blues,” and his own country tune, “I’m Your Rock” which has been covered by many a country artist, among those Randy Travis and the Amazing Rhythm Aces. Hobo commutes regularly between Alaska and Nashville and is a fine songwriter as well as superb performer. Thank you, Hobo, for participating in our first anniversary celebration. What a treat!

Next up was the Christensen Family Band, featuring Stan and Maureen Christensen, on electric and organ, flanked by their son’s, Marty on drums and Special Ed on electric. They adopted our own Pat Rat on bass, Paul on harp, Cuba on congas to round out their sound. Fifty plus years of making music, Stan and Maureen have left a treasure trove of sons who continue to make music in Alaska for Alaskans. Stan launched into old country classics, “Cotton Fields Back Home,” “Jambalaya,” “Release Me” and “Hey Good Looking.” He ended the night with “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” with Maureen smiling all the while accompanying him on the organ. Sweet music; and these two filled our hearts with a bit of magic that only fifty years together making music can give.

A bit of quick-change artistry, brought Special Ed to the mic. Accompanied by Robert Howard on electric, Jam Master Hammer on mandolin, young Kyle on saxophone, Gary, Pat, Paul and Cuba, Special Ed launched into “Flip, Flap and Fly” “All of Me” and for a change of pace for a little country and western music, a’la Santana latin style, he launched into “Black Magic Woman” featuring Dean Reaves on wood block, Michelle on tambourine and Jam Master Hammer on flute. Ed tells us he’s off to dive in Belize tomorrow… wow, a world traveler this one…take good pictures!

Another change brought Alaska’s own “pickup man” to the stage, Mr. Mike Olsen, with a band of the same name. And I think they could also be known as “The Black Hat Band.” With Allison King on bass, Steve Cork on electric, Terry Kelly on bass, Mike launched into “HeeHaw” and “Pickup Man,” and were off and running with that country swing. Mike followed up with “Could Have Been a Cowboy” and “Bad Man on the Boulevard” and launched into his own original tune “Lucky Man.”

Sweet, sweet! By the time this tune was over the dance floor was filled with dancers…just in time for Mike to catch fire with “Call Me the Fireman.” At the end of this one he was calling for someone to hose him down. Mike’s set romped to a close with “Leave It Alone” and “What was I Thinking.”

Set three began with Bob and Ed on electrics, Gary on drums, Matt, Pat, Paul and Cuba. Jam Master Hammer announced that Ranger Doug was our first guest host jammer last November and it was proper that he round out this first anniversary night of jamming. Ranger Doug stepped up to the stage and brought new meaning to “being wrapped up in the flag!” Doug had just come from performing at another venue, in honor of Veteran’s Day, where he performed for Conde Rice and other national dignitaries. Thank you, Doug, for joining us this night! The Ranger launched into Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues,” “Good Hearted Woman” and figured since he came from a patriotic show, looking mightily dapper in his patriotic garb, that he’d do a patriotic song and patrioticly sang, with feeling, “Oakie from Muskogie.” No country night of music could be complete without a little music of the man in black so he sang, “Ring of Fire” and then “Sometimes Bad is Bad.” Whew, he was smokin’ as he tore into “She Don’t Love Me She Loves My Automobile” and “Make the World Go Away.” Many dancers came to the floor this night! The good Ranger rounded out the night with Ray Charles’ “What I Say,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and rocked the house to a close at midnight with his own rendition of “Midnight Special.”

Live Long, Love Much, Laugh Often and…play music!