Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 31 2008 Jam

Back again, week three of the Matt Hammer Jam. Welcome to all jammers, audience and the Eagle River car poolers. Big thank you to Freedom Writer Bill and Eagle River Steve for photos. And a big, big thank you to Dennis Smith, the staff at Eddie’s and the two Mikes for keeping us together.
NOTE: Stu Schulman will be our guest host jammer next week.

Jam Master Hammer opened up with “Vacancy” an old Harry Chapin tune. He then looked around for banjoman Schultz who was nowhere to be found and coerced Frank Iarossi to come to our rescue with some hot electric licks of his own. Lona and Matt sang, “Leaves that are Green” and then the core band, with alternate drummer Dean Reaves, joined us for “Glory of True Love” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” Jack Shockley then stepped center stage and rounded out the first set and sang “Edmund Fitzgerald”, “Seminole Wind”, and “Don’t Mess Around with Jim.”

Set two began with the core band launching into “Operator,” “How Long,” Matt’s original, “One More Song,” “Devils & Dust” and “The Weight.” Pat Rat received spontaneous applause for his rendition of “crazy chester” adding his unique four-part harmony notes to the song with Frank, Matt, and moi.

Tammy Judd stepped to the stage with her bass guitar with Steve on flute, Thomas on drums, Special Ed on electric. Tammy sang an old Blues Brothers Tune, the song “Chain of Fools” and “I Heard it through the Grapevine.” A little sweet blues with “I Can’t Face the Blues Again.” Superb dancing was witnessed this set with Dave and Tammy and their sweet moves. Alaska’s Elvis walked into the room and we put this celebrity , Mike Olsen, on the list of jammers. Frank, Ed,

Pat, Paul and Thomas stepped main stage with Frank Iarossi singing a couple of his country tunes. Sweet, sweet licks by all jammers. Frank then launched into “Stand by Me” and “Brown-Eyed Girl.” Frank tells us that he gets a lot of mileage out of the name “Hillside Drive.” Jam Master Hammer then sang an original, “Some Things are Never Gonna Change” and “San Diego Serenade.”

The two Mikes were busy as beavers on our break changing lights on the stage and climbing up and down and all around…never have we felt so pampered.

Set four brought Mike Olsen, Steve, Frank, Special Ed and Dean to the stage. A little “Margaritaville” and “Move It on Over,” a little “Knock, Knock, Knockn’ on Heaven’s Door” and an original on-the-spot, tribute in song to the Eagle River commuters via “We’re a Long Way from Eagle River” brought this session to a close. Many thanks to all of you for making the jam a success!! See y’all next week!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 24 2008 Jam

Welcome to the second session of the Matt Hammer Jam…the sequel. Big thank you’s to Cassandra, Amber and Tana on refreshments and sustenance and a big thank you to Dennis Smith for hosting this jam. Huge thank you’s to the two Mikes on the mics. In the “Key of C” here we go. Is Mr. Whitekeys here? No, it’s Jam Master Hammer launching into his own original tune, “Start All Over Again.”

Mike Campbell and his Tommy walk in the door. Mike is the singer you would get if Roger Whittaker and Tennessee Ernie Ford had a child. Mike promises us he’ll grace us with some of his original musical musings shortly.

I joined Jam Master Hammer and we sang the Simon & Garfunkel tune, “Leaves that Are Green” and then we were joined by the core jam band, Gary Price on Drums, Pat Rat on Bass, Paul Schlomer on harp, for a little “Glory of True Love,” a John Prine tune that’s near and dear to our hearts.

Mike Campbell joined the core band and sang the oldie but goodie “Sixteen Tons.” He had the audience singing as we remembered this old tune. Mike asked Paul and Pat to stay, musing “mostly good people don’t let me play with them, I’m an artist and being antisocial is a condition we don’t want to talk about. (old age) He then launched into his original hit “Put that Budweiser Back in the Clydesdale.” Another original song, “Little Jim,” about the big quake in Kodiak had us all in tears. Then a little “King of the Road” and he ended with “Morris the Misfit Munchin’ Moose.” Wow, Mike, what fund you are.

Back on stage with Jam Master Hammer, core jam band members, Paul, Pat, Gary, and myself. Ariel joined us on Keyboard, Steve on flute, and Kyle on saxophone and we launched into Matt’s original rock-n-roll song, “Some Things are Never Gonna Change,” Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey.” Paul Schlomer, in a rare original vocal moment, belted out his ditty entitled, “Moose Don’t Care.”

Set two brought Jack Shockley and his guitar to the stage accompanied by Paul. He sang his original tunes “Ever Soul,” “Gray Skies,” and “Iowa Girl.” Jack is a new Alaskan song writer and growing and stretching every time he’s on stage. Welcome, welcome. Jam Master Hammer joined in on flute.

Jam Master Hammer then called the core band back to the stage and the core band was joined by master electric guitarist, Mark Houle, two of our three favorite saxophone players, Kyle and Mike, and one of our newest jammers, Merrill on electric guitar. This group launched into “San Diego Serenade.” Then Thomas joined the band as the new drummer. Matt launched into his IRAQ”N tale…you’d have to be there, SHAH’enough…to get the whole bit…

Sully Sullivan and his wife joined our audience this night. Matt recounted that Sully told Matt one time “you should be in the movies” … Matt said, “really” and Sully said, “yes, you should be on the big screen...” And so they were… big stars of the Fireweed screen!
A new Eagle’s tune, “How Long” albeit our way and the long…and short, fast…and slow version of “Summertime” rounded out the second set.

Set three brought a Showcase moment to the stage. Sully’s daughter Bridgett and Ariel moved main stage with Bridgett on vocals and Ariel on Keyboard. Bridgett flawlessly sang, “Because You Love Me,” “If You Could See Me Now,” “It’s Too Soon to Say Forgive,” and “When You Say Nothing at All.” Watch for this young lady in the future, she’s finishing up her music degree and heading south…to Nashville. Hopefully she will come back and grace our Jam stage again before she heads out. Great stuff!
Merrill, Mark, Pat, Thomas, Ariel, and Matt rounded out the set playing, “Hope You Feel the Same,” “Route 66,” and “Sweet Little Thing,” with Michelle joining in on tambourine.

Our last set brought Mike Olsen from the Mike Olsen band to the stage. “There’s a Train”…and joined by Steve, Mark, Ariel moving to drums, Pat, Paul, Mike and Michelle. Jam Master Hammer and moi joined in for “Can’t You See,” “There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler,” and “Turn the Page.” And all too soon another night of jamming came to an end.

The complete set of pictures from tonight's Jam can be found here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 17 2008 Jam

Welcome to Matt Hammer Jam…the sequel… thank you, thank you, Dennis for inviting us to Eddie’s Sports Bar every Thursday night to host this jam…and many thanks to Tana, our trusty bartenderess and Miss Amber on cocktails. Rounding out the house were the two Mikes on…you guessed it…setting the mics… what a great crew! Many thanks to drummer Mike on Eddie’s website as well. Many thanks to the crew and all of the musicians and audience who came out to support “Matt Hammer Jam - the sequel”… in the infamous words of Loren Arment aka the human voice… “we love you guys!”

All the “usual suspects” were present in the audience this first set. Freedomwriter Bill with his camera and discriminating eye, searching out important details in every shot. Suspect Will as in John with his discriminating ear for music, Eagle River Steve whose computer and photo expertise keep us on-line, Pickles aka alternate jam drummer Dean Reaves, sporting a “new do” on his chin, “Special Ed” Christiansen with his special electrifying guitar licks accompanied by Ms. Brenda, Tim and his trusty son sidekick, the two Ritaris, the two Beas, the Oldenwieser crew (is that like budwieiser?), and all the musicians who signed up to jam. Big welcome to the regulars from Eddie’s, new to us, but call Eddie’s their home away from home, we thank you for your support and welcome y’all and hope you join our jammin’ family on Thursdays!

Jam Master Hammer opened the night with “Lincoln Duncan,” a tune our harp player in spite of his long-term gig with us, had never heard this tasty blast from Hammer’s past.

The infamous Doc Schultz joined in on “Souvenieurs,” a Stevie Goodman/John Prine tune and once again, the jam began. The core band included: Pat Rat on bass, Gary Price on drums, Paul Schlomer on harp, yours truly on background vocals, joined by Special Ed. Continuing on with John Prine we sang, “Glory of True Love” and “Long Monday.”

John A. jumped to the stage with his own special rendition of “Worried Man,” only he’s not so worried anymore as he tastefully belts out those folk tunes. John sang, “Four Strong Winds” and then took a little trip south…to “Abiline” which reminded Matt of our recent trip south…he noted that the plane seats had gotten smaller since we traveled last…and the bathroom…he confided in us… he had trouble turning around… shhhh...we won’t tell him that there might be another reason for this anomaly… stifle those laughs! John finished up with “MTA” and “Greenback Dollar.”

Set two began with a bluegrass showcase band, Oldenweiser strutting their stuff. Kathy Claiborne on guitar and vocals, Doc Schultz on banjo and vocals, the megatall Kevin Cassidy on mandolin, and Blue Honey’s own Meg Anderson holding down the bottom end on her big, bad standup bass. Catch her new CD, Blue Honey, on sale at local outlets. The group started out with a sweet Graham Parsons tune, launched into “If You Needed Me,” and then Doc and Kathy launched into their rousing rendition of “Jackson” and leaped straight into “Love Hurts.” Watch for this group at the Folk Festival this week! Good stuff!!

Quicko, chango and it’s Loren Arment aka the Human Voice and Jam Master Hammer dueting once again. What a treat for the ears! It was a treat for the eyes as well with Arment vamping on the stage and throwing off his age old…or is that old age glasses! Anyway, a little “Mrs. Robinson” from Simon and Garfunkel and “Red Rubber Ball” by the band, Circle, with the two exercising their sweet intricate harmonies. Once again they left us breathless. The band joined in for the humorous “Universe” song from Monte Python and then “Spanish Pipe Dream.” We jammed to our own rendition of “Fly Away on My Way Back Home,” a tune none of us had sang since the Fair…we be jamming here! Thomas joined in on drums. Set two came to a bittersweet end with our own version of “For What It’s Worth” with Yakatat…or is that Tallahassee Steve joining us on flute. M’m… nothing like, good music, good food, and good friends to warm up a…d winter’s night!

Set three began with a few tunes from another showcase band: ADD, aka as Ellen, Lon, Randy, Kevin and Gary. Ellen belted out the Sugarland tune, “Something More” and then the band launched into “Johny Be Good.” Miss Michelle jammed on tambourine. The Do-what? singers joined the band on-stage and Lon stepped off-stage and out onto the dance floor to sing “Mustang Sally.” Wow, good fun, good music…and this band knows how to drink tequila and party… Patron-ites unite!

Merrill Miller and Phil DuBois stepped to the stage next and were joined by core band members Pat Rat and Paul Scholmer. They be jammin’ Merrill sang a tune about, “if it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all” and then launched into some sweet, sweet blues and followed it up with Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and then lit a “Fire on the Mountain.” These two are a tasteful duo, with Phil playing lead guitar and Merrill on guitar, harp and lead vocals. We look forward to Phil and Merrill jamming again! Hammer jammer rookies no more!

Jam Master Hammer took the stage and was joined by Special Ed Christansen on electric guitar, Steve on flute, Thomas on drums, Pat Rat on bass, Paul on harp and Michelle on tambourine with Matt launching into his tribute to the troops with the Bosses “Devil’s and Dust.” Powerful tune! Doc Schultz joined the band on stage and I took the house on a trip to “Atlanta” and we ended the night with Doc singing “Midnight Special.”

We want to thank all of you for your participation. Look forward to seeing y’all next Thursday!! Fa, la, lah

The complete set of pictures from tonight's Jam can be found here.