It’s a musical ménage à-trois, a Match-dot-com or Craigslist hook-up site for the local music community willing to play the blues: Show up, check in, sing and play the blues yourself, or have a band play with you. That’s how it will roll for the Monday Night Blues Jam at Moe’s; an open invitation blues jam for local musicians.
Organized by local guitar player Darren Stroud and his wife and bass player Missy Percifield, it’s an attempt to build a stronger musical community through musical mingling via a genre that is parent to many other genres. The first Blues Jam will be Monday, July 11, and will continue weekly.
Both Stroud and Percifield play in the rock outfit PowerTribe. Stroud also plays in country band The High Rollers; along with drummer Clay Louder they are Missy and The Bluetones, the band that will serve as house band for the Blues Jam. There’s no ego and no need to be nervous about your ability or lack thereof. If you have the slightest inclination toward making music, bring it to Moe’s and throw it in with Stroud’s and Percifield’s infectious enthusiasm.
“Something I noticed in every town I lived in, there are always these little circles of musicians and they don’t know each other. We would do a metal show as PowerTribe and I’d meet guys that haven’t heard my country band, or they hadn’t heard of any funk bands in town, or didn’t know the classic rock guys,” said Stroud in a recent interview. “I thought even in this small town you have these circles of people that don’t know each other, and blues is the common denominator in all this music. People can meet each other, and it would be good for the community.”
Percifield cut her teeth on classical, yet it was going to blues jams that gave her the schooling and the chops to really perform.
“Its not only social, it’s educational, too. You learn a lot by getting up on stage and performing,” said Percifield. “We’re here; we might as well do it, and bring the community together.”
Blues lays a solid foundation for all genres. You’ll hear it in punk, you’ll hear it in country and you’ll hear it in indie rock or within the jam-band community. For this jam, the audio idea is to play blues at its most basic and most traditional way, be it classics found in the blues canon or something original influenced by Chicago, Memphis or Mississippi hill country blues. The twist will be inviting other musicians to step up and expand the instrumentation. Obviously guitars, bass, or harmonicas are welcome; yet so are horn sections, keyboards or even banjo, mandolin or a fiddle.
“There are a lot of diverse instruments in this town. I’m hoping we get some great fiddle players, different stringed-instrument players. They’re going to be able to rip up on some blues, too,” said Stroud. “And the jazz guys, the horn guys, so it all fits. It all has a place, any instrument, anyone that wants to get up and jam with us.”
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. [email protected]