24 May 2017


Blusicians was the name used by one of the bands at the Canberra Blues Society jam session on Sunday, but I guess they are all that. This is blues, endless variations on a few chords and their pentatonics and some solid rhythms, but how nice it can be! Simple but earthy. I used to attend regularly, but ages back. Now it's just occasional, but it's great to sit in, mostly knowing the formulae, trusting the others around are good for the tweeks of the individual tunes. And there's some seriously good gear there, too. I drool over Bucky's bass amp that feels a million dollars (Mesa-Boogie) with wireless input (new to me) and the JBL PA rig and the rest. This time the host band included a few mates, Dean and James. I caught up with Ross and got a spot with some of the heavies for a very decent few tunes. Some other bands and musos I didn't l know. A few performers and mates I did: Leo, Nicki, Bucky, John VB, Mitch, Ross. And this time, Marisa Quigley turned up as a highly regarded visitor, playing with Ali Penny, Mitch and James. Good and a very different presence from the laconic blokes with Fenders. The women might dance. And it's at the Harmonie German Club, so decent beers at reasonable prices and schnitties. I always enjoy Mitch's terse and correct drums (he's a pleasure to play with: understated and just plain correct) and James' tenor was a huge pleasure, especially playing off Marisa's vocals. I missed most of Leo's set, but Ali and Ross appeared as very different piano propositions: Ali all telling the story; Ross all boned up and busy. The blues scene is somewhat aging: much of it is the product of an era of youth, of the British blues explosion (I don't usually talk of recoveries from operations at other venues). So be it. This is growing old gracefully if mildly disgraceful and having great fun with good mates in the process.

Thye Canberra Blues Society jam session was at the Harmonie German Club. Players included James Hoogstadt (tenor, harp), Marisa Quigley (guitar, vocals), Mitch Preston (drums), Eric Pozza (bass) and a string of others.

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