Sitting In

D.J. Brunel
Tue Jul 29 16:29:33 EDT 1997

Shannon (et al),

Can these folks be a pain in the, er, ah, well, neck?  Yes they can.  What
motivates them?  The answers are as diverse as they people: with some it is
ego, with others hope, with still others alcohol is overcoming common sense.
 It is something we learn to live with and control as best we can.

There is something vaguely charming about a guy or gal wandering the streets,
guitar at the ready, hoping to find a sit-in gig.  And as I said in my
original post, I like to lay down a few general rules and let the band take
it from there.  The musicians are professionals; no professional wants to
sound bad because some visiting clown has partaken of too much Bud (or
Guinness, or whatever).

We used to do a jam night at The Cellar.  It went pretty well for some time.
One night, overcome by sheer noise, I looked at the bandstand from my stand
behind the bar and counted twenty-two musicians (one drumset, a single
coronet, one tenor sax and nineteen guitars) wailing away. The core band was
four men strong.  It had clearly gotten out of hand and we made immediate

I, personally, do not want to discourage musicians.  I audition men women and
kids several times a week. Newcomers and old timers are encouraged to network
and woodshed with each other and try to come up with an acceptable sound.
 Sit ins have to be able to come close to the level of the main band playing.

A couple of weeks ago, Robert Ward (who will be playing  here August 15th.)
told me the mark of any good musician is to make the band sound the best that
it can be.  Simple and direct!! And that from the heart of one of our finest

This is an interesting thread to me as a lover of Blues and Jazz, and as a
clubowner. As always, I have more questions than answers.

Don Brunel
Macon, Georgia

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