Sitting In (Max Content)

Ruth Vadi ruth_vadi@HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 29 17:15:54 EDT 1997

>Can these folks be a pain in the, er, ah, well, neck?  Yes they can.
>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
> 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
>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
>it from there.  The musicians are professionals; no professional wants
>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
>One night, overcome by sheer noise, I looked at the bandstand from my
>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
>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
>and woodshed with each other and try to come up with an acceptable
> Sit ins have to be able to come close to the level of the main band
>A couple of weeks ago, Robert Ward (who will be playing  here August
>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
>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
Hi Don, my husband, Max, used to run open mikes in Maryland.  Invariably
he would get drunks who played...well, you know how they play.  Of
course he didn't want to ruffle anyone's feathers but he didn't want to
drive away customers either. So he would discreetly turn down their amps
when they weren't looking and signal everyone else to play louder.  If
that didn't work, he would wait until the end of the song, applaud very
loudly, say "thank you" and politely escort them off the stage.  He had
a signaling system worked out with the owner in case anyone got
belligerant so that rough customers were escorted out of the club if he
thought they were gonna cause a problem.  that only happened a few
times.  That's about the best you can do.

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