The spring version of the Blues/Rock and Roll Jam at the Pearson Lakes Art Center brought musicians from far and wide.
The sign-up sheets in the back of the Pomerantz Hall were filled. Over 20 musicians signed up to join the seven in the house band. I saw a couple more in the audience who didn't sign in to play but seemed to really enjoy observing. The show ran an additional 30 minutes so all of them had their opportunity to play. Several had not played at any of the previous jams. It was so good to see the new faces and hear them play.
In addition to the usual guitars, keyboards, organs, drums and congas, we enjoyed hearing flutes, a brilliant red violin, harmonicas and a strange ghord. Conga drum artist Bob Duncan had an unusual large ghord that was wrapped in sea shells. I asked him what it was called and he said he didn't know; only that it was made in South Africa. It made a wonderful sound.
The house band started things. Each season's show brings a new name for this group of talented musicians. Thursday night they were called Johnny Tyron and the Tourist Horde. The "Horde" included: Shane Von Holdt of Sac City; Mick Buckley and Becky Thoreson of Okoboji; Mark Broderson of Kansas City; Bob Duncan and Joe Cuttell of Wahpeton and Tim Horsman of Arnolds Park.
"Moondance" was performed very smoothly and "Some Kinda Wonderful" with lively enthusiasm. Jon Ingvall's Marshall Tucker number was a real crowd pleaser. There were more female musicians on stage this time than during previous shows. Carrie Dean can really belt out a song.
Those of us who remember the music of the early 1960s got a special treat. Denny Storey of Dickens and Al Klein of Sherburn, Minnesota, reunited on stage to do a couple of numbers that had done in the old Runaways band decades ago. They had such fun playing together again and we loved the results.
It was also a treat to hear Dave Rowley and Perry Pearson from the Dave Rowley and Friends band that will appear on the PLAC stage in August.
The standing-room-only crowd was treated to some country, some rock 'n' roll and some blues. The evening produced a wonderful mixture of music genres and the audience couldn't have been happier. We performed the "Hand Jive" with gusto and did a fair amount of chair dancing all night long.
When the band played the finale "Mustang Sally" with the same caliber of energy as the first song two and one-half hours earlier, we knew the musicians taking turns on that stage had enjoyed themselves as much as we did. It was a fabulous evening of music!
There will not be a summer Blues Jam this year but the fall version will take place in September or October. I encourage everyone to watch the art center website for the announcement of that date at lakesart.org.