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A Golden Jamming Concept at Jay Golden’s Jam School at the Disquaires in Paris

February 23, 2018

Jay Golden's Jam School

Jay Golden’s Jam School

PARIS – I finally got to drop in to Jay Golden’s Jam School at the Disquaires in Paris on Wednesday evening. Brought my guitar, was happy as a little baby to visit this place I had heard of a long time ago but never attended…then found myself ill-prepared and didn’t play! But that’s no problem. The entertainment was great, and I discovered this fabulous open mic, jamming concept….

Jay, an American expat in Paris, said to me it was in part to get young musicians to learn new stuff. Basically, while it is an open mic, open jam, it has the following twist: It runs every Wednesday night but each week of the month is a different style of music (you can find all the information on the Jay Golden’s Jam School Facebook page) – and when I went, the third Wednesday of the month, it was blues and rock ‘n’ roll – and you sign up and join the other musicians to play in that style.

First at Jay Golden’s jam
But the catch is that you don’t just play blues and rock ‘n’ roll or whatever the style of the week is, you have to look at the set list in advance to see what songs will be played that night. You then join in on the songs that you know how to play. So, for instance, there was “Fever,” (not sure that’s blues or rock ‘n’ roll) and “Brown Sugar and other standards, and you volunteer to play bass or lead guitar or rhythm, or drums, or sax, or whatever. Or vocals. It looks like he is in need of more vocalists – as he made a comment about that. The set list remains the same for each night over four months, and then changes to a new set of songs.

Anyway, the point is, this is a kind of jam, but a highly structured one that has a set list. I spoke briefly to Jay, and he said it was in order to help promote young musicians – but all ages are welcome – to learn new songs.
Second at Jay Golden’s jam

The sound system was excellent, the stage is great, the ambiance fabulous, and the Disquaires has gone through a nice renovation since I played there with my band in 2011 in what I think was our first real gig (and one of our last ones too!!!).

All together a great evening, and I highly recommend checking it out. But do remember that this is not a typical singer songwriter place, nor a typical “anything goes” jam. It has this structure. Golden, by the way, who is from Baltimore, has had a long and illustrious career as a bassist, producer, sound engineer and arranger, working with Luther Allison, Bernard Allison, Liz McComb, Screaming Jay Hawkins, BB King, in Europe, as well as Bryan Adams, Marc Stern, George Clinton, George Benson, Jeff Majors, Pic Connelly, Steve Kelly, Joe, Mario, in North America, among others.

You drummer at Jay Golden’s Jam
Here FYI is the organization of the month:

The 1st week is Jazz
The 2nd week is Funk
The 3rd week is Blues-Rock
The 4th week is Soul
The 5th is a Tribute

The Last Waltz at the Disquaires, and Being There at Be There

May 16, 2011

I get to hear this band all the time at my home, since it is the band of my son Paul. Formerly called, The Euks, it is now called, The Last Waltz. The band played its first concert while I was in Istanbul, so I missed it. Last night, it played its second concert, at the Disquaires in Paris. I was there and filmed it.

It is quite a different thing to be sitting around at home and hearing the sound of a budding band coming through closed doors and actually being at the venue and watching the band perform for its public for the first – or second – time. And I can say that I was favorably impressed. I was also happy when it ended that I still had all senses and had not been whacked in the head by a guitar or a foot as I tried to get in fairly close towards the end on the last song and found myself in the middle of an onstage riot – or at least chaos of dance and flailing limbs.

I stayed a little longer to see for the first time for me also a band consisting of a couple of friends of my son’s from years ago, which was on the same bill by accident. This was The Likely Lads, and at least two of them used to go to school with my son when they were kids.

Then I moved on to do a little bit of my own music at the Be There bar’s open mic on the Ile St. Louis. I always enjoy this one, and despite arriving and finding very few people present, it turned out to have some interesting performers. I am not sure who was who, but the band names I got were goodbye paname and super vener. I enjoyed my own moment – thoroughly screwing up a new cover song I thought I had memorized, “What’s Up.”

By the way, my son Paul is the guitarist on the right in the images in general, or stage left, usually playing in front of or below the saxophone player painted on the wall.

Report on First Real Gig – at the Disquaires

February 28, 2011

Did it! Played a gig with Félix Beguin of “The Burnin’ Jacks” on lead guitar and Virgile Arndt of “Natas Loves You” on bass. Both contributed some harmonies too. It was the first bona fide gig that I have done with a backing band, aside from playing here and there in open jam sessions, and we did it last night at the Disquaires bar in Paris, near the Bastille.

Félix, Virgile and I had played together during the recording sessions at the Point Ephemere last July when we – and Laurent Guillaume also doing lead guitar – recorded four of my songs. But working together to do an approximately 45-minute set of original material and some cover songs, last night was a first.

The evening started with Calvin McEnron, who played his set with his songs, including everybody’s favorite, “After the Rain.” In fact, Calvin invited about five of us up on the stage to sing the chorus to that song. I did not realize that I had placed the Zoom Q3HD in a bad position, so we get the sound, but very few of the faces. Want to put it up anyway.

The Romantic Black Shirts played the final set and they entertained us with their great covers from everyone from Bob Dylan to Daniel Lanois, and a nice sound of violin, jazzy guitar, cool voices… very nice ambience.

I played five of my songs – including one I wrote at about 22 years old and never ever played in public before – and three cover songs, “Crazy Love,” “Mad World,” and “Father and Son.” The ambience was wonderful, a great warm audience, and the sound system worked out okay, and Félix and Virgile were brilliant. Unfortunately the limitations of my Zoom Q3 – operated my son here – does not do justice to the whole vibe. But I would say that, right?

And from the Calvin set:

BSP: GIG at Disquaires

February 26, 2011

Flyer for the Brad Spurgeon concert at the Disquaires in Paris

Flyer for the Brad Spurgeon concert at the Disquaires in Paris

I’ve got nothin’ to write on this blog as all I’ve been doing is preparing for my gig tomorrow at the Disquaires in Paris near the place de la Bastille. I will be performing with two of the five musicians I worked with on my recordings at the Point Ephemere last summer. Virgile will join me on bass and Félix will play lead guitar. We had a great practice session and I am just fabulously excited about the concert. Hope some readers of the blog can make it.

Three segments to the night: Calvin McEnron playing from 8:30 on his set, my set around 9:30 and The Romantic Black Shirts will do their set after mine.

Ciao and à demain. Oh, the Disquaires: 6 rue des Taillandiers * 75011 Paris * M° Ledru Rollin ou Bastille

Oh, yes, and this means no Sunday brunch tomorrow.

Mini Post: Lean On Me

January 14, 2011

Nothing much to report after being destroyed by David Broad’s guitar playing on Tuesday. Went to the Highlander and the Cavern on Wednesday, and liked the cover of the Bill Withers song by the replacement MC at the Highlander.

Remember Bill Withers? This guy wrote some extraordinary songs, and if you did not know they were all written by him, the sound of the songs would not give it away – what a range. I mean, “Lean On Me,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Just the Two of Us.” Three unconnected masterpieces.

Only other thing to report is the new blog for Paris expats about musical goings on. It’s called “Gigs in Paris.” Check it out.

Tonight, I’m off to the Industry of Cool festival at the Maroquinerie. There I will listen intently to the many bands that grew up at Earle’s Open Mic….

And I also want to announce my first gig with a band coming up at the Disquaires on 27 February. Also on the program will be Calvin McEnron and also The Romantic Black Shirts.

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