Live Blues Jam

KWSI-LP is pleased to be able to share our newest music show— all local, all live recordings from the Charlie Dwellington’s Tuesday Night Blues Jam!  Tune on every SATURDAY night at 9 to hear local Grand Junction artists perform smoldering blues and rock, only on KWSI.

On December 18th, the Blues Jam celebrated their four year anniversary at Charlie Dwellington’s.  Here’s a recording of that night! 

The Tuesday Blues Jam-Longest running jam in the area. 

Troy Douglas

Over a decade ago, local singer/songwriter and guitarist. Lisa Lingo approached Chet, the owner of the club downtown then called Boomer’s, about having a Blues Jam at his club. He went for the idea and the Blues Jam was created. I helped Lisa out with drumset and PA gear and she ran it for several months. It became a downtown event pretty quickly.
Eventually it was taken over by Jerry Schaefer, who ran it for probably another year or longer. Many players came through but eventually it was shut down, followed pretty quickly by the club shutting down.
The jam then moved to the club called Tenatious Brothers, just off Main on 7th St. (Where Las Maria’s is now.) The late Paul Kelly was organizing it at that point and after a year or so he asked me, Troy Douglas, to take over, which I agreed to do. It was already such a community event I thought it was important that it keep going. We lasted another year and a half or so, then TB’s said they couldn’t do it any more. So I started scrambling for a location.
I approached the Mesa Theater about having it there. They initially said that we could have it in their lobby, where they had had some other events. I told them that there was no point in coming to the Mesa if we didn’t use the main stage. They didn’t want to pay a sound man for that but I told them we would use my PA system and as for lights, they just did basic lighting with no changes which I turned on before we started and off when we left.
The Mesa stage turned out to be a great venue. At that time I was getting a different band to host it every week, no small task, I might add. We had some amazing shows there. At one time, I had arranged for two drumsets, plus my congas, to be set up on the risers they had. As I was playing, I saw a very attractive, young blonde woman near me in the wings with a trumpet in hand. I motioned her over , thinking she was from the college and said, “Just find a pattern and jump in.” She nodded and went to the closest unused mic on the stage and proceeded to play wonderfully. It turns out, she was in Michael Boulton’s backup band. They were playing the next night at the Avalon and had stopped by Triple Play Records where Rock told them about the jam. Eventually, the drummer, the lead guitarist and the young lady trumpet player all sat in and jammed, with locals playing with them. The guitar player told me afterwards that he had had so much fun. He said they do a 2 hour rehearsal and then a 2 hour show but never get to “just play”, ie:Jam. He said there was nothing like our Jam in New York because every venue was always booked. He said he was going to start jamming with the other band mates to warm up. We do have something special.
Jesse Daniels was the bartender at the Mesa for the jam and he said they were averaging about $400 a week. His mom, Mel Safken, waited on the folks in the theater for tips, and took the occasional great picture. Then suddenly Jesse was no longer the bartender, and the Theater started losing money on the Blues Jam, they said. So, after about 2 years there. we needed a new home.
I couldn’t find a place downtown at that point, so I approached Georgia and Phil at A Taste of Heaven Catering in the old Furr’s Cafeteria building on North Ave. about moving it there. They agreed to try it so we started doing the Jam there, eventually with Bobby Walker hosting every week and Pete L. and me backing him up as the host band. We were able to hold it there for a couple of years, with mostly musicians making the weekly Jam and dancers relishing their wonderful dance floor. It was a beautiful venue and Georgia and Phil were great hosts. I just wish it were in downtown, because we couldn’t seem to draw a crowd of listeners to that venue. Eventually, we had to shut it down because it wasn’t paying for itself there consistently.
I looked at downtown again. We talked to Las Marias and even tried it there for a few weeks but the room was small, the load-in was hard and it just didn’t work. Then Jessie Danials suggested we try Charlie Dwellington’s. I went and talked to Liz Sinclair, the owner. And she agreed. We started having the Blues Jam every Tuesday from 7 to 10PM. Having a set host band had worked so well I decided to go that route again. I had played with Ted Dussor in a band in the mid-60’s. He was playing guitar and singing in a group called Black Timber at the time I approached him but they didn’t play or rehearse on Tuesdays and he talked to the bass player in that group, Randy Judge, and he agreed to play bass for the host band for THE Tuesday Blues Jam at Charlie Dwellington’s. That was 3 and a half years ago. We have been playing there ever since. We play inside when the weather is cold and/or bad and outside on the patio, like we are doing now, when the weather is good. We have nice, consistent crowds and there is a real community event feel to it. It is all about the music with the goal of making everyone who comes up to play, sound better. People in the crowd comment all the time on how amazed they are at the caliber of music when it is musicians playing who don’t always play together. It is also a great resource for the music crowd and several groups have either found people they need or put something together musically from encounters at the Blues Jam. The fact that there is a terrific wait staff there, (thanks Bonnie, Summer and Sarah) help the cause a lot. Come on down and join us on a Tuesday. You are always welcome.
I couldn’t find a place downtown at that point, so I approached Georgia and Phil at A Taste of Heaven Catering in the old Furr’s Cafeteria building on North Ave. about moving it there. They agreed to try it so we started doing the Jam there, eventually with Bobby Walker hosting every week and Pete L. and me backing him up as the host band. We were able to hold it there for a couple of years, with mostly musicians making the weekly Jam and dancers relishing their wonderful dance floor. It was a beautiful venue and Georgia and Phil were great hosts. I just wish it were in downtown, because we couldn’t seem to draw a crowd of listeners to that venue. Eventually, we had to shut it down because it wasn’t paying for itself there consistently.
I looked at downtown again. We talked to Las Marias and even tried it there for a few weeks but the room was small, the load-in was hard and it just didn’t work. Then Jessie Danials suggested we try Charlie Dwellington’s. I went and talked to Liz Sinclair, the owner. And she agreed. We started having the Blues Jam every Tuesday from 7 to 10PM. Having a set host band had worked so well I decided to go that route again. I had played with Ted Dussor in a band in the mid-60’s. He was playing guitar and singing in a group called Black Timber at the time I approached him but they didn’t play or rehearse on Tuesdays and he talked to the bass player in that group, Randy Judge, and he agreed to play bass for the host band for THE Tuesday Blues Jam at Charlie Dwellington’s. That was 3 and a half years ago. We have been playing there ever since. We play inside when the weather is cold and/or bad and outside on the patio, like we are doing now, when the weather is good. We have nice, consistent crowds and there is a real community event feel to it. It is all about the music with the goal of making everyone who comes up to play, sound better. People in the crowd comment all the time on how amazed they are at the caliber of music when it is musicians playing who don’t always play together. It is also a great resource for the music crowd and several groups have either found people they need or put something together musically from encounters at the Blues Jam. The fact that there is a terrific wait staff there, (thanks Bonnie, Summer and Sarah) help the cause a lot. Come on down and join us on a Tuesday. You are always welcome.