I arrived at a converted warehouse building in a neighborhood not far from home just after 5pm Saturday. I met up with Chance, drummer from the Bridgetown Saints, and started loading in my gear. All of the businesses in the building were hosting an open house, and Chance was putting together some musical entertainment for his friend Peter’s achitecture studio.
Our mutual friend and bandmate Joe had invited me to join in. Several of the Bridgetown Saints were there as well, and having jammed with them before, I came prepared to get my funk on. However this jam went in a completely different direction than I would have guessed. A guitarist by the name of John was also on hand and he led us through some great acoustic finger-pickin’ tunes. Saxman Greg added some beautiful chromatic harmonica. It was a very relaxed affair with people coming and going, but towards the end we had a full 8-piece band together.
I got a chance to lead the guys through Paul Simon’s “Have a Good Time,” which I sing with Jersey Rhythm Mafia. It’s an easy 3-chord groove that works well in pickup jams and even better when someone knows the backing vocal parts. I’m slowly but surely coming out of my shell as a lead vocalist and although I was a little too raspy for the high A in the third verse, the guys all thought it sounded alright.
The evening was a real confidence builder for me, and it showed in the way I sang and played with my own band at rehearsal the next day. I’m starting to enjoy the challenge of playing outside of my comfort zone and I look forward to more chances to see how I hold my own with new collaborators. It always amazes me how quickly a random assembly of musicians can find common ground. I have found quite a bit of common ground with the Bridgetown Saints and am really excited to join them on stage this Wednesday at the White Eagle. Come check it out if you’re in town.