I haven’t hit many blues jams lately. Most are like playing “Russian Roulette” and you never know if you’re going to find yourself in a train wreck with people that don’t know what they are doing. But that’s the chance you take with a jam. I still encourage new players to go out and find some jams to get your feet wet. Here’s some suggestions for attending a blues jam on another page of mine.
Anyway, when my buddy Jimmy Griswold got the word out that Gil Parris might show up at one of his jams, and with another buddy, great drummer Joe Renda, I had to take the plunge.
Sure am glad I did. It was a special night.
Now if you don’t know Gil Parris you’ve been missing out. He is guitarist of the highest order, and for a young guy, sure has some amazing chops. You can check out his website here (http://www.myspace.com/gilparris) or go to his TrueFire bio page here.
Here’s the story…
Gil was in town to do a video for St. Petersburg based TrueFire.com. I understand he’s doing a video on “30 Chicken-Picken Licks” or something like that. Anyway, he contacted his buddy Joe Renda, who lives up in Spring Hill Florida to see if he knew of any good jams to go to. So Joe contacted Jimmy Griswold who had a jam on Tuesdays at a little bar in Clearwater called Sting Ray’s. Now Jimmy’s jams are great and always gets a good turn out, but Jimmy usually let’s me sit in during his regular, non-jam gigs so why bother going to his jam and fight the crowds… but I’m getting off track.
Anyway, Jimmy announced on Facebook that Gil Parris might be showing up to his gig that night and everyone should Google him to learn all about him. Even a non-guitar playing buddy, local blues dignitary Ken Torvik gave me a call to make sure I heard about it. So to make a long story short, I hit the jam and I’m sure glad I did.
But the big lesson from the night was…
We have a jewel of a guitar player right here in the Tampa Bay area. Jimmy Griswold more than held his own with this young guitar stud and I came away with even more respect for Jimmy’s chops. Go see Jimmy as soon as you get the chance.
And thanks to Gil for letting me use this video. I didn’t ask him first so I hope I don’t get him in trouble with his label.
Anyway here is the proof…
Comin’ Home Baby
Plus another great blues guitarist showed up that took me totally by surprise. Ms Ellie Lee sat in for a few songs and blew me away. This lady from the Ohio area is living down here now, I think, and we are again lucky to have her in town. Catch her story on her website here. I’ll be trying to get more information and maybe an interview with this great lady soon.
Rhythm of the Blues
Ok here’s one more with Jimmy playing a nice lead on St. James Infirmary.