I spent Valentine’s Day with the boys this year.
Actually I had my wife’s permission so it was alright. After being with me for 32 years, she prefers to be alone on Valentine’s Day… just kidding.
I went to a very friendly jam at The Rusty Nail in St. Petersburg this Thursday night. The Rusty Nail is located at 7361 46th Ave North, just west of 66th Street. The jam is hosted by drummer Steve Way, guitarist Ed Wagner, and bass player Greg Sabol. These are 3 of the sweetest people you will ever meet and they always make everyone feel welcome. And they make it a point to let everyone get up for a long time.
I also like this jam cause they play a lot of familar blues songs. You’ll be able to recognize the songs and they are so well-known that it’s easy to play along. One more thing that makes the jam very comfortable.
The Cory Wheeler Show
Did you ever go to a jam and see someone playing and can’t help thinking… “What is this guy doing here?” Cory is one of those guitar players.
I’ve actually known of Cory Wheeler for awhile. I first met him through the great drummer Glenn Evans. Cory and Glenn play together in the surf band The Hodaddy’s. Glenn was always raving about how good a blues player Cory was. It’s finally starting to sink in.
Anyway, Cory is one of those nice guys that keeps a low profile and you might never hear about. He’s from the Northwest and played in popular bands up there including The Hudson Rocket Band. You can learn more about him and that band here. He played with Wendy and the Soulshakers here in Florida when he first came to town.
He’s now here full time and among his other talents he builds tube amps. He makes his living doing amp repair and the amp he uses on these videos is one he built himself.
Anyway, I’ve known of Cory a little and played with him just a couple of times. But now that I’ve been going to this jam, I’m starting to realize just how good Cory is. He shows up every week and plays with the house band in the first set. He has all the great blues licks down and sounds as good as Albert King one minute, B.B. The next and Jimmy Vaughan the next. You can hear on these first two videos what a great player he is. I will be going to this jam from now on, just to hear Cory. I recommend that everyone head to the jam just to check out Cory’s playing.
Other Great Players
But there are other great players there too. Jeff Williams is mainly a drummer but he plays great keyboards too. Check him out on all 3 videos in different roles. He especially adds a lot to the overall sound when he is on keys.
Also Dooner Manros plays harp and sings very well. He’s got that authentic Texas harp sound down, and like me, he loves the old Roomful of Blues sound when Sugar Ray Norcia was in the band. Check out his thing in the last video.
And my old buddy, Glenn Evans showed up this night, just back in town. One of the great drummers in the area, Glenn has been up in New England but plans to become a snowbird and visit here in the winter. If you ever need a great drummer, get a hold of Glenn on his Facebook page. He’ll be around until May.
If you’re looking for a fun, friendly blues jam, come on down to the Rusty Nail on Thursday nights. I guarantee you’ll have a great time. Ed, Steve, and Greg will make sure you do.