Feeling Blue? No need to keep it to yourself. There’s a great spot in town where you can share the feeling every Tuesday night, when the Black Diamond Bar and Grill invites you to B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Blues) for The Tuesday Night Open Blues Jam.
When someone thinks of a blues musician, they may conjure up thoughts of a lonely guitar player, sitting in the corner of a dark, smoky bar, pouring their heart out about how miserable their life may be. Although I’m sure there are blues players out there that might fit this description, it probably isn’t the case here.
The Tuesday Night Open Blues Jam was started in early September by Jackie Beaton. Beaton is a bartender at the Black Diamond. She came up with this idea for the simple reason that she really loves the blues and contends that playing the blues can be more fun than it is depressing. “It’s a type of music that everyone can jump in on. It’s really cool,” says Beaton.
The open concept of the evening allows for the experienced and “not so” experienced blues players to join in. Everyone is totally welcome. “The great thing about a night like this being every week is that, the more you play, the better you get.” Beaton reassures people that, “It’s a very nurturing environment. The more seasoned musicians will help you along. Anyone at any skill level can get up and play.”
One of the “regulars” of the blues night is Donnie Calabrese. Calabrese is a local musician who has played in a lot of great local bands over the years. He currently plays with Buck and Kinch who are a blues inspired rock band that frequent the music venues around the island. Calabrese thrives on the environment that blues can create. One of the aspects he likes best about the style of the evening is that, you never know what you’re going to get. “My band, Buck and Kinch, have been moving more towards being a blues band over the past little while and we really love the practice we get in every Tuesday,” Calabrese explained. “Playing blues for hours a night can really keep you on top of your game. We are writing more and more blues music all the time.” I asked Donnie if the reason he was going every night was because he had the blues, and he replied, “No. I am very happy.”
Beaton really encourages people to come down Tuesday nights and to bring their friends. She really wants all of the blues players in the area to know that there is a fun place to hang out every week and play some music. Even if someone is not a musician, they can still come down and enjoy the show. When someone is interested in getting up to play during the night, all they have to do is talk to Jackie. “There is always an instrument you can borrow,” Beaton said. “The crowds have been growing with every week and we always have people leaving at the end of the night saying they’ll see us next time.”
You can catch The Tuesday Night Open Blues Jam from 9pm to 2am. There is no charge to get in and everyone is welcome. The Black Diamond Bar and Grill is located at 76 Townsend Street in Sydney.