now playing 1-20-05
You know the best thing about the blues? Whatever mood you're in, there's a song to match it. It's like surfing the tube to see the right TV show or finding those perfect shoes to go with an outfit.
You can find blues to give you happy feet; blues to make you cry or laugh; blues to hump, bump, and grind with; or blues that let you just lie on the bed and moan.
Thanks to the Illinois Central Blues Club, a local grassroots music association, we can experience the vast range of the genre every Monday night. Each week, a different band plays at the Alamo (115 N. Fifth St.) from about 8:30-11 p.m., after which an open jam goes until 12:30 a.m. or so.
During the formative years of the Blue Monday Jam, in the mid-'80s at Bruce's Tavern at 11th and South Grand, area groups hosted the show most of the time. The event bounced from bar to bar for a time before settling at the Alamo in 1996. In the last several years, the club has booked national traveling acts to complement the list of local performers. Outgoing ICBC president Thea Chesley hands the gavel to Steve Truesdale this month as the democratic process of running a music society peacefully, legitimately, and successfully goes on without a hitch.
"The club has made great strides in the last few years," Chesley says. "We're not confused with a hockey team as often [that would be the Junior Blues], merchandising is doing well, and we just won a downtown-rejuvenation award from Downtown Springfield Inc." The group has joined in a "blues coalition" with clubs in Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and Galesburg to promote the blues in festivals, competitions, and concerts throughout central Illinois. The Old Capitol Blues & BBQs was a success in its first year and is scheduled to return at the end of August 2005.
Contact the club at icbluesclub.org, or drop by the Alamo some Monday night and get the blues.
Alvin Jett and Phat noiZ make the drive from St. Louis to host this week's ICBC Blue Monday Jam at the Alamo, 115 N. Fifth St., from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Jett, a native of East St. Louis, specializes in upbeat blues, blues-rock and R&B "designed to get the blood pumping and the body moving." The cover charge is $1.