By December 1, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

JazzBluesView-Blue Monday is Back

JazzBluesView By Eric Benson

Well only 24 shopping days till Christmas! Have I started shopping yet? Well no, not yet. I am one of those that enjoys that stress of being in the mall when hearing the “mall will be closing in 10 minutes…please make your purchases and go home to your families.” That’s when I break into a sprint and rastle with someone over the last Xbox on the shelf. As you can see I’m getting into the spirit.

December should provide us with time to reflect on the year and the reason for the season so here’s hoping you can get out and enjoy some of the magic holiday moments in the downtown as well as those at home, home fires burning. The downtown with music, restaurants and the Art Walk scene continued unabated year round so get out your mulled wine and come down.

On the Christmas front there’s plenty to do and see. Locally Dickens’ Faire with music and vendors on the street Dec 7th in front of the McHenry Mansion all day, Handel’s Messiah sing-along 12/15 church of the 49th, Columbia. But this month is special, I want to invite all those who over the years came out for Blue Monday Jam at Timeless Cuisine, Clayton’s, or Jax on H street to a Blue Monday Christmas Party Monday December 9th at the Barkin’ Dog Grill. The Jam has been down a few years since Jax Restaurant closed but will bring back the Johnny Valdez & Straight Ahead band to host the Jam. So if you came out over the 364 Mondays we did the Jam over 7 years please come down for the Christmas show.

The State Theatre, home of the MAMA awards continues with some community friendly booking: with film the Polar Express 12/1, and A Christmas Story 12/3, and It’s a wonderful Life on 12/8. And the Slam continues with the Ill List Poetry Slam 12/7 for live in your face comedy improve.

The Gallo this season with booking: John Tesh 12/2 for a big Band Christmas show, Pink Martini 12/3 my pick for the month, Mannheim Steamroller charismas 12/4, and get out your chap’s, a cowboy Christmas with Riders in the sky on 12/22. If you like cult lounge, jazz, pop & Latin jazz flavorings the group Pink Martini is the show to catch, there is a promotional joke about a drink special there somewhere.

And of the new venues on the scene is Rivets restaurant and bar. Some of the seasoned acts that play at Boardroom, Johnny & Kelly, Tim Allen, Joe Barretta are playing there weekend nights. The food & drink is good moderately priced but there is no cover charge. Another place for a quiet listen to music in ambient environment is DEWZ Restaurant’s Wine Bar colander for the month. The Saturday night music is from 7:30 to 10:00 or so and features solo and small groups of musicians playing at acoustic volumes in the informal environment while folks enjoys wine tasting and a little noshing bites. I’m doing the booking bringing in Jazz & popular music with vocalists. In December we have: 7th Patrick Durr with a few guests sitting in, 14th John King & Robin Montgomery Jazz guitar extravaganza, 21st Patty Castillo on vocals and guitar, and 28th the mighty Tim Allen piano and vocals with some Elton & Billy Joel and other popular tunes.

On the kickin’ out the jams side: Barkin’ Dog Thursdays with Dave Dow, (Jazz), Queen Bean Sundays hosts jam with acoustic, rock music. Need to get, give me some input at:, or cell 209-918-7033. Peace out, Eric Benson

Caption: Photo by Adrian Mendoza



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