About the Blues

About the Blues

Liz Lottmann

What’s been happening

And what’s coming up

I saw quite a few familiar faces at the Dickson Street Music Festival, and also some blues society members at the Dogwood Festival in Siloam Springs. If you didn’t make the Homemade Jamz Band performance that day, what a shame. Homemade Jamz Band are three siblings from Tupelo, Miss., Ryan Perry,15 on guitar and vocals, Kyle Perry, 13, on bass, and Taya Perry, 9, on drums. They were finalists at the 2007 International Blues Challenge and the venue where they competed was packed with people who just couldn’t believe what they were seeing and hearing. That IBC competition got them a good kick-start for bookings.

Watching them perform, the thing that struck me most was their utter naturalness. There’s not a glimmer of forced cutseyness, and the music these kids made was spot-on. No hotdogging, just relaxed confidence in their original songs and their wisely chosen cover tunes. Their new CD, “Pay Me No Mind,” is a polished recording, and it’s selling well. You can listen or buy it at homemadejamzband.com.

I enjoyed getting to know the Perry family, including their mom and dad. We’ll be hanging out together again in May at B.B. King’s homecoming concert where the band will play. I’ll also be seeing them again on Sept. 13, at the B.B. King Museum grand opening in Indianola, Miss. Homemade Jamz has been invited to open up for B.B. when he inaugurates the museum with a concert.

The boys play guitars made by their father from car mufflers and tail pipes. Mr. Perry is making two new guitars for the boys. He says they’ve got more “horsepower” than the current ones. B.B. King has requested that when the new homemade guitars are finished, that the “old” ones be put into his new museum as an example of the old-style handmade Delta blues instruments that are now considered folk art.

OBS Jam Season

Ozark Blues Society’s first jam of the season was well attended, and Kory Montgomery, Nate Hancock and Eric Drewry started the music out just right with a mixture of Kory’s own songs and some well-chosen covers. Many of our long-standing jammers made appearances – Johnny D., Kenny Hackman, and then of course I had to get up and sing a few. Gib Ponder set up his keyboards and was asked to stay up for most of the evening. A very welcome addition to the mix was Scott H. on bass. We hadn’t seen him before, and we hope it was as good for him as it was for us!

Tiffany Christopher strapped on a guitar that she borrowed from Kory to play an original composition and some jazzy blues with several other jammers. We were very happy to see Dallas Breed show up and get up. It’s been quite awhile since we’ve heard him at our jams, so it was a treat. Dallas says he’ll be moving to the West Coast soon, so we hope he appears at a few more jams before he heads out. Man, we’ll sure miss that guy, but the blues is big where he’s going. The West Coast is in for a nice surprise when Dallas shows up.

A little lagniappe at the jam was having two Bentonville High School Guitar Club members show up to play, Paul Peterson and Stephen Hacale. Paul and Stephen were supported by Roy McCann on drums, and Gib Ponder on keys. Sandy McCann pitched in with some vocals to round things out. The guys came with the Guitar Club’s sponsor-teacher, Tim Treese. Tim is a long-time blues fan, and our Blues Builder Youth Band has strong hopes of getting some of his guitarists to take part in the Blues Builders sessions conducted by Sandy and Roy.

The May Blue Monday jam will begin at 6 p.m. May 19 at Jose’s Streetside on Dickson Street. The jam will be hosted by Isayah Wofford plus hopefully some of his AllStars. Something new and fun: OBS is giving a $1 Blues Buck to everyone who pays our donation cover charge. You can start collecting your Blues Bucks at all our events and use them toward admission at OBS events, or when buying OBS merchandise. You can pool your Blues Bucks with your friends and get a Big Bang for your Blues Buck that way. See you at the jam!

Categories: Features