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Launceston Blues Club - Jam day  guidelines.

The Jam Day has a Jam Coordinator/Stage Manager and Sound Engineer.

Set up of backline equipment commences at 1.00pm and assistance is always well received.

The main act kicks off at 2.00pm for a 45 minute set and then the jammers play between 3.00 and 5.00pm.

The main act can bring their own musical equipment if necessary however the Blues Club have a backline of Orange, Vox guitar/keyboard and Roland bass amplifiers and an acoustic drum kit with quality cymbals.


The Jam Coordinator is responsible for forming combos from the jammers who have nominated.


  • Musicians need to recognise and support the contributions of other musicians.

  • Courteous and thoughtful behaviour should be shown at all times.

  • Players are expected to be familiar with standard Blues songs and prepared to play when their turn arrives.

  • Jammers, please do not bring amplifiers along, just pedal boards as needed.  Stage space is at a premium so leave them home.


The purpose of the Blues Jam is to bring enjoyment to jammers and audience alike.  The order placed with the Jam Coordinator is not necessarily the order of who will play first.

The Jam Coordinator determines the order, encouraging discussion and negotiation with all jammers present to provide fair opportunity, maximum inclusion and, where possible, a varied mix.


Each combination will do a 3-song set of no more than 15 minutes. A 5 minute changeover is provided for and if more time is required that will be deducted from the 15 minute set.

If there is a larger than usual roll up of jammers this may be reduced to a 2-song set of no more than 10 minutes.


An act can do a set as a band if it is pre-organised with the Jam Coordinator by 1.30pm on the day and the Jam Coordinator reserves the right to accept or refuse an act.

Please select your songs and tune your instruments before you get on stage.

It is expected that jammers will perform at a standard that complements fellow jammers and the vocalist decides on the songs, the key and tempo.


To be guaranteed a spot on the jam day a musician needs to have their name on the Jam Coordinator by 2.00pm.  Late arrivals cannot be guaranteed a spot but the Jam Coordinator will attempt to give everybody an opportunity to jam.


  • Blues music is the preferred music to be played, after all we are a Blues Club.

  • The Blues Club provides a drum kit, bass, guitar and keyboard amps plus mics and stands;

  • The venue supplies the PA system including front of house and monitor speakers;

  • The Jam Coordinator has the last say regarding set and has the right to refuse musicians who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • The Jam Coordinator has the right to ask musicians to turn down the volume as the venue is within a residential area.  Jammers should do so without argument.

  • Only musicians asked to do the set will be on stage unless specified by the Jam Coordinator.


This script has been modified with permission from the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Societies website.  MBAS website link here.

What Constitutes Blues Music?

Blues genre is a sound, a style, a spirit.


These are based on the Rules for International Blues Challenges:

The sound and feel of the music should be true to any of the blues sub categories:

  • Traditional blues, country blues, southern soul blues, blues/rock and contemporary blues

  • New takes on old blues standards( for examples of what might qualify as a “blues standard” see appendix)

  • New originals that reflect a blues background.


Blues as African/American music traverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. “Feeling Blue” is expressed in songs whose verses lament injustice or express a longing for a better life and lost loves, jobs and money.

“Ain’t but one kind of blues and that consists of a male and female that’s in love” Son House (Mentor to Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters)



Identifying Blues Music

  1. Familiar “blue notes”  Flatted third and seventh notes

  2. Three lines in AAB verse form

  3. Characteristic use of familiar chord progression (12 bar structure)  

  4. Strong 4/4 rhythm

Types of “blues” music

  • Classic blues– driven by 1920’s female stars like, Memphis Minnie, Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith who generally operated in jazz style combos.


  • Country blues 1920’s on from the Delta, Texas, and Piedmont in southeast. Male dominated guitar, piano, harmonica, primitive percussion.  Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Boy Fuller, Charley Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson. Texas blues was a style that usually had more jazz/swing than other styles. Blind Lemon Jefferson was a major exponent of this style.  Singers like Blind Willie Johnson and then future bluesmen like Lightin” Hopkins, T Bone Walker, Mercy Dee Walton, Frankie Lee Sims, Bessie Tucker and Big Mama Thornton emerged.  The 1950’s spawned electric Texas blues of Johnny Copeland, Albert Collins and in 1960’s and 70’s Johnny and Edgar Winter, Jimmie Vaughan and Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Marcia Ball and Lou Ann Barton


  • Jump/Swing blues up tempo style consisting of a heavy insistent beat (Boogie Woogie).  Popular in 1940’s as precursor to R and B and Rock and Roll. Artists like Louis Jordan, Big Jo Turner, T Bone Walker, Joe Jackson, Brian Setzer, Nellie Lutcher, Rhythm Rockets, Casey Hensley, Gina De Simone and the Moaners, and Rick Estrin and Nightcats.


  • Chicago blues.  Electrified blues from a Delta blues background.  Artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Bonnie “Bombshell” Lee, Mary Lane and Big Time Sarah. 


  • Classic Southern Soul– southern states of the U.S. originated as a combination of styles, blues (12 bar and jump), country, early rock and roll, strong gospel influence.


  • Artists like, Ray Charles, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Allen Toussaint, Booker T and MG’s, Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Staple Singers, Mavis Staples, Candy Staton, Vick Allen, Millie Jackson, Denise La Salle, Etta James and Aretha Franklin.


  • Contemporary Blues draws on traditional and electric blues.  Offers a more smoothed-out-take on the genre that incorporates influences of rock, pop, R&B and/or folk.  As such, contemporary blues is most often (though not always) electric,  and rarely (though once in a while), purist.  Definitely soulful but not quite as earthy or as gritty as the music that pre-dates it.  It is not as aggressive or fiery as modern day electric blues from Chicago, Texas and beyond (Blues/Rock). 


Artists in the Contemporary category include Robert Cray, Keb Mo, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Ruthie Foster, Shemika Copeland, Bonnie Raitt, Heather Gillis, Tedeschi/Trucks Band, Taj Mahal, Deborah Coleman, John Hammond Jnr, Sonny Landreth, Gary Clarke Jnr, Robben Ford, Harry Manx.


Artists in the Blues/Rock category include the earlier British invasion – Cream/Eric Clapton, Animals, Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers and the Original Fleetwood Mac. Later examples might include:  Allman Brothers Band, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan,  ZZ Top, Gary Moore, Canned Heat, Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Beth Hart, Joe Bonamassa, Jack White, Black Keys, Ana Popovic, Samantha Fish, Larkin Poe, Danielle Nicole, A.J. Ghent and Kris Barras Band.


Blues Standards – this is not an exhaustive list 

  • Ain’t Nobody’s Business- Anna Meyers and the Original Memphis Five

  • All Your Love-  Otis Rush

  • As the Years Go Passing By- Gary Moore

  • Baby Please Don’t Go- Big Joe Williams

  • Big Boss Man- Jimmy Reed

  • Boom, Boom – John Lee Hooker

  • Born in Chicago- Paul Butterfield Blues Band

  • Born Under a Bad Sign- Albert King

  • Caldonia- Louis Jordan

  • Help Me - Sonny Boy Williamson 11

  • I’m a King Bee- Slim Harpo

  • I’m Ready- Muddy Waters

  • I’m the Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters

  • I’m Tore Down- Freddie King

  • Killing Floor – Howlin’ Wolf

  • Pride and Joy- Stevie Ray Vaughan

  • Red House- Jimi Hendrix

  • Rock me Baby- B.B. King.

  • See See Rider- Ma Rainey

  • Sky is Crying- Elmore James

  • Spoonful- Howlin’ Wolf

  • Stormy Monday- T Bone Walker

  • Sweet Home Chicago – Robert Johnson

  • That’s Alright- Jimmy Rogers

  • The Thrill is Gone – B.B. King

  • Trouble in Mind- Bertha “Chippie” Hill

  • Ball and Chain – Big Mama Thornton

  • Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out- Bessie Smith


If you want to hear examples of a “new take or a change from the original” – some of the above fit that category, for example “As the Years Go Passing By” originally recorded and released by Fenton Robertson in 1959.  Some current examples:-

Harry Manx – Baby Please Don’t Go, Sitting on Top of the World

Jack White – Death Letter Blues (original Son House)


In parting the late great Willie Dixon had a good handle on what the “Blues” was

“…….the blues are the roots – the other musics are the fruits…..”

Launceston Blues Club
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