Tag Archive: blues music


Jammin’

I play some really cool gigs every week, and hosting the music jam at the Darkhorse Tavern on Sunday nights has become one of the coolest, because of all the great folks who come to play. And also, because a lot of music lovers come out just to see and hear their friends play.

We start each gig playing 2 or 3 tunes as the house band, (keyboards, drums, and bass), then other musicians are called up to join us, or to take over one of our instruments.

Sometimes other pro players come up to play, often its someone’s first time on stage, mostly it’s just folks trying to have some fun playing music onstage in front of a crowd.

We call it a Music Jam because anybody can come up and play what they know, be it jazz, country, pop, rock – whatever they enjoy, whatever they feel comfortable with. But mostly we jam on the Blues because 1) that’s what I like to play, 2) the house band IS a Blues band, and 3) the Blues has a framework that’s generally easy to follow even if you don’t know the song.

John Wise jams at the Darkhorse Tavern, July 28, 2013.
Last Sunday’s Jam had a great turnout as usual, but I’m sorry to say it was the last jam with John Wise, piano player with The Gill Street Band, The Project, and many other great groups. He’s leaving to take a job in upstate NY, and will be sorely missed here, not just because he’s a good piano player, but he could get up and run the Jam himself, giving me a little break. I know he’ll find some good musicians at his new home, so the music won’t stop. And, he’ll be welcome back here in the piano chair anytime.

Arts Festival!

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OK, the official name is “Central Pennsylvania festival of the Arts,” but mention “Arts Fest” and everybody around here knows what it is – Four days of crowded streets and sidewalks in downtown State College, and on the Military Grounds in Boalsburg. Thousands of people walking around looking at all the great stuff being vended, eating great food being cooked, chasing/dragging their kids around, getting sunburned, getting rained on…

And listening to great music. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear many of the local bands somewhere besides the bars and restaurants, and to be pleasantly surprised by out of town acts that come here to showcase their music.

There’s some amazing talent at this year’s Festival. I’d sure like to see the No BS! Brass Band and Archie Blue on Thursday, Zeropoint and MMVR too, but I’ll be doing my regular Thursday performances: 6:30-9:00 at the Governors’ Pub in Bellefonte, then 10:30 at the Phyrst with Maxwell Strait. (Those gigs will be fun, we all tok the 4th off last week).

Friday afternoon, however, I will be performing at Arts Fest: Festival Shell, 1:30-2:30 (the stage on Old Main lawn). The DENICATS will be playing selections from my CDs “Chase Away Your Blues” and “This Way That Way” – Pure Cane Sugar and Zeropoint Horns included! Also a guest appearance by talented vocalist Natascha (of the Spy Boys).

The DENICATS? Yeah, just a bunch of great musicians from Williamsport and Lewisburg (the “Susquehanna Valley”). Bill Stetz on bass, Joel Vincent on drums, and Doug McMinn on clarinet, saxophone, and guitar. We mostly play tunes I’ve written and recorded.

So if you’re up for some original Blues, Swing, and Boogie, well, I’ll see you Friday.

Yay May!

Spring finally got around to pumping daylight into the central Allegheny Mountains, and I’m so glad to be trading in the snowblower for the lawnmower.

May also means some really cool, uh, nice and warm gigs.
Natascha kicks off her Eurpoean Tour with a farewell gig at The Bar in Boalsburg on Friday May 3rd, then JT gets a couple shots at the Grand Piano in the Atherton Hotel Lobby for PSU Graduation on May 4 & 5.
The Denicats, covering JT’s original tunes, shows up at Selinsgrove Commons on Saturday May 11 from 2:00-5:00, and the following Friday finds JT back in Boalsburg at The Bar (yes, playing piano)!
Saturday May 18th JT’s back at Brother’s Pizza of Howard, playing everybody’s favorite sings and sampling Yancy’s mother’s Guatemalan recepies – YUM!
Then the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend will be lots of fun, starting with Blues & Boogie at Webster’s from Noon-2:00, and finishing off with a real treat:
Dueling Pianos between JT & Tommy Wareham at Brookmere Winery! (You don’t want to miss that show).
And all this daylight means Music Festival time, and there are a few that I’ll be playing, both with the Denicats and other bands like Ann Kerstetter. Keep checking the Schedule!
Thanks so much – hope to see you at the next show!

This Way <> That Way

CD Released!

This Way that Way was released in the Fall of 2012 – 12 original tunes, help from 14? different musicians. Blues, Swing, Jazz, Ballad, Gospel, Rock….

And you can download your copy from iTunes or Amazon.

Yes the CD is done!  “This Way That Way” is available on iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/john-j-t-thompson/id544347371

And on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/This-Way-That/dp/B008QJPVT2/ref=sr_shvl_album_5?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1368457976&amp;sr=301-5