Summertime Blues at Elk Creek Cafe

Doubling up this Sunday!

Playing some serious down-home Blues with Rmblin’ Dan Stevens and harmonica maestro Richard Sleigh in Millheim on Sunday afternoon, 5:00-7:00.

And as soon as we get all boogied out there in the valley, I’m cruising on up to State College to host the Darkhorse Music Jam, which I’m sure is gonna be jammed up as the hordes of PSU students have descended upon Happy Valley for Fall Semester. see you out there!
Dan Stevens Elk Creek poster 8-24-2014

Just Another Sunday…

Sunday’s jam got CRAAZY! I knew it was going to be good when I walked in just in time to see the Steelers roast the Ravens. And there was more heat when John Guyer brought his funky guitar to the stage, along with his harp-blowing-guitar-ripping friend Dave. Trevor twanged out some sweet riffs, and Anthony tore up the eight wires on his Schecter for maybe(?) the last time before he ships back Down Under. Jon and Nate thumbed some serious four-string bottomness while Joel & Josh & Arup kept a steady Mojo working.

But the joint really got to jumping when Natascha & Jackie & Joy & Eric put their voices to the microphones, powered by Cheech taking out his Ravenous frustrations on Stubby’s skins.

Of course, we couldn’t do it without Nolan keeping our glasses filled along with Phil’s tasty concoctions sliding out of the kitchen.  Sure beats sitting on the the couch tube-watching.

Just Another Week in Happy Valley

Rolling along, watching the leaves change, and playing music. Already have one rehearsal and two piano lessons out of the way, now it’s time for gigs.
Happy Valley Sunflowers
Thursday @ The Governors’ Pub in Bellefonte, 6:30-9:00. Stop in after the BHS Homecoming Parade; be sure and wave Hi to Grand Marshall Patti Hilliard, a fellow classmate.
Also Thursday @ The Phyrst w/Maxwell Strait, 10:30-2:00. Laying down the grooves w/Molly Countermine, Ted McCloskey, Rene Witzke, and Jack Wilkinson. Yes, we will rock you.

Friday @ Zeno’s w/The Triple A Blues Band, 7:00-9:00 – Serenading the PSU Homecoming Parade. If I wasn’t playing I’d be marching with fellow alumni in the Penn State Glee Club, along with Bill Besecker.

Saturday, PSU Homecoming – and I don’t have a gig. Really. What the hell am I going to do? Anybody need a piano player this Saturday?

Sunday we’re Jammin’, Jammin’, Jammin’ at the Darkhorse Tavern, 8:30-11:30. Bring your axe, sign in, and play some tunes. we welcome anyone willing to get up on stage. PA and backline (drums, keyboards, guitar and bass amps) all ready to go.


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.