Friday brings the Gov’t Mule mainman’s pre-Jam in local Asheville rock club, while Saturday ushers in yet another (potentially 10 hour) marathon at the convention center.
By Fred Mills
Let’s cut straight to the chase: it’s Haynes Jam time again in beautiful downtown Asheville, North Carolina (where the BLURT Western Bureau is located, comfortably lodged on a luxury schooner moored in the South French Broad River near Biltmore Village – we’re kind of like one of the offshore pirate radio ships that entertained England back in the day).
First up: The estimable Mr. Haynes will be making an appearance Friday (Dec. 9) at 3PM out at Habitat For Humanity’s McKinley subdivision to mark the opening of two houses that the Haynes Jam’s 2015 event funded. Did I mention that the Jam and all associated events raises funds for Habitat? (As an aside: purely by chance, I ran into Warren Thursday afternoon at an Asheville coffee shop, and it was not only nice to catch up – you can read yours truly’s commentary on previous Haynes Jams elsewhere on the site, along with selected interviews he and I have done over the years – but it was quite a treat to be re-introduced to his lovely wife Stefani, who has worked tirelessly over the years with Warren to make the Jam be a success, and to be newly introduced to his young son. It will come as no surprise to learn that the kid’s gonna be a rocker.)
Then on Friday evening the traditional pre-Jam takes place at Asheville’s venerable Orange Peel club, featuring selected musicians slated for the Saturday night blowout taking part in a slightly lower-key (but no less engaging) series of fluid sets, all broadcast by regional community powerhouse radio stations (and BLURT buddies) WNCW-FM. Those of you not in the WNCW listening area of 88.7 can tune in online around 6PM—and as long as I’ve got your attention, allow me to gently suggest that you can make donations to Habitat during that broadcast. Trust me—I’ve donated annually myself—it will make you feel good. And if you’re like me, you might be inclined to fire up that old tape deck and record the show so you can revisit that good feeling later. I estimate that the pre-Jam will only cost you 4 c90s and part of a c60—plus the Habitat pledge, natch.
Meanwhile, a bit tip o’ the BLURT hat to all the Saturday night Jam attendees. For the rest of us, the Jam is making a special webcast available via Nugs.tv, in both SD ($19.99) and HD ($24.99) formats. It’s not quite the same as being on hand in Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center (formerly the Civic Center), but assuming that the webcast personnel are prepared to point their gear at the stage until the wee hours of the morn—ask me sometime about leaving the venue at 2:30, 3:00 and 4:00 in the a.m.—there’s a good chance you’ll get a reasonable bang for your buck.
And that buck goes to a good cause. As Stan the Man might put it—Excelsior!