After a brief hiatus the Jerry’s Bait Shop Jam is back! Every Wednesday night in Lenexa, KS something wonderful happens. Musicians from all around the area get together at the Bait Shop to play an incredible variety of music. If you play guitar, bass, drums or sing then come on out and show us what you’ve got! Or bring the whole band. (Or just come and listen.)
The jam has been going on for 19+ years now, and is hosted by the Troubadour Retrievers. I’m not sure anyone knows exactly how many members are “in the band.” But every week there are at least 3 of them ready, willing and able to back you up on your choices from the 600+ songs on the list. It’s hard NOT to play your best when you’ve got musical “heavyweights” behind you like Brandon Miller, Scotty McBee, Bret Boulé, Bruce Haley, Guy Hodson, Critter, Craig Haning, Scot Eldridge & many, many others.
So what’s so special about the JBS jam?
In short: the people. JBS has a somewhat unusual concentration of warm, generous, friendly people. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time playing in front of a crowd or if you’re an “old pro,” all are welcome. As band member Bret Boulé put it:
Personally, some of the things that mean the most are just the strength and collaboration of the musical community that comes together each and every week for support and enjoyment, both players and spectators. But almost more importantly is the joy in seeing new players (both young kids and older adults) participate and be absolutely elated to perform in front of a live audience, and the new participant that is so excited to claim “That’s the first time I’ve ever sung with a live band!”— Bret Boulé
One word of caution: If you show up more than once you WILL run the risk of being treated like family!
And then there’s the music, sweet, sweet music. The nearly continuous, completely eclectic, often “mind blowing” music. It’s simple, really. You can’t put that much talent in a single room without *something* happening. Grand Funk Railroad, Prince, Cheap Trick, Billy Idol, Charlie Daniels Band, Zac Brown Band, Alanis Morissette, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cranberries, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, The Ramones, The Eagles, Lenny Kravitz… would be just a small selection of tunes from this past Wednesday.
It’s incredible. It’s been going on almost twenty years now. One of the performers has been coming here since he was 12. There’s just so much talent every week. You should come out and see it for yourself.— Jackie, JBS General Manager
So when & where is it?
At Jerry’s Bait Shop in Lenexa, every Wednesday night starting at 8pm. Players under 21 (and accompanied by a parent/guardian) are welcome until 10pm. There’s a map at the bottom of the JBS home page if you need directions.
Is there anything to eat?
The kitchen is open until 11 ~ 11:30. Pizza, BONES, burgers & sandwiches, and more.
Bonus tip for drummers
Just west of the JBS front door is a window. On the left side and just inside that window is where the drummer sets up. If they’re playing a song you would like to learn then I’d suggest standing in front of the window. I call it the “free drum lessons” spot.