“Now Look What You’ve Done…”

That was the subject of an email I received from a BGU member in Virginia… I was intrigued…

Inside the email was the following:

“After spending 30-ish years piddling my way to being a bad-at-best guitar player, I ran into your 4-note solo on YouTube. It began what’s changed everything about my ability.

Cut to today. Looking for a place/way to play live with other people, I met some entrepreneurs about to open a music park here in Richmond, VA. It’s called, Orbital Music Park. It’s sort of like a recording studio without the recording part. Two soundproof rooms rented by the hour with drums and PA in place. There’s a lounge/stage area, coffee bar and space for the local music community to hang out. Don’t know if you have spaces like this in LA, but here, in Richmond, with practice spaces rapidly disappearing, it’s a godsend.

I took them my offer to host weekly Blues sessions. Kind of a jam, but more of a weekly, invitational chance to play with other musicians for 3 hours. I’ve learned a lot. Some of it comical, like why jams typically have a house band and what to do when you have three bass players, a sax and no drummer show up!

Anyway, NONE of this could have happened without you. THANK YOU!!! I often share links to Blues Guitar Unleashed when I see players struggling or reaching in certain areas. Hopefully the love trickles your way.

We’ve done it now for 12 weeks. Am sending you a few photos. Please enjoy.”

And, needless to say, I am beyond thrilled that they are doing this and I hope that if you are in or around the Richmond, Virginia area you will look them up and say “Hello” to Dave if he is there.

Most importantly, of course, to me, is the fact that they are sharing music and playing with others.

I always say it’s the most fun you can have… and that many of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life I’ve met through music.

Just a fun story and I hope it brightens your day a little. Thanks to Dave Clemans for sharing.

    24 replies to "Now Look What You’ve Done…"

    • William

      Griff, I bought the Blues Guitar Unleashed and after using it, I knew I had bit off to much. I am propably your oldest student, pushing 95. I have 3 terminal conditions which all five of my doctors say Not to operate as the risk is to great because of the above. I am interested in your first one for beginners and I also need a new 1st disc for my Unleashed set. Let me know if I can do that. I really like your work.

    • Mitch Ganz

      WOW in just reading over these comments in response to this article it is ABUNDANTLY clear that pretty much EVERYBODY wants to find people to jam with regardless of whatever level of the BGU prog you happen to be at, and I am no exception. I am in the Palm Beaches of FL and would LOVE to find people to jam with or a jam space like what is being described here and in this article but where to begin?? NOTE TO GRIFF: I definitely think the suggestion somebody gave above about getting some feature put up onto the BGU member website/forum to help find other folks to jam with in our respective local areas is an EXCEPTIONAL idea PLEASE consider it!

    • Johnny Maddox

      I too have been looking for such a gathering of people to do just as Dave’s doing. We use to do it Mobile AL called Acoustic Cafe. It was fantastic! I’m in Marietta GA. and can’t found any venue willing to host such a open jam type program, Sad.Thanks Griff for posting this.

    • Sean

      That is an awesome story! Way to go Dave…and thank you Griff for sharing it. We need more places like that…the world would be a better place indeed.

    • Rick Tessier

      Cool…as Griff said. Look at what you done, I surprise myself sometimes calling Griff :Boss…It kinda suits him good after reading all the comments here.

    • john conoscenti

      Thru BGU I have been trying for several years to find people,,,,no one responds….

    • john conoscenti

      I’ve been looking/searching for something like this in the Hartford, CT area.
      Anyone know of such a venue….

    • Keith Kuepfer

      Just responding to Frank. Sounds great, man, but it’d be a long commute from southern Ontario Canada! Thanks anyway!

    • Graham

      Really good story. An authentic reference for Griff and BGU. Many thanks.

    • John

      Just put yourself out there and see what happens! Last year I answered an ad in my local free community paper for a wannabes jam session. Met some people in their homes. They started coming to my place (more space/ no near neighbours). A friend’s son gave up drums so I’m “storing” them. Wife’s keyboard fits well. Added a mic, pa, a bass, lots of power points and it’s now a jam space. A non-muso friend wanted to enter a short movie competition… could I organise a band? Sure! So now its a movie studio. And I’m in the movie playing bass. With more to come. All because I took that first step if answering an ad. I wonder what year 2 will bring? If it feels quiet I’ll be writing an ad of my own!

      • John

        Forgot to say… I’m in Berowra (northern edge of Sydney) if there are any BGU members in the area interested in jamming.

        • David Sandford

          Hey John, I live at the northern end of the freeway, and pass Berowra on quite a number of occasions,,,, would love to hook up for some music. Won’t try n fool ya, am a 67 yr old beginner, with some experience in bands, as a drummer…. Dave

          • David Sandford

            But on the guitar these days, sorry, that sounded clumsy!

    • Jay F

      Maybe there could be a dedicated place on the forum for people to post that they are looking for people to jam with, their location, if they are hosting etc.?

      • john conoscenti

        That would be great if people respond

    • Steve Smith

      Great story and attending a Blues Jam Night is my long term goal as well

    • Jeff Nauman

      Hey Griff. Just taking advantage of today’s thread to say that you and the new band are all over Sirius XM’s BB King Bluesville channel! Way to go.

    • Ter

      Great stuff ther. Still looking around the Syracuse area for a nice jam. Seems like alot of people have the same thing I see in different parts of the country.

    • Tom Hopsicker

      Great story!

    • Frank Allen

      Where did Keith move too? I live in Texas and would love to hook up to play some blues, but 98% of everything around here is country. I like jammin’ with country, but would love to play blues also.
      Also, are there any “music parks” in the Montgomery/Conroe, Texas area (like described in today’s email) ?
      Frank Allen

      • Steve

        Frank, put an ad in your small town paper. Open mike nights are fine, paying gigs are better (unless you get paid with a beer bottle judge Roy Bean shot a hole through, like Stevie), but almost everybody wants to just hang out and jam, for fun. A local guy here put out an ad a couple of years ago, saying something like, “Musicians and wannabes, let’s gather at my place and share our love of music. Bring your instrument, and I’ll supply the refreshments”. A ‘sound studio’ would be great for practice, but you don’t need anything but two or three people to jam. You might be surprised at how many people you know play, that you didn’t know played.

      • Carol

        I live in Porter and have been looking for other musicians, too. Recently started playing guitar again after years off and have picked up the bass. May not be what you are looking for. Also, heard Jesse Jones Park off 1960 has a jam first Sunday of the month.

    • Keith Kuepfer

      Thanks for posting this, Griff. I agree, some of the best times are jamming with others. Now, if I can only find a few blues guys to jam with. Having recently moved to a different part of the country, I’ve only managed to link upwithagroupof country players. They’re great guys, and I’m learning more about timing by playing itch them, but I’m missing the blues!

      • Scott Weil

        I attended the Chicago Blues Camp this week, right before Blues Camp, and I was impressed with how many times BGU and Griff’s name came up, especially in giving guidance for how to jam and how to prepare for a performance. Thank you, Griff, and all those on the site.

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