Worshipping At The Church Of The Blues

This past weekend was an exhausting one for me. Deception played on Saturday night to a packed house, at the Church of the Blues. By the time I got home, it was Sunday morning around 2:00 AM. Then we were back there to host the Sunday afternoon Blues jam at 3:00 in the afternoon. That jam went until 8:30 in the evening to another full house.

I am always amazed at the incredibly high calibre of musicians that come out for these Sunday jams at the Church of the Blues. Gerald Charlie, Corey Lavigne, & Dave Conroy, were some of the truly talented performers I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with.

Like the last time, I thought I would get a lot of time off, because most of the guys would like to play without a horn player. And like the last time, I was wrong. I was the only player from Deception to play with all the musicians. Apparently the saxophone is highly in demand! Who knew? I was teasing the guys, because Art, Gary, & Steve spent most of the afternoon and evening sitting back and listening to the music, while I worked my butt off on stage. What’s that about anyway?

Here’s a shot I took while Art & Dave were setting up the extra mikes and guitar amps for the jam. Can you see a saxophone in this picture? It’s safely tucked in beside the bass amp and the drum kit, under one of Gary’s cymbals. It is so out of the way, that it couldn’t possibly get bumped or kicked if I’m not playing it while others are on stage…Something that I didn’t need to worry about as it turned out.


    Art & Dave setting up for the jam on Sunday afternoon.

BTW, please excuse the blurry picture. My camera doesn’t have an image stabilization feature because it’s a few years old. Lack of sleep, combined with my rather inconvenient neuro issue, seem to have led to a rather nasty tremor. After a number of frustrating attempts early in pm, I gave up taking photos. I definitely need to get a new camera!

For me, I’d have to say one of the highlights of the pm was playing with Gerald Charlie, who played originals from 2 of his CDs. Having only heard him once before, and that was at a jam as well, I didn’t exactly know what I was going to do when called upon. As it turned out, I had no problem coming up with ideas. Gerald is an amazing musician, and I was able to lock in with him immediately.

About ½ way through his 45 minute set, the E1 string broke on his guitar. I though for sure, he’d have to stop, but no, he kept going and finished the set. Afterwards, the guitar players in the audience were amazed, because they didn’t notice that it had happened: Gerald was able to pull off playing 20 minutes with a broken string.

Playing at the Church of the Blues is a great time. It’s just a lot of work, and takes a lot of energy. I think we’re back there in 6 or 8 weeks. That should give me just enough time to recover!  😉

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2009, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.

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