By Annabelle Ady
For Inland 360
Although there are plenty of live music options in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, there is nothing like the Band Jam, where musicians come together each month and play, sometimes for the first time.
At Band Jam No. 33 July 3, the crowd milled about or sat sipping beer in the cool summer breeze on the back deck outside Clarkston’s Riverport Brewing Co., while listening to live music which ranged from classic rock to blues. Kids often ran up to the front of the stage to dance while the adults watched and cheered on the bands. About 20 musicians performed.
“We started 34 months ago and it all came about because Rollie Hallen, one of three founders, had his birthday party here. He had lots of different bands come in and as we talked about it, it became clear that everyone had such a great time we should start right from the beginning, so we did, 33 months ago.” said, Leroy Blewz, another founder of the gathering.
The Band Jam welcomes and encourages everyone to play, with groups usually put together from the crowd when individuals volunteer. Musicians range in age and experience. Many have not played in front of crowds before. Participants are encouraged to bring their own instruments if they want but it is not necessary as there are guitars, drums, and more available. For busier jam nights there is a sign up board for musicians. Most of the time, the hodge-podge bands play two or three songs before they rotate again.
The event usually takes place every third Wednesday of the month with Band Jam No. 34 set for 6 p.m. July 26 at the brewery at 150 Ninth St., Clarkston.