From The Scene: North Country Jam NightsPosted: Updated:
The north country's thriving music community didn't pop up by accident. 7 News anchor Jeff Nelson takes a look at jam nights in this entry in his "From the Scene" music journal.
Open mics. Jam nights. They're places where the best can go to have some fun and where newbies go to get a little experience.
In Watertown the opportunities to get on a stage and rock are abundant and they help fuel the north country's ever-growing music community.
This is a story "From the Scene."
On guitar, you have Kenny Booth, a local legend known for face-melting riffs.
On drums is Tom Contino. A human metronome. An absolute pro.
And on bass is Nate Hitsman. This is his first gig ever.
"I thought it'd be, like, nerve wracking, like I thought I'd freeze up. But it, like, came to me and I just did it."
Gino Cappuccetti hosts Thursday jam night at Club Number 9 in Watertown.
"Don't be afraid to take a chance and play," he said. "Get out of your comfort zone!"
Jam night is where musicians go to have fun, work on material and, most importantly, make connections.
"It was honestly because of these jam nights that I had a reason to go out and sing again," Erin Fulton said.
Now Fulton sings in a cover band with Cappuccetti called Hot Kogan.
Get enough musicians together and before you know it there are new groups springing up everywhere.
"You might have a guy saying, 'hey I need a guitar player,'" Cappuccetti said. "You come down here and meet a guy who plays guitar -- now you got a band started."
There are other places to find musicians willing to shred on a random weekday night.
On Wednesdays, the spot is Maggie's on the River.
"Watertown has a great tradition of great local music and great local talent," Maggie's manager Mika Ricca said, "and we're just happy to be part of that tradition and keep it going."
And on Sunday afternoons, the Time Warp Tavern jam almost always breaks out into a dance party.
"Best thing ever," music fan Cheryl McGurn said. "It's like our own private concert every time they play -- it's wonderful."
The Time Warp's jam tends to be for the pros, a chance for the town's gigging musicians to get together, hang out and impress the audience.
"We have a great time," singer Tom Dier said. "We play some great, great music."
Sundays are organized by Dave Scanlin, a 44-year veteran of the music scene. He says these days, more and more people are getting out and supporting local artists.
"Apparently people want to hear live music," he said, "which is good for me."
The jam is the foundation for any healthy rock and roll community, but what if your thing isn't rock and roll? What if it's something else?
Sometimes you need to build a community yourself.
That's our next story "From the Scene."