Jam night is every Thursday at the Triple Play Pub at Five Corners in downtown Chilliwack.
Like acoustic music? Metal? Rockabilly? Or how about some classic rock?
No problem. There’s a musical genre for almost everybody on a typical night.
Local musician Bill Fulton and the house band, Cueball, lay down a mean groove, and a variety of talented musicians get up on stage and join them.
“Anybody can get up and do their thing,” says Fulton.”
There’s usually a good crowd out to see the live music.
They can do a dozen sets in a night, usually about three songs each.
Bass player Fulton took over the jam night coordination last year and it’s been growing steadily.
Jammers bring their own instruments and axes.
The amps, drums, microphones and PA are all in place.
“There are no real rules at this jam. They can get up and do a song, or a few tunes,” he says. “It’s been going well.”
Lots of local musicians appreciate the chance to get up on a local stage every week. Some are there to test out original tunes. Others come for a little fun.
“They’re thankful that we’re doing it here. It’s kind of a family atmosphere. Some come to practise and jam, while others come to network and promote what they’re up to.”
Professionals and veterans get paired up with the newbies.
“Every week it’s a pleasant surprise,” says Fulton. “There is a lot of talent in this town. It sure beats sitting at home on the couch and watching TV.”
It’s an eclectic mix of players who have been popping into the jam at Triple Play.
One of them is singer-songwriter Gerry Hannah, who took the stage to play a few originals from his solo album Coming Home at a recent jam. And the crowd was loving it.
Hannah was one of the founders and bass player for Vancouver punk band the Subhumans for more than 20 years. His stage name was Gerry Useless, and with the Subhumans he wrote some of the more memorable punk tunes on this side of the pond.
His latest tunes are more in a folk rock vein, and include updated versions from the album, Songs from Underground. Some were penned in the wake of his activism and civil disobedience with Direct Action and as a member of Squamish Five, which he ended up doing 10 years in Matsqui Prison for.
“Due to the limited resources I had while in prison in terms of instrumentation, recording and production capabilities, I had always hoped that I might someday be able to re-record the songs,” Hannah writes on his website.
“As a result, 7 of the 14 songs that appear on Coming Home originally appeared on Songs From Underground. Of the remaining 7 songs, a few of them were written during the last few years of my imprisonment and the rest were written since my release.
In a way, the songs on Coming Home represent an emotional history for me: a snapshot of how I was feeling and what I was thinking back then and to a lesser extent, since then as well.”
In 2004, Vancouver filmmaker Glen Sanford made a documentary about Gerry Hannah, called Useless. Hannah was also one of the interview subjects in Bloodied But Unbowed, Susanne Tabata’s 2011 documentary about the early punk scene in Vancouver.
The live music of Jam Night at the Triple Play pub at Five Corners in Chilliwack runs every Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.