Blues and Jam Session builds audience in Olde Town

CONYERS -- The East Metro Blues and Jam Session is not so much an event as a happening once a month in Olde Town Conyers.

The next jam session starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Club 908 on Commercial Street. Dan Turner plays keyboard for the "house band," the Atlanta Blues Krewe. He said the jam session is just a good excuse for anyone to play the blues.

"The house band opens while everybody else who wants to play signs up with their name and instrument," he said. "After a while we will start rotating folks in. I play keyboard, and if there's somebody there who wants to play keyboard for a few tunes they just come on up."

And lately there's been no shortage of local musicians to play at the jam sessions.

Turner said Kip Stewart, owner of Club 908, asked him to start up the jam sessions in October. But rather than being a traditional performance, Turner wanted to attract local musicians as a way to build an audience.

Crowds have grown since that first night, and the jam sessions are becoming a destination for music lovers in Olde Town Conyers. Turner said he believed there is a vibrant music scene in Conyers that just needs a little nurturing.

"There used to be a blues club in Olde Town that kinda opened and closed because they wanted to get named acts to perform," Turner said. "Well, you've got to pay named acts money to play. Here on the east side, we feel that there is a community of musicians who are looking for a place to play just for the love of playing. They may get a drink or a meal out of it, but really it's all about the music and the chance to play."

Thursday's jam session will be a fundraiser to help Conyers bluesman Mark "HamoniCole" Cole and his family deal with his medical expenses as he battles cancer.

Turner said Cole's high school classmates from Towers High School have helped raise thousands of dollars. Now, he hopes local blues lovers can pitch in and help.

"He's been sick for the last eight or nine years, and now he reached a decision not to take chemotherapy anymore," Turner said. "What he's worried about is putting anymore cost on his family."

For more information, visit www.danielturnerbuilders.com/club908blues.htm. East Metro Blues and Jam Session can also be found on Facebook.