Big Billy’s every other Wednesday is a place to play, sing, rock, groove, create, eat, meet, drink and have fun among great people. It’s at 138 Mount Vernon Ave. Mount Vernon, NY.
Even further uptown than before. It’s funky but chic. Every other Wednesday from 7:30 pm on, we are playing whatever music comes to mind, ON INSTRUMENTS. Yes. The way it was meant to be, at least some of the time. Bring your sax. No need to bring your stacks,’cause the amps are already there [unless you want to]. And the drums. And the PA. Just bring your talent [make 2 trips if necessary]. We even have instruments.
For those who’ve not been to the Uptown Jam lately: The old Westchester Tavern is no more. It’s for rent. Brian’s illness and running the bar was too much. Brian and Patty, whom we love dearly, have closed up shop, and we were temporarily homeless. Reduced to jamming around the house. Neighbors, wives, kids and pets all forced us to move into cars, under bridges, or worse, to jamming.
Thank God, someone came to the rescue. A big man named Billy generously offered his venue in Mt Vernon on Thursdays. It’s a wonderful place with a warm, down home vibe. Outstanding food. Especially the cheeseburger and the ribs. The wings are good too. And deli stuff. French toast. There’s a front bar and a back bar. The back bar’s where the craziness takes place, Thursdays at 5.
The Uptown Jam Underground and it’s parent, Musicians Inc., is an artist collective; the newest and most interesting home for musicians of all persuasions, poets, and visual performance artists in the New York area. Born March 7 at the Westchester Tavern.
Terry Lamar and New Company, Alex Slotnick, Jane Getter, Bruce Arnold, Jim Wacker and Collateral Damage, and an impressive collection of NYC area talent celebrated its launch. Lots of new and old jammers showed up. It, and its basement were turning into a musician’s paradise.We love Big Billy’s, and expect to play there forever.But a piece of our hearts will always be in the Westchester Tavern.
With instruments, amps, great food and drink menu. We’re trying to make this a fun place to hang out and play with other musicians and feel at home. Poets, writers, songwriters, comedians and performance artists also highly desired.
All together, we can make this happen – artists helping artists. We look forward to mutual creation and collaboration. Mighty Thunder uptown jamTeri Lemar Live at Big Billy’s Peace; UJU Artists CollectiveUJ 1-14-16 [Bowie] Join us. It will not be the same without you. Uptown Jam Radio.
We are also launching Musicians Radio–a new internet-radio station It’s not quite ready for prime-time yet, but shows great promise. Right now we’re playing songs by Uptown Jammers, and local NYC and Westchester area bands. Sometimes Jersey and Long Island.
As of Dec 11, 2015, the Uptown Jam hosted by Jim Wacker and Collateral Damage was the longest running weekly jam in the New York area, just celebrating its 14th Anniversary. It’s dedicated to creating something new, frequently out of old songs. There’s nothing wrong with sounding like the record on occasion, but: 1.]since the invention of the recording studio, that’s usually fairly impossible,and 2] why? Thus, the jam.
Some of the greats and the trying-to-be-greats from the Metro-NY area get up on the stage and usually come up with something beautiful with each other.
It’s a chance to play or sing with great musicians—try out new songs, or just listen and hang out in a special place with friends. Big Billy’s is a cool rock and motown venue,with a great sound, good vibes and we record almost everything [unless you ask us not to].
While any songs are potential Uptown Jam songs, [they’ll try just about anything] there is a long list of songs that Collateral Damage knows and can be useful as suggestions to avoid that “I dunno, what do YOU want to play?” moment.
Here’s a few recent performances:
It’s a chance to play or sing with great musicians—try out new songs, or just listen and hang out in a special place with friends. Big Billy’s is a cool rock and motown venue,with a great sound, good vibes and we record almost everything [unlessIn the weeks just after 9/11, everyone in NYC was terrified. Going out in Manhattan was an act of bravery. It seems crazy now, but it was then that starting.
Chris Paccione “Illegitimate Blues” the Uptown Jam seemed a small act of defiance. It started at John Harran’s Hoppin’ Jalepenos on 207th St., just off Broadway, in upper Manhattan, Tuesday, Dec 9, 2001. It featured Jim, John DeGiulio, Phil Hubbard, and Dave Hamburger.
It was so much fun that it’s still goiUptown Jam Live w Ifaring on 14 years later. In the first couple of years, certain players became regulars. While John, Phil, and Dave returned occasionally, some real gluttons for punishment gradually became the core band, taking the fitting name “Collateral Damage” These early manhattan timesregulars were Rick Sperber, Alex Craven, Andy Bassford, TJ Skyler, Carmen Cosentino and always,Jim.
Other occasional members of the band at that time included Ron Wilson, Gary Weisman, Paul Page, Dave Milner, Steve Holly, Reggie Barnes, Roz Rusein, Dave Backer, Eric Moriello, Jeff Ganz, Lee Marvin, David Phelps, Jake Morales, Paul Nelson, and Paul Zuno. Gradually a sound emerged that featured influences of every kind leaning towards some sort of classic rock/Motown/blues/country/jazz /latin/reggae thing. The Uptown Sound.
By the end of the 2nd year, membership in the core band congealed down to Jim, Andy Bassford [2X grammy winner], Alex Craven [now with the Comets] and Rick Sperber who’d played with the Byrds among others. Visits by John Federico, Dangerous Dan Clark, Joe Alexis,Muddy Shews, Marlon Graves, Tom Wacker,Jon Wacker, Bill Greenberg, Gary US Bonds, Linwood Peel, Flamin’Amy Colman, Jerry Scaringe, Bob Kuch, Early Clover, Andy Mackel,Angello Olivieri, Glenn Burino, John Michael Hersey and many others were highlights of those 2 years. Disaster struck when Harran sold the bar and headed off to Las Vegas.
We tried to warn him it was a desert, but without luck, and the Uptown Jam had to move up to Bubba’s in Westchester.’s turned out to be a great place, and while the automotively challenged Manhattanites made it up there less often, over the next 2 years, we got a whole new crop of fans and stars like Samantha Grey, Ray Detone, Uncle Carl, Gil Parris, Terri Lamar, Lou York, Chris Paccione, Jackie Hirsh, Ken Green, Southbound, Ted Brooks, Micky, Gary Horowitz, and Rocky Guerrero, showed up and left permanent scars on the sound of the band.
During that time, they experimented with regular Thursdays, and Wednesdays, before settling back on Tuesdays, mostly because street cleaning is mostly off Still wednesday mornings.They also did about a year in Ardsley at the James Caird, eating a lot of sheppard’s pie and fish’n chips.