The Loons Jam

I frequently go to the Loons Jam, but this review will focus on Friday, August 4 2006.

The Loons Jam is hosted by Laura Fernandez and Kevin Stock. It features a house band, The Loonatics. This is not an open stage, per se, though its format has varied somewhat.

The Loonatics perform often during the evening, playing originals and covers. The Loonatics usually features Laura Fernandez, Kevin Stock, Dominic von Riedemann, Sarah J. Ternoway and Simon Loban, but on this night, Dominic, Sarah and Simon weren't there, and Ray Burn and Richard were taking care of lead guitar and drums.

There is sometimes a featured act, but there's no extra charge for the feature.

At the Loons Jam, jamming is encouraged, with members of the Loonatics willing to play along with performers. Also, everyone is encouraged to jam with the Loonatics when they perform.

A partial drum kit (no kick) is usually present, but it's not clear to me whether other musicians are encouraged to play it. Laura's keyboard is definitely available for playing, and I have used Dominic's guitar amp on occasion.

Recently, they've focused on making the jam something enjoyable for both musicians and non-performing audience members. So there's been less emphasis on the open-stage aspect. While there is a list of performers, it's not clear how to get on the list. I suggest talking to Laura or Kevin. Also, the the order of performances can seem random.

Sound is pretty middling. On this night, there were some feedback issues, and many people remarked that it was hard to hear the vocals.

Hosting was well done. It kept things moving, and was clearly following a well-established format, but it also felt sincere and friendly.

Reasons to go:
  • you're a keyboard player
  • you want to jam with an 'instant band'
  • you enjoy Kevin Stock or Laura Fernandez's music
  • you want to network
Reasons to stay away:
  • you prefer a traditional open stage format
  • you want to really rock out

Would I go again? Yes. I do frequently.

location West end (Roncesvales)
hosting Organized, friendly
crowd 20-30 people, mostly perfomers
atmosphere friendly
sound Average
noise Decent volumes allowed
extras Keyboard, guitar amp, (drums?)