Guitarist and bass player "Texas" Jimmy Drounette, pronounced "dro-net," who was born in Texas but now lives in Bellingham, told me that Thursday, May 15, is the launch of "Jamming with 'Texas' Jimmy Drounette" at Village Inn Pub & Eatery, 3020 Northwest Ave., from 8 to 11 p.m.
The inaugural jam will include Northwest blues veterans Patrick McFarland on guitar and vocals, Dave Thomas on bass and "Tall" Paul Laugharn on percussion.
Drounette will play guitar and sing, and will be the host and stage manager, inviting people who sign up to join the jam on stage in such a way as to keep the music flowing.
Musicians with non-electric instruments are welcome, and musicians can bring their own amps if they are small, as stage space is limited.
The musicians who join them to jam won't be paid, but will receive food and beverage tokens redeemable at the bar for reduced prices.
Ken Boyle, co-owner of Village Inn, says he hopes to keep offering a weekly venue for musicians to meet and jam.
He admits that offering live music every weekend wasn't working at the Village, that competing with downtown made that proposition difficult and much too risky.
Boyle is optimistic that the Thursday night jam can work, because it doesn't compete with anything similar going on in Bellingham and may not interfere with a band's weekend gigs.
Boyle says that he will let the show run as long as it makes sense for everyone involved, at least through June, probably the summer, and hopefully longer.
He says the last open mic show at the Village ran for almost two years.
Boyle says the Village occasionally offers special live music events during the year; he's hosting a benefit show May 24 for Whatcom Humane Society.
Also coming up at the Village on Saturday, May 17, is the second jazz invitational hosted by sax player Spencer Redmond.
Redmond's band, the Spencetet, will open the show at 8 p.m. with a short set and then hand the reins over to guest horn player Frank Kuhl. Kuhl has performed all over the world, in addition to recording and TV work, says Redmond, and is one of the best trumpeters around. Redmond plans to host the jazz invitational once a month.
There's no cover. Details: 360-734-2490.
CHUCKANUT WRITERS CONFERENCE RETURNS TO WCC
The fourth annual Chuckanut Writers Conference is Friday and Saturday, June 27-28, at Whatcom Community College. The conference, with the theme "Inspiration into Action," is a joint venture between WCC's Community and Continuing Education program and Village Books.
Thrifty writers who are considering attending this year's conference should take action soon to save on the registration fee. The early-bird rate of $229 ends Thursday, May 22. After that, the fee rises to $259.
The intensive, craft-focused, cross-genre symposium is designed to inspire writers of all experience levels by spotlighting both talented authors who are distinguished writing teachers, and respected agents who will share industry insights and hear pitches.
Among the writers appearing this year are Brian Doyle, Thor Hanson, Joanna Kenyon, David Laskin, Gary Luke, Jim Lynch and Lidia Yuknavitch.
Details: chuckanutwritersconference.com, 360-383-3200, firstname.lastname@example.org.