Roxy Perry "In My Sweet Time"

Roxy Perry
"Jam Master Roxy Perry"

Wednesday 8:30P @ Monster B's 203-355-1032
489 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT 06906

Friday 9:00P @ Fiddler's Green 203-356-0906
280 Shippan Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902

Interview by Roger-Z (11/05/11)

Roger-Z: Which jams do you run and how do they differ?
Roxy Perry: Wednesday at Monster B's has run for three years. The venue has a different vibe than Fiddlers and is a less intimate setting, but a very good one with a big stage, house PA, and a slightly different crowd. The club has pool tables in a separate room.

Friday at Fiddler's Green also has a big stage, a more mixed crowd, and very generous food and drink specials. Musicians from other states join our fine roster of jammers. Players and audience are more likely to make the trip on a Friday. Both venues have no cover charge.

Roger-Z: What type of music do they feature?
Roxy Perry: Monster B's is primarily Blues, "old school" R&B and a little Classic Rock and Jazz. No acoustic. Fiddler's, being a more intimate seating, includes all types of music.

Roger-Z: Do you rotate the personnel or keep a steady band?
Roxy Perry: At Monster B's, we rotate two different house bands. Otis (guitar/vocals) and Joe Najmy (keyboards, vocals) from Otis and the Hurricanes join Roxy Perry (vocals, harp), Bob Fusco (bass) and Mike Marble (drum) from the Roxy Perry Band every other week. On alternate weeks, Jim Moran (guitar, vocals) and Danny Kean (keyboards, guitar, vocals) from long Island, Ed Train (keyboards), Fred Clark (guitar), and Scot Lebbish (drums) join hosts Roxy, Bob, and Mike.

At Fiddler's Green, the primary hosts are Roxy and Bob. We switch guitar and drummer spots in the house band every week to include noted artists from in and out of the area to keep the jam interesting. We rotate Jim Moran (guitar, vocals), Fred Clark (guitar), and Frank Barrisi (guitar, vocals) several times a month.

Our famous R&B set happens at both jams. It includes at least three singers (Roxy Perry, Billy Foster, and Milo Fuscaldo) as well as others who join in trading "old school" funk tunes. Horn sections often participate along with various guitarists and keyboard players. It's a show within the jam that has become an exciting standard. We go from one song to another reflecting various genres and eras.

Roger-Z: How do you put together your jammers?
Roxy Perry: Mostly by my private e-mail but also on social networks. We always distribute post cards at both jams. Word of mouth has served us well. I start out with a primary list and match players in advance as much as possible for each set.

Roger-Z: How do you balance bringing in the maximum amount of players with eliminating the sub-par?
Roxy Perry: Our house band always includes top, pro players and band leaders, who can back up anyone and make them sound their best. We never turn away less experienced players. We put them in with the professionals where they will be comfortable and the music will always be on a high quality level. Many less experienced musicians have progressed to pro players at my jams in the past thirty years in three states. Some have also risen to run their own jams.

The professionals are always well matched according to their style of playing. This has resulted in concert quality performances that have made our jams legendary. It isn't common to see this level of pro players and band leaders attend jams or be "regulars." This is what makes both of our sessions very special and well attended. We draw a very appreciative crowd that is ever expanding. We have seen a number of noted players join in on occasion: Popa Chubby and Galea, Angel Rissoff, Saron Crenshaw, Richie Scarlet, Bele Beledo, Rob Papparozzi, Jerry Dugger, and many others.

Roger-Z: What do you expect from your jammers?
Roxy Perry: Sign up in advance (preferably). Tune up. Choose common material. Use our equipment courteously. Have fun. Be friendly.

Roger-Z: Talk about your most recent CD, "In My Sweet Time."
Roxy Perry: Ever try fitting a novel onto a panel of a CD package? There’s really no way within such a limited space to adequately set out the details or credit all the talented artists with whom I had the pleasure of working with on this CD. All the finest in my book -- and wonderful friends to boot! "In My Sweet Time" was written and recorded as a follow up to my award-winning "Back in Bluesville" record. This time around was quite an experience, as I produced the CD myself, and am indebted to those who generously offered their good advice and support throughout the project.

Roger-Z: Anything you would like to add?
Roxy Perry: We have built a very strong jam community in three states over the past thirty years. This community has participated in many fund raisers for charity and individuals in need from the community. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have done many special events for profit as well. On occasion we've coordinated festivals like the Playland Blues Festival and used bands from these communities exclusively.

We are professionally video taping the Friday, December 2 jam to create a promo vehicle and record of our outstandingly unique Fidler's Green jam. It will include a number of full bands who are chipping in to cover costs: Roxy Perry/Billy Foster R&B Revue, Walter Lewis Trio, Otis and the Hurricanes, Billy Reed, Old School Revue, Angel Rissof (Mars), and many others. Our house band for that night will include Rocky Lawrence (guitar), Mike Marble (drums), Roxy Perry (vocals, harp), and Bob Fusco (bass). It will be a great night of entertainment with no cover. We intend to do these video events often because so many want to participate.

©2011 Roger-Z