Come on and Slam, It’s the John Simoneaux Jam

This weekend marks the 13th annual John Simoneaux Memorial Jam.  The Jam kicks off Friday night with a pre-jam from 8:30 until midnight.  Saturday night the real Jam begins lasting from 5 until midnight.  The Jam will be held simultaneously at both Sundown Tavern and Ponchatoulas.  The cost is $5 Friday for the pre-jam and $10 Saturday (the price Saturday covers 7 hours of live music as well as a meal).  T-shirts will be on sale both nights for $15.  All proceeds from the event go to an endowed scholarship for guitar majors at Louisiana Tech.

Kylie Howard (16) had the winning design in this years Johnny Jam t-shirt contest.

Notable bands appearing include: Roadhouse Disciples, Ruston Road Kings, Monty Russel, Keith Patterson, Donavan Hatcher, Kenny Bill Stenson, and Danny Witherington.  The Ruston Road Kings will only be playing on Friday night as they will be busy working at the event on Saturday.

Local musicians are invited to sign up to play at the invite.  Bands and individuals will be able to sign up at the door.  Event coordinator Ken Carter stresses that you don’t have to be a part of a formal band in order to play at the event.  Last year two groups of musicians, who met for the first time at the event, played on stage together and had one of the most incredible performances said Carter.

The pre-jam Friday will be hosted by the Ruston Road Kings.  On Saturday there will be a silent auction lasting until 8 pm.  Raffle tickets will be sold both days.  A Taylor electric guitar priced at $1,998 will be given to the winning raffle ticket.

A raffle will be held for this Taylor electric guitar valued at nearly $2,000.

Saturday is also St. Patrick’s Day.  Carter hopes “to see a lot of St. Patty’s revelers out and about.”  In the words of a cajun friend Carter tells everyone, “yall come pass a good time.”

The John Simoneaux Jam has become something of a Ruston institution.  Sundown employee and lifelong Ruston resident Ryan Martin said, “Every year I look forward to seeing the John Simoneaux Jam, even though this year I’ll have to be working through it.”

The Jam commemorates the life and musical career of musician John Simoneaux.  Simoneaux hailed from New Orleans and came to Louisiana Tech to study guitar.  Simoneaux became an influential part of the Ruston music scene until his death in January 2000.

Here’s a sample of music from the 2009 Johnny Jam.


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