December 20, 2007

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Jam on Monday
Play with the Whippersnappers house band
By Alec O’Meara aomeara@hippopress.com

When Mark Belanger recently joined the ownership team at Whippersnappers, one of the first orders of business was to bring back open jam night as part of an effort to get more live music to the Londonderry pub.

That plan was put into motion earlier this month, and once the holidays are over with, jam night will be in full swing every Monday at Whippersnapers with a house band that will include some of the best musicians in the area.

Anyone with the ability to play can sign up and sit in with house band, which includes guitarist Gardner Berry and drummer Chris Lester of Mama Kicks, Rich Caron of Souled Out Show, and Mike DuPont. The house band has no formal name right now, but they like Gardner Berry and the Yards of Floss, Belanger joked.

He’s especially excited to be bringing Berry in for the shows.

“He [Berry] is a pillar in the local music industry and we’re lucky to have him,” Belanger said. “There’s a lot of musicians in the area that have a lot of respect for him, and a lot of them would probably love the chance to play a song with him and the rest of the band.”

The Whippersnappers’s co-owner is hopeful that jam night will represent the cornerstone of a music renaissance at the pub, and that live acts will expand from three shows a week to six. The band began holding jam night again on Dec. 7, but will likely hold off on playing again until after New Year’s Eve, which falls on a Monday this year. Once jam night begins in earnest, it is expected to continue without interruption.

“Jam night used to be a great night to go out and hear something new,” said Belanger, who is a musician himself and made the old Tuesday night jam sessions a regular stop. He understands that many go out to eat or to watch sports on a big screen TV, but believes that the different kinds of pub-goers can coexist.

Open jam nights are a great opportunity to hear new artists, or to give unproven musicians the chance to play with more accomplished musicians and prove their abilities. Belanger also said that the nights will be a good opportunity to scout for new talent to be featured for a given evening. There is no cover charge for the jam sessions.

More information on open jam night and other live music performances at Whippersnappers, located off Route 102 at Londonderry Commons in Londonderry, can be found at www.whippersnappersnh.com or by calling 434-2660. Open jam night will begin at 8 p.m.