Jim's Country Jam

Twangin' and Hangin' Out

History

Hank's Roadhouse Cafe 1995

Jim's Country Jam has evolved over the years. In 1995,  Git Gone began hosting the "Roots Hoot" at Hank's Roadhouse Cafe. Frequently in attendance were such notables as Rocky Erikson, Kieth Ferguson, Mambo John Treanor, and Townes Van Zandt -- largely because of the popularity of the venue and their friendship with the club's namesake, Hank Sinatra.

This jam was loosely organized and lessons were learned, such as "don't let entire bands take over the stage... they'll play off genre music and drive away the crowd."  However, lasting friendships were forged in this era with long time jammers, Shaan Shiarzi, Mark Viator and Susan Maxey.

The Draught Horse

When Hank's closed, Git Gone moved the jam to The Draught Horse (now the Draught House) on Medical Parkway and moved Jam Night to Sunday making it possible for working professionals to join in. The combination of cozy surroundings and one of the best on-tap beer selections in Austin made The Roots Hoot grow in popularity. During this era, Roger Wallace made his first appearance as a country singer, and Hot Club of Cowtown made their Austin debut.

Brentwood Tavern 2003-2007

After the Draught Horse, and after one or two temporary homes for the jam, but a perfect match was found with Brentwood Tavern on Burnet Road. The large outdoor stage was perfect for sound. Parents could relax with kids on the playground. To top it off, Tim and Kathleen, the proprietors, were two of the nicest people ever to sling a burger! When Brentwood Tavern was forced to closed, Jim's Country Jam was the biggest draw on their live entertainment event calendar. More than once, the crowd was so large that the restaurant would run out of food! Veterans of this era are Ruby Jane Smith, making her first appearance at 12 years of age; current AM Band pedal steeler, James Shelton; renown bassist, Ed Friedland, and the lovely chanteuse, Dawn Miller.

Waterloo Ice House 2008-2012

In 2008, Jim's Country Jam opened at Waterloo Ice House with the help of manager, Brian Lemaster. Again, it was a natural match. The comfortable surroundings, good food and easy access proved to be a good recipe for country jam. The Jam often attracted so many performers that time was expanded to 4 hours (or more!) to accomodate all the talent.

Scholz Garten 2012-2013

In early 2012, we spoke with Jeremy Benson, manager of Scholz Garten, and  we opened with a full house in May, 2012. We've had a great run at Scholz with many new jammers, guests from around the world, and our valued regulars.

El Mercado 2013-Present
As of March 2014, Church of the Jam has moved to the a new choir loft at El Mercado on South 1st Street. Starting at 6:30pm and running to 9:30pm. We've already seen many new faces and expanded the repertoire. The sound is excellent, good food, and, as always, good community.

As Jim's Country Jam is out pickin' berries for a new batch, well over 100 musicians have appeared at the jam... we look forward to spreading the jam.

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