2008-05-07 / LifeStyles

Jammin' at Joe's

STORY AND PHOTOS BY SCOTT POWELL / LEDGER STAFF WRITER

Daddy Joe's Beach House & BBQ owner Shag Stepp believes warm weather's best flavor is a blend of barbecue, live music and good friends.

Guitarist Jeff Gates jams with Spartanburg keyboardist "Grub" Thornburg last Thursday evening at Daddy Joe's Beach House & BBQ, where the outdoor patio has become a popular gathering place for musicians and music lovers. Guitarist Jeff Gates jams with Spartanburg keyboardist "Grub" Thornburg last Thursday evening at Daddy Joe's Beach House & BBQ, where the outdoor patio has become a popular gathering place for musicians and music lovers. Stepp is stirring up his idea of a good time into acoustic music jams each Thursday night that he aptly calls the "Patio Sessions." Hosted by Spartanburg singer and guitarist Jeff Gates, Daddy Joe's welcomes area vocalists and musicians to perform on the restaurant's patio.

The show gets underway on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and continues until 10:30. The open mic format gives everyone from novices to seasoned musicians a chance to play a few tunes and perform with different artists.

"Jeff (Gates) makes the night flow and the music fall into place," Stepp said. "He usually kicks off the fun by presenting a few numbers. He then performs with various musicians and works them in throughout the evening."

Tom Agales has been the only musician to use a regular drum set at acoustic music patio sessions at Daddy Joe's. Tom Agales has been the only musician to use a regular drum set at acoustic music patio sessions at Daddy Joe's. There has already been a lot of surprises since the jammin' began last month.

Gaffney firefighter Beau Hudson often accompanies the musicians on an Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument - the cajon.

Hudson slaps out the rhythm with his hands on the front of the instrument that is shaped like a wooden box. He can tap the sides with the top of his palms and fingers for additional percussion sounds.

When he isn't helping put out fires, Hudson pursues his music career as a drummer with a number of bands in the Spartanburg area. He purchased the cajon two months ago in order to have another percussion instrument to use in live settings.

"I first saw a cajon played when the drummer and lead guitarist for a group called Rocco Deluca did an acoustic set a few months ago. I was looking for a way to perform without lugging my whole drum set around," Hudson said. "A lot of people are amazed at the percussion sounds I can get on a small box. I really like it. It's led me in some different directions with my music."

Among the bands that have used the cajon in their music in recent years include Fleetwood Mac, Los Lobos, Norah Jones and The Dixie Chicks.

Hudson's cajon has fit right in with the acoustic guitars, fiddles and drums at Daddy Joe's jammin' sessions.

Last week's surprise guest was keyboardist Jimmy "Grub" Thornburg, a member of the Part-Time Blues Band. The Charlotte-based group has opened shows since 1990 for wellknown artists, including Santana, The Neville Brothers, Don Henley, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy.

"Grub" joins a long line of musicians from Spartanburg, Gardner-Webb University, Charlotte and the Gaffney area who have gathered on the patio at Daddy Joe's on Thursday and made each week a little different than the one before.

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