Post by Sarah Likens
The Bohm in downtown Albion has a lot more to offer students and the community than just movies. On Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., the historic theatre welcomed The Ball Brothers Blues Band to an audience of 200 people for Blues at the Bohm and raised $340. Three of the nine members are Albion locals, three are Albion College alumni and the remaining three have ties to Albion.
Every month, Blues at the Bohm has a host band, (January’s being The Ball Brothers Blues Band) where they open and close the three hour show. Another important job of the host band is to provide instruments or vocals for the jam sessions in between their sets, if need be.
The jam sessions invite musicians to sign up with Cliff Harris, founder of Blues at the Bohm, where they meet other musicians only several minutes before they take the stage.
“The guests who came for the jam sessions were incredible,” said Alex Hicks, St. Clair Shores senior. As a member of the college’s jazz ensemble, he enjoyed watching The Ball Blues Brothers including his professor Dr. Ball and Dan Palmer, who teaches guitar at the college. Hicks thought it was “really cool to see and hear how they play.”
Finding bands to host these unremitting jam sessions has not been difficult, as the show is currently booked through November.
New and unpredictable things stem from the jam sessions aside from just the stage performance. One of which has been the formation of several bands. There have been musicians who attend Blues at the Bohm for the purpose of looking for a guitarist or drummer. An individual’s jam session can turn into an audition without him or her even knowing.
The event is not just for the Albion community though.
The city of Albion, surrounding towns and the college have shown that great things happen when they come together. That’s when everyone does their best. January’s Blues at the Bohm further solidifies that as there were musicians and audience members from all three.
“I hope that more and more students will come down and participate on stage as well as in the audience. It’s open to college students not just as a place to go watch but as a place to participate and be a part of the community,” Harris said.
When Blues at the Bohm began March of 2015 not many, including Harris, imagined the event would be what it is. But now, Harris is having bigger ideas including reaching an average of 200 tickets sold at each show. When more tickets are sold, more money is raised. This means that the Bohm makes money, and it means that more variety of bands can be booked. There is also the hope that in the next year, the Bohm will be able to hold Blues at the Bohm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Harris even said that there is the possibility that the show will grow further as there has been talk of “filming and editing the show” to put “an hour or one and a half hour edited show on public television.”
“[Blues at the Bohm] has become my contribution to the community,” Harris said.
The next Blues at the Bohm will be Monday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. and will be featuring the Albion College Jazz Ensemble. Admission is $5. Albion students with their student ID can receive free entrance, sponsored by Union Board.
Donors interested in contributing to the Blues at the Bohm promotions fund should contact Cliff Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Blues at the Bohm visit https://www.facebook.com/bluesatthebohm/
Photo by Sarah Likens