If you're a blues fan, you need to check out the Salmon Bay Eagles club (left), located in Seattle's north end Ballard neighborhood. Yes, that's right, the Salmon Bay Eagles, as in "Fraternal Organization of..." This club has been hosting blues bands on Thursday nights for 15 consecutive years now, and many of us musician types consider it to be our official blues clubhouse.
There is never a cover charge, the drinks (served up by the hostess with the mostest, Jimmie Jean) are strong, and Marcia (the Kitchen Wench) is usually cooking up soul food dinners for under $10.00. So what's not to like? There is also a pretty good juke box, with local blues CDs mixed in with the Eagles' favorites such as Guy Lombardo and Frank Sinatra.
Jimmie Jean (right, serving up one of my favorite libations) has been working behind the bar every Thursday for all of those 15 years. The musicians get treated with respect in this joint - there's nobody on our back telling us what to play, or how loud to play it. Also, the Eagles popped for a decent PA system a few years ago, so I don't have to lug mine down there when I play with the Midnight Movers or KT's Kicks. Nice!
Most of the bands invite their friends to join them when they play at the Eagles, so you never know who you might see sitting in. We usually have some great harp players sitting in during the Midnight Movers gigs, and Mark Dufresne (vocals/harp for Roomful Of Blues) sometimes drops in when he's in town.
Here's a couple of the bands I've seen recently at the Eagles:
So, waddya waitin' for? Get down to the Eagles and support live Seattle blues on Thursdays. And tell Jimmie Jean I said hi. If I'm at the bar, say hey and I'll buy you a drink.
The Salmon Bay Eagles is located at 5216 20th Ave. NW in Seattle (206-783-7791). The Thursday night gigs happen from 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM.