Jamming at Allicht with Ilene Spain

Trip Start Feb 23, 2007
Trip End Jun 15, 2007

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

(Nijmegen, Wednesday, April 18, 2007)
-My friend Ilene Spain, the master cellist from the USA, left Amsterdam last month to relocate in Nijmegen, a sweet little Dutch college town about 90 minutes by train from the capitol. She's playing on the street, taking on students, sitting in around town and making a life for herself there as a musician and creative force.

One of her earliest stops was at the Wednesday night jam sessions at the Allicht club, a tiny beer joint in the old town centruum where the several acoustic guitarists and other jammers from the area congregate in a big circle just inside the front door and blow their brains out for several hours.

Ilene enjoyed a great reception as a participant in the musical delirium and was soon invited to serve as the featured guest artist of the week for April 18th, when she would have the opportunity to present a full set of her music and take home the munificent honorarium of 25 Euros.

Never one to hoard her good fortune, Ilene picked up the phone and texted me an invitation to be her featured guest on her own Featured Guest Artist show. When I called her back she explained that she had a brilliant new living situation where I would have a place to sleep for the night, there was the promise of a free meal (always music to a poet's ears) and she would turn over her entire 25 stipend to cover my train fare from Amsterdam and back.

Well, I know a good deal when I hear one, and the chance to hear my words against Ilene's cello is always a happy opportunity, so I climbed on the train for the 90-minute ride to Nijmegen, where I've played in duet with Mark Ritsema several times in divers places. The Alicht was a new venue for me, blessed with sympathetic music-loving management and an extremely comfortable ambience, and the Wednesday night guitar ensemble was having a ball playing its zany repertoire and flailing away at the motley collection of acoustical instruments.

Ilene featured her own singing and playing on a couple of numbers and brought me up for a couple of my own. Among the guitarists was Etienne Boucher, the fine acoustic bluesman I'd met at Eat at Jo's in the Melkweg and then featured on my Radio Show #128, so between him and Ilene I knew I'd be all right. The rest of the gang was sort of taken aback to hear me burst into verse over the music, but they adjusted pretty well and we had a great time.

I spent the night on about the narrowest little sleeping pad I've ever met, enjoyed breakfast with Ilene and her beau, walked over to the Nijmegen Station and caught the train back to Amsterdam-no richer, no poorer, but full of cheer and good will.


Ilene Spain was featured on my radio show from Clay Windham's Easter Hill Studio in Holendrecht on June 4, 2006. You can listen at:


John Sinclair Radio Show #91
Easter Hill Studio, Amsterdam Zuid-Oost
Sunday, June 4, 2006 @ 9:00-10:00 pm [20-0618]

Larry Hayden, our Executive Producer, returned to the helm after an elongated period of recuperation from surgery this spring and masterminded this stellar "live" show from Clay Windham's Easter Hill Studio in the industrial Zuid-Oost of the city. Will Dawson engineered the show and Clay produced the recording, with our impromptu band of Radio Free Amsterdam All Stars featuring Harmonica George, Little Steven on guitar & vocals, Roy Lindsay on guitar, harmonica & vocals, Ilene Spain on cello, Denny on guitar, Dan on bass, Jack Dempsey at the drums, and Clay Windham on guitar & vocal for the closing number. Harmonica George also allowed us to preview two cuts from his forthcoming CD, and we had a ball from beginning to end.

Playlist #91

[01] Radio Free Amsterdam All Stars featuring Harmonica George: Opening Theme
[02] Intro, Comments & Opening Tokes by John Sinclair with Clay Windham & Will Dawson
[03] RFA All Stars featuring Harmonica George: I Got a Bone for You
[04] Comments & Conversation with Harmonica George & Little Steven
[05] Harmonica George: Shame Shame Shame [CD cut]
[06] Harmonica George: Start from Scratch [CD cut]
[07] RFA All Stars with Harmonica George: Little By Little
[08] Comments & Conversation with Clay Windham
[09] RFA All Stars with John Sinclair: Just One Big Heart
[10] Comments & Conversations with Ilene Spain & Roy Lindsay
[11] RFA All Stars with Roy Lindsay & Ilene Spain: Hey What's Cookin'
[12] RFA All Stars with Roy Lindsay & Ilene Spain: Diggy Liggy Lo
[13] Comments & Conversation with Will Dawson
[14] RFA All Stars with Clay Windham: Killing Floor with Outro

Hosted by John Sinclair for Radio Free Amsterdam
Produced by Clay Windham for Easter Hill Studio
Engineered & Recorded by Will Dawson
Executive Producer: Larry Hayden
Special thanks to Clay Windham, Will Dawson, & all the musicians: Harmonica George, Little Steven, Jack Dempsey, Roy Lindsay, Ilene Spain, Denny, & Dan  

(P) 2006 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

May 31, 2007
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