Traditional jazz and ragtime, torch blues, and classic country. 9:30 p.m.
Chris Ousley is going to let you in on a trade secret, the very thing that allows his band the Bumper Jacksons to give jazz and country traditionals a uniquely modern flair. In reference to his band’s latest release Big Horn Mama, Ousley says, “The easiest and most concrete way to do this is the shift in instrumentation to change the feel. Many of the tunes were written in the 1910s, but the lap steel wasn’t electrified until the 1930s, but its distinctive tone transformed the early traditional jazz tune ‘Darktown Strutter’s Ball’ into a Western swing powerhouse.” Why yes it does. Ousley’s cohort in crime is Jess Eliot Myhre (vocals, clarinet, and washboard), and Big Horn Mama proves that the pair know exactly what they’re doing. “Rearranging the tunes or writing new lyrics is another great way we’ve found to freshen the tunes. Take ‘Shine’ for example,” Ousley says. “Jess and I were sick of being in the car one tour and started getting goofy and writing new lyrics to this 1910s song. The first verse is the original one, which makes it clear that it’s about a really confident woman strutting her stuff. We updated the next two verses to be increasingly ridiculous claims of power — taking out men in drunken brawls, laser beam eyes — so the central idea is still there, but it’s also a completely new song.” —Chris Haire