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Sad to say, but it's nearly "Bon Soir" to Lisa Trahan Reed and Mitch  Reed's Louisiana Heritage Arts and Gifts Store off of Gloria Switch  Road in Lafayette.
The store itself features Louisiana style music, souvenirs and  folkart. But perhaps most importantly, it's been a key gathering  place for many musicians and/or lovers of Cajun and Creole music. The  store has been a fixture in the Cajun music community, where many of  the finest Cajun musicians provided both private and group lessons.  The ever generous owners, Lisa and Mitch Reed, also hosted many house  concerts as well as benefits for musicians displaced by Hurricane  Katrina.
   
      But perhaps most of all, 'Mitch's Jam' will be missed most of all by  those who attend the Saturday afternoon jam in the back room.  Although my attendance was unpredictable, and often revolved around  my yardwork, I knew I would find a warm welcome whenever I did show  up. There was always at least one familiar face. There were the  regulars, who never seemed to miss, and to my eye it appeared the  seats may have been assigned to certain folks. There were the ones  who would stray in a bit late, having made the morning jam in Eunice  at Mark's store (Savoy Music).  The Pine Leaf Boys frequently showed  up, adding some youthful spice to the mix. Of course, it was always a  treat to hear Mitch join the jam, when his busy schedule with  Beausoleil would allow. Lisa, who plays with the Magnolia Sisters,  would usually stop in for a few tunes. And her Dad, Mr. Harry Trahan,  was no slouch in leading the jam himself. The "usual suspects" at a  typical jam might include some fidgety dancers, a few tourists  passing through, a novice triangle player, a froittoir (rubboard)  player, as many as a dozen fiddlers, an electric bass or a washtub  bass, a harmonica, rhythm guitars, a few accordions, and vocalists.
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The walls feature a beautiful portrait of Jesus against a vivid red  wall, alongside posters, illustrations on napkins, vintage record  albums, photos, and news clippings.  At each jam,  Lisa's dad, Mr.  Harry Trahan would also lead a few tunes on the accordion. During  festival season, you'd expect standing room only with people hanging  out on the porch, a gumbo in the driveway, and a full day to pass a  good time. moe3
 
      Which reminds me. The Louisiana Heritage and Gifts Last Hurrah Mardi  Gras Gumbo and Jam will take place on Saturday, February 17th. It's  basically an all day affair and one not to be missed. For anyone  traveling to Lafayette for Mardi Gras, they should come by and take a  peek, buy a souvenir from the store, and help give Mitch and Lisa a  great send off!  I'm sure there will be other jams to go to on  Saturdays. Vermilionville has offered to host a jam on Saturdays  after 'Mitch's Jam' folds.
And of course, Marc Savoy must have the longest standing Saturday  morning jam in history at the Savoy Music Store in Eunice. KRVS  announces jams all throughout the area (in French usually). And the  Independent and The Times usually include information as well.  In  addition, there are several smaller, not so well known jams, that are  also open to the public...but you can ask around when you get here.  Things pop up and change all the time. So jams are here to stay. Long  live the jam!
 
         
     

Which brings me to the end of this homage...We passed ourselves a  good time. Thank you Mitch and Lisa Reed for that!