The Tuscaloosa music scene has been marked by several great artists over the years, but very few would qualify as “legends”. However, there is one man who stands up to that label, and his name is Ham Bagby. Bagby is a guitar virtuoso whose country-tinged songs have resonated with almost all who play the nightlife circuit in town. He is a regular at some of the most well-known venues in town for singer-songwriters, and has grown into larger consciousness with the town as a whole. Many have shared the stage with him, but few can match his charisma as a performer.
This past weekend, the music of Ham Bagby was celebrated at one of his favorite places to perform. In what has become an annual tradition, Egans celebrated the Ham Ham Jam Jam. The 3-night event brought in some of the most well-known acts on the Tuscaloosa circuit to perform in honor of T-Town’s resident troubadour. This was the 6th year of the event, which has become a must-see for anyone who wishes to experience Tuscaloosa music. Many of the artists featured have been friends with Bagby for years, while others are breaking into a similar scene music-wise. The setting showed the alternative country and rock that has grown in popularity around town.
On Friday, May 23rd, the greatest volume of artists performed. Elliot and Sweetdog took the stage first to begin the event. They were followed by an artist most Tuscaloosa music fans should recognize. Blaine Duncan and the Lookers have been a staple on the scene for several years. In fact, Duncan himself might be one of the few musicians in town that can hold his own on stage with Bagby. The Lookers bring a heavier rock sensibility, but they are still rooted in country, much like Bagby himself. The third act of the night was Golden Monica, who can be described as a sort of Tuscaloosa super group, consisting of former members of classic T-Town bands such as Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Druid City Rockers, Southpaw Bandits and the Bangtail Cats, among several others. The headlniner for the night was the man of the hour himself, Ham Bagby, playing with his band the Siege. Bagby is a legend among the Egans crowd, and their devotion to him never ceases to amaze. This night was truly a tremendous celebration of all he has accomplished.
The next two nights were lighter on bands, but not on fun. Saturday’s event saw Shiny Machine open the evening. A relative newcomer on the scene, Shiny Machine cover a wide range of Americana-influence music and are steadily rising in Tuscaloosa. They were followed by another familiar face: The Ne’er Do Wells. The Ne’er Do Wells bring a heavy bluegrass inspire sound to more traditional rock, and they have been a staple around town for many years. Sunday’s lineup began with a freeform jam, before the biggest name in Tuscaloosa music took the stage: Baak Gwai. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Baak Gwai at Egans is a must for any fan of Tuscaloosa music. The neo-punk trio have been moshing town for many years now, and their influence has spread all over the southeast. The continue to be the boldest group on the scene.
Ham Ham Jam Jam VI showed just how much Tuscaloosa appreciates its musical heroes. Ham Bagby will continue to be an inspiration to future musicians in and around town. Due to the nature of college bands being around for only a short time, it’s always refreshing to know some things never change, and some artists will grace the scene for years to come.

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