"You know you move me baby," the guitarist sang. A blonde, wearing black sling-back stellettos, strut onto the checkered dance floor. She moved her hips from side to side and twisted her wrist in the air.

A keyboardist, three guitarists, a drummer and a harmonica player had taken over Liquid 891 like they do at 8 p.m. every Thursday.

The audience, about 39-strong, sipped their beer and wine, joked with friends and soaked up the blues.

The members of the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania have been jamming since 1998. The group first met at the Lochiel Hotel in Harrisburg. Member Gary Rothrock said the hotel closed several years ago because of flood damage.

Now, the musicians meet at Liquid 891, also in Harrisburg, every Thursday to discuss logistics; then, jam - for hours.

"This is an open jam, where people just come and sign up," Rothrock, a member since 2001, said. "When you go, you really don't know who you are going to end up playing with. It's challenging."

About 30 to 40 musicians consistently show up every week to play.

Hannah Sherman, who has been a member for more than 15 years, doesn't play an instrument or jam with a band, she just comes because she loves the music.

Sherman, who lives in Peach Bottom Township, said she brings food to the group's events and summer picnics and helps organize some events. It's not just the music she's attracted to.

"The people in the blues society are like a family we get to choose, not one we have to have - everyone there says this," Sherman said.

It's that kind of infectious community that gets musicians from all over the U.S. interested in being a part of the society.

"One of the best things we've done is bring players from Mississippi to Pennsylvania," Sherman said. "One man who came to perform was in his 80s and that was his first time on a plane."

Including the Thursday night jams, the Blues Society puts on almost 70 events a year.

"It's amazing how much stuff we do," Rothrock said.

Marianna Doherty, the new president, said she's impressed by the dedication of the musicians in this group.

"Nobody gets paid," she said. "But, every week, they come and blow me away."

- ASHLEY MAY,
FlipSide staff



If you go

What: Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania jam

Where: Liquid 891, 891 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg

When: 8 p.m. every Thursday

Details: For more information, visit www.bscpblues.org


Pete Netznik, known as Cheese, pairs musicians together on the set board for the jam, at Liquid 891 in Harrisburg on Jan. 17, 2013. He has been a member of
Pete Netznik, known as Cheese, pairs musicians together on the set board for the jam, at Liquid 891 in Harrisburg on Jan. 17, 2013. He has been a member of the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania since it started. By the end of the night, this board is full of names. (FLIPSIDE - ASHLEY MAY)