For nearly 50 years, Archie’s Barbershop in Northeast Washington DC was the place to be on Saturday afternoons when musicians gathered for an informal acoustic blues jam. In February 2008 after the barbershop building was sold, the weekly Archie’s Barbershop jams moved temporarily to HR-57-Center for the Preservation of Jazz and Blues. In March 2009, the Barbershop jams moved to its new home in the old Riverdale Bookstore, 4701 Queensbury Rd, Riverdale MD 20737 three blocks from the intersection of East West Highway and Route 1 (Baltimore Ave).
Musicians of all skill levels are welcome to join in, and many music-lovers stop by just to listen. Besides being a good time for everyone, Saturdays at the Barbershop allow the young to learn from the old and the Piedmont blues tradition to be passed down to the next generation.
The jams continue a tradition begun by Archie Edwards , who would close the shop about mid-afternoon, pick up his Gretsch steel pan guitar, and preside over a blues jam with his friends.
Over the years, visitors have included such blues artists as Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, John Jackson, John Cephas, Flora Molton, Phil Wiggins, Warner Williams, and Jay Summerour. In recent years, we have had memorable visitors from blues musicians from all around the United States as well from Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, and Russia -- to name just a few. A harmonica player from Brazil was so inspired by his experience, he started a “barbershop jam” in his home town.
The best way to experience Archie’s Barbershop is to come to a Saturday jam. The fun starts at about 1 pm (bluz time) and keeps going until about 6 pm.
Get a bigger taste of what happens at the Saturday jams on the on the Photos/Video page – but we hope you will come by to experience the Barbershop in person!
HOW TO FIND THE ARCHIE'S BARBERSHOP JAMS
Location click down page