Why not just call them "Guitar Jams"

I have been playing/practicing Blues Harp for about a year.  Recently, I 
started going to the local blues jams.  The first few times were great.  The 
host band was supportive and encouraged me to get up and play and I learned 
a ton.  Then that particular band stopped running the gig, so lately I've 
been trying out some other jams in town (Denver).  OK, I've heard all the 
harmanoica player jokes, but didn't think they amounted to a full-blown 
bias.  Now I know different.  I'm learning and my ego isn't that big.  I 
know I don't sound like LW or Cotton. But even BEFORE I go up and play, I'm 
usually treated like a second class citizen.  Tonight, at a place that I 
never played before, I heard the Jam's host ask the guitarists if they 
wanted a harp player to sit in - They said no, so I sat out the real 
electric blues set and they stuck me with an acoustic folk singer/guitarist. 
  I floundered trying to play first position and third position to accompany 
his minor keys.  I'm just starting to get comfortable in Cross Harp.  (After 
the first song, the host came up to the guitarist and said he was doing a 
good job "drowning out the harp player.")  It wasn't fair to me or the 
guitar player, who was very good.

I'm not just writing to whine. I won't go back there, but  I love playing 
and I'm not going to quit.  My question is how do more experienced players 
deal with the situation?  How can I "cut my chops" on the Harp?  And Does 
anyone know of a harp-friendly jam in Denver?


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