The original Deacons were formed in 1995 by bandleader John 'Rev. Jake' O'Connor. The band performs original and stylized Blues, Jazz, Rockabilly, Country, Gospel, Rock, and even an occasional Punk song. The current lineup features O'Connor on bass, Cliff Schaumburg on guitar, Jim 'Georgia Slim' Wilson on keyboards and Dennis Hash on drums. The group performs regularly at the Cowboy Café in Arlington, Virginia and also makes appearances at the Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria, JV's in Falls Church and elsewhere. The WASHINGTON POST, JANUARY 1 2009 said: Live! Who: The Deacons When: 9:30 p.m. tomorrow Where: Cowboy Cafe, Arlington The Deacons, an eclectic blues band led by John 'Rev. Jake' O'Connor, return to their regular gig at Arlington County's Cowboy Cafe The Deacons are, at heart, a blues band. But that doesn't mean they can't dip into jazz, country, rockabilly or even punk when they're working up a groove. The band's original material includes such blues numbers as 'Why Me?' as well as the reggae-driven 'Mona.' And as for what it might do in terms of cover songs, bandleader John 'Rev. Jake' O'Connor said in a phone interview, 'There are thousands of songs. I've forgotten more songs than a lot of young guys know.' In the course of a night spent with the Deacons, you could hear classic Jimmy Reed or Champion Jack Dupree, obscure tunes by Ray Charles, perhaps something from the catalogue of classic rock's Jethro Tull or punk hero Ian Dury. Throw in a medley of Bo Diddley or Chuck Berry beats, and chances are, if you catch two shows by the band in a month, you won't hear the same song twice. The original Deacons were formed in 1995 by O'Connor (bass, most lead vocals and occasional harmony), who has performed professionally since 1976, mostly in the Washington area, but also in such distant spots as California and Germany. The Deacons performed more than a thousand times in the D.C. area in the decade that followed but then took a two-year break, as O'Connor said he wanted to cut back his schedule to spend more time with family. About two years ago, encouraged by new management at the Cowboy Cafe, which wanted to host regular blues nights, O'Connor re-formed the band with former Deacon Cliff Schaumburg, a guitarist with 40 years of musical experience. With Jim 'Georgia Slim' Wilson on keyboard, guitar and slide guitar, and drummer Dennis Hash, the quartet has become a fixture of the club, performing twice monthly, often with guests from the D.C. scene. The Deacons have self-released two live CDs (1996's '1, 2, 3, 4 . . . Live at the Courtyard' and 'Live at Bangkok Blues' in 2003) but only the 1999 studio album 'Maiden America' is available (at shows and through CDBaby.com). According to O'Connor, the band has plans to return to the studio and record in the near future. 'You never know what you're going to get' at a Deacons show, O'Connor said, but he's sure a good time is on the menu. 'We have a fairly good little following,' he said, 'and so does the cafe. It's small -- it holds about 60 people -- and the gumbo's great.' If you can't catch the band tomorrow night, you'll have opportunities again Feb. 13 and 17 and March 6 and 14. Asked for any final words, O'Connor thanked the local scene: 'We really appreciate the great support we've received from the D.C. area. Please wish everyone a happy new year from the band.' And from Live!, too. -- MARIANNE MEYER.