Friday 16 September 2016

Still Jammin'

    Some of the best fun I have had in my life has been playing music.  After a long musical hiatus, I was starving and so three years ago, I started an open jam at the McBride Library annex.  It has been a very fluid affair with players coming and going, but I am happy to report that there is still music being played every Tuesday night and for me it is still the highlight of the week.
    Above is a photo of the last week’s participants.  From left to right they are:  Me (mandolin, guitar, & vocals), Dorothy Simpson (lap steel guitar), Elsie Stanley (accordion), Eunice Wentz (keyboard), Nadia Kovarik (tambourine), Lennie Dovich (washtub bass), and Len McCarty (electric bass, vocals).
    The songs we play are chosen by whoever shows up and covers a wide spectrum of genres.  Bluegrass, blues, pop, country and western, & folk, written by everyone from Boxcar Willie, Chuck Berry, John Prine, Woody Guthrie, George Gershwin, and the Beatles.  Over the years we have put together a songbook of the songs we do and at present there are over 100 songs in the books.  The notebooks have both lyrics and chords, so its easy of newcomers to join in.  Recent additions include “Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)” and “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight,” as you can see, there is quite a range.
    Part of the fun of the jam is that I never know who, what instruments, or songs are going to show up, so it is constantly changing.  Sometimes locals drop by to sing along, and sometimes we have tourists come just to watch a listen.  Only four sleeps until our next jam.

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