View Full Version : Philadelphia Jam

Nov-20-2005, 11:22pm
Does anyone have the time or interest to get together for a bluegrass jam on the Sunday after Thanksgiving? We could start a tradion!
I live in Rydal, and have some pretty high end
pickers interested, but wanted to get some imput.
Tell me your thoughts. please!
RichieK # RKKRCT@aol.com

jim simpson
Nov-21-2005, 8:51pm
Hi Richie,
Can I watch?
I'd be interested and it would be cool to see some of the board (bored?) members show up. I'm thinking of driving down to the Wilmington Jam tomorrow night (yeah, call me crazy).
Okay, roll call: Moose! Fred!, Chiro..! others!?

Let me know,

Nov-21-2005, 9:37pm
I hope that we can put something together.
You cannot watch...you must both play and sing!!
I was actually thinking about going to the Washington House tomorrow...I thought that you and Ed sort of ran that thing.
Tell me about Wilmington...I jammmed with David B. about 2 months ago, it was a lot of fun.

jim simpson
Nov-21-2005, 9:59pm
The Washington House jam is the 1st & 3rd of each month so last Tues. was it till Dec.
I saw Bob Suter last week at the Thurs. night NE jam. He said he would like to go down to it as he has not yet been to it. I suggested we carpool. If you think you'd like to go, you're welcome to ride with me. The cafe is big enough for at least 2 jams and it's smoke free. They bake fresh scones,etc. and you can buy a drink there too. (for medicinal purposes, of course).
Do you know Howard Naughton? He is the best fiddler and sometimes goes to the jam.

sam b
Nov-22-2005, 3:57pm
Hey Richie-
I'm interested. Where are you thinking of having it?

barry k
Nov-22-2005, 7:20pm
Jim, I sure would like to come to the jam, but 13 hour drive for me...someday I will make it back for the Washington House, like to see the old (me too) crowd again.

jim simpson
Nov-22-2005, 9:05pm
Hey Barry,
It would be good to see you. You haven't been up this way in a while. Good to see that you're building again.

barry k
Nov-22-2005, 11:08pm
yup, been at it full tilt since last December. I got off of that S.W. Asia rotation in late Sept. thought it would be time to start again. Hope to see yall soon.

Nov-23-2005, 9:56pm
Jim and Sam,
I'm still working on it...I've yet to hear from the banjo ,dobro and bass players. #But we've got a few guitars, mandolins and singers so far.

Fred G
Nov-25-2005, 1:19pm
do you have a time and place for this jam?

Jim, How are you doing? Are you going to go to any of the AFBA shindigs this winter? I got a new mando you have to check out.

jim simpson
Nov-25-2005, 4:47pm
Hey Fred,
Good to hear from you, I hope to make it to the Dec. shindig. I'd love to see what you've got (what is it?).
I hope Richie has this jam, I live about 15 minutes away from him!
My band is gigging Sat. night at the firehall in Germansville (just above Allentown). We'll be sharing the bill with Mike Hertzog's band from 7 to 11 or so. (shameless plug!)
To Richie: Interest is growing, any news?

Nov-25-2005, 9:03pm
I'm not going to know until tomorrow...my mom had been in the hospital and was released yesterday, so I'm just not able to commit on my part yet.
But I'm very hopeful!

Nov-26-2005, 6:04pm
Hey Guys,
I think the jam is gonna happen..tomorrow afternoon.
PM me for details if you are interested.

jim simpson
Nov-27-2005, 10:39pm
A big thank you goes to Richie for hosting a great jam! It was good to meet fellow Cafe'r Sam. It would have been good to get more area members together. Richie generously provided food and beverages and had a good variety of pickers to really round things out. We took turns at the electric bass as the upright player couldn't make it. Thanks again Richie for hosting such a great jam!

Dec-12-2005, 8:39pm
Signs of pickers in Philly! This is great.
I'm over here in university city looking for a good weekly pick session to polish up on my mando. Anyone know of any good get togethers?
I know this city is replete with excellent musicians, and I've found some great jazz clubs. What I'm really looking for is a good bluegrass pick session. Anyone have any leads?

jim simpson
Dec-12-2005, 11:40pm
There is a jam the 3rd Tues. of the month at the Mermaid Inn at the foot of Germantown Ave. and Mermaid Lane in Chestnut Hill. There is a jam every Thurs. at the Blvd. Lanes Bowling Ally (in the lounge - 8 to 11) on Roosevelt Blvd. & Rhawn. Wilmington has a jam every Tues. at the NW Cafe. Do a Google search for Holmesburg Jam. That is the Thurs. night jam site. In the summer it's outside and in Winter inside. They have a jam site link that Ed Pollock maintains. You can get on Ed's email list and get updates to all kind of bluegrass and related events.

Dec-12-2005, 11:43pm
FYI, the Mermaid also hosts Old Time and Celtic sessions-- they have a pretty regular schedule...

Dec-13-2005, 8:50am
Thanks guys,
The holmesburg site is very helpful. I'm a little surprised there are no jams in center city philadelphia. The next obstacle is trying to navigate the public transportation system to any of these jams.
I hope to see some of you guys at these sessions.

Dec-13-2005, 10:47am
...a jam session in "downtown" Philly - hee... hee... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

jim simpson
Dec-14-2005, 12:01am
Hey Moose,
Maybe you could venture up our way and help start one. I guess playing outside in say, Rittenhouse Square might be a little cold for now. I would go downtown now and then if there was a good jam. There was a bluegrass jam for a short while at a guitar shop in Manayunk but it didn't last and unfortunately, the shop didn't. Downtown is a tuff one.

Dec-14-2005, 8:19am
Rittenhouse Square would be nice in the summer.
A couple months ago I saw a celtic band playing in the back of The Bards, right next to Rittenhouse. Some little venue like that would be great place for a bluegrass jam

Dec-14-2005, 11:12am
Hey Jim S.! - Good to hear from ya'! - Yeah, I would/could travel to to Philly area ; don't like to drive but there's always SEPTA(when they ain't on strike!##) - Did you make it to the Guitar Show?? - I promised Chas. I would show but..."no-show-Moose". Happy Holidays to 'ya. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Dec-14-2005, 11:22am
FYI, Blair, there is a bus that goes directly in front of the Mermaid (I think its the 23, but you should definitely check with SEPTA) and in warmer weather, it's not a bad walk from the closest R8 or R7 station.

Also- let me know if you have any interest in contra dance playing - there's a pretty active scene for that, and a "pick up" band called Spuds that is open to anyone (music is posted online for download and practice at home).

Dec-14-2005, 12:00pm
otterly2k: Hey! - Thanks for the info. I was gonna' check SEPTA routes/schedule. Moose. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

sam b
Dec-14-2005, 1:07pm
Rittenhouse is a great place to jam. My friend Larry and I used to meet there all the time - grab a bench and play for a few hours during the summer nights. You'll always have a few interesting conversations with passers-by. Sometimes they'll ask you about your "little banjo" or ukelele. Others will have never heard a fiddle tune and will be so enthusiastic about the music. Ok, that's rare, but it happens.

My friend Dan owns a coffee shop in the U district where a few of us would meet on Wednesdays. That was great too. I think some cafe would be very willing to get something going: free music, bemused caffinated audience. Everyone's happy as long as you don't tell any banjo players about it.
Someone just needs to be the grand organizer...


Dec-15-2005, 1:09pm
I live in northern PA I may be intereseted also. Sounds great.

Dec-15-2005, 5:51pm
If anyone is interested, my band is playing at the 'maid this saturday night. Anyone who would like to sit in during the third set is welcome and should bring an instrument. I hope some of you come by to play a little.

Dec-15-2005, 6:03pm
jaydee: WHERE (Philadelphia "area") is this establishment!!?? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Dec-15-2005, 9:51pm
Moose- The Mermaid Inn is on Germantown Ave. at the bottom of Chestnut Hill (just past Mount Airy)... this is the Northwest part of Philadelphia proper (e.g. as far NW as you go and are still in PHiladelphia, but not yet in Suburbs). http://www.themermaidinn.net/ - there;s a map and calendar of events, etc. there...

Dec-15-2005, 10:59pm
Sorry Richard, I assumed that if you had followed the thread that far you would know where the mermaid inn is. The website (the mermaidinn.net) can show you the way. If you know the area, the inn is at the corner of germantown ave. and mermaid lane, half a block up the hill from the strange 24 hour flower shop.

Dec-16-2005, 11:17am
Yeah!.., Yeah! - I GOT it now!! ;I'm OLD ya' know!# - I'm gonna' make that gig...someday. Moose. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

sam b
Dec-16-2005, 12:31pm
Just a plug for Jeremy's gig. This band of his, he's in about 300 other ones, is the Philadelphia Bluegrass Band, and it's chock full of a bunch of smokin' players. Jeremy's main job in this setting is to hold down the bass, but he's also an accomplished mandolin player. If you like great bluegrass playing and harmonizing, and you want to suport a great local act, this is it.


Dec-16-2005, 12:35pm
I can't make it this weekend, Jeremy, but would love to know about future gigs... I hope you'll post them here.

Dec-16-2005, 5:53pm
yer makin' me blush Sam. Thanks for the nice words, I hope you can make it saturday.
I'll be sure to mention any gigs we have in the future where we can have guests up to play. Of course all are welcome if the situation permits.

Dec-17-2005, 10:32am
I can't miss it now. What time do y'all start?

Dec-18-2005, 1:22am
The band sounded great tonight at the Mermaid!
I'm hoping that many of us can show up this Tuesday for the bluegrass jam there also.We especially need a bass player!

Dec-18-2005, 11:05am
I agree, great show. That was my first bluegrass show since moving up to philly, and I was very impressed. Good harmony and solid picking all around.
I brought 3 friends who know nothing about bluegrass, and they really enjoyed it. Good job, guys

Dec-18-2005, 1:51pm
Thanks for coming everyone. I think it's a great idea to try to fill up the jam at the 'maid tuesday. I'll bring the bass too. Anyone else interested in the maemaid jam tuesday?

Dec-19-2005, 8:28am
I'd like to start coming to those, but I'm going back to North Carolina for the winter break. Maybe in January I'll come to a few.
By the way, can anyone recommend any good mando teachers in the area? Not necessarily bluegrass, just solid mando teachers that know a bit about theory.

Keltic Fiddler
Dec-20-2005, 6:14pm
Mr. Mando wrote...

By the way, can anyone recommend any good mando teachers in the area? Not necessarily bluegrass, just solid mando teachers that know a bit about theory.

For the life of me, I can't remember his name, but there is a man in the South Phila area who teaches all styles of mandolin. He runs a regular ad on the back page of the City Paper. Pick up a copy and look for the ad.

There is also a music store in Landsdowne, they sell all types of folk and world music instruments, and the owner teaches mando.

I've been out of touch with things in the Phila. area since I moved to North Jersey a few years back, but I know these 2 are still out there.

Hope this helps

Dec-20-2005, 6:29pm
The music store in Lansdowne in Todaro's and the owner is Joe Todaro. He is the fellow that gives mando lessons....plays in a mando orchestra, is a super nice guy, plays all kinds of music, knows theory. Doesn't demand weekly lessons - in fact, probably doesn't have the time. It's a general sort of store that stocks stuff for other instruments, too, and there are always kids going in and out for all sorts of music lessons upstairs. Judith

Dec-21-2005, 10:51am
Speaking of Philly, I will be traveling there next week and was wondering which shops have a selection of mandolins to sample?

Dec-21-2005, 11:41am
Willi- the choices are somewhat limited here. Surprisingly so for a city this size.

If you go to Fred Oster's shop, Vintage Instruments, that's mostly what you'll find. He is likely to have a bunch of vintage Gibsons and bowlbacks, and a few other things. He carries very little new stock. web address: http://www.vintage-instruments.com/ He is on Pine St...there are two storefronts.. one in the 1500 block and one in the 1600 block.

There's Todaro's... I haven't been there, but they seem to stock Webers and maybe a few others. Also, a wide selection of stringed/fretted instruments from all over the world, and a bowlback he is having made for him. web address: http://www.worldfrets.com/ This is in the suburbs.

In the city, you can also go to 8th St. Music (no longer on 8th St.! It's on Arch between 10th and 11th, I think. I wouln't expect them to have much of a selection, but there you might find a couple of MK's, Kentucky, or something like that.

If you are travelling out in the 'burbs, there's also Bucks Co. Music, Medley Music in Bryn Mawr (they may have a Rigel). And Guitar Center would have an Applause and/or Tacoma.

that's about it for this area, that I know of. If anyone knows otherwise, please (!) post.

Probably the best place to go to sample a wide range of instruments is Lee's house...:;):