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Notes from the Field

Are you lucky enough?

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We sit around in a big circle, maybe twenty of us, likely more. I was one of two mandolins. There was one fiddle, one auto-harp, a stand-up bass, two banjos, and all the rest were guitars. Some very very nice guitars.

A microphone on a long free standing boom is handed around. Whoever has the mic picks the song, usually some great old country music song, Jimmy Martin, or Roy Acuff, or some obscure Johnny Cash or Hank Williams. Some old time gospel songs, and some folk/rock from more than than 30 years ago, an occasional John Prine song or Tom Paxton.

The person with the microphone often has a big old notebook stuffed with the lyrics to who knows how many songs. Lots of notebooks. I haven't seen an iPad yet, but I am sure it will happen.

Being so many people in the circle, it takes a while for the microphone to come back around to me. I usually get to “lead” perhaps twice the whole evening. I usually do some old waltz, the Kentucky Waltz is pretty popular.

Outside the circle, folks sit at tables and listen, munching food and coffee offered in the back.

Nobody buying anything, nobody selling anything, nobody promoting anything, nobody advocating anything, we just get together once a month eight months a year and play some music. If you are lucky enough to live within an hour’s drive of something like this, you are lucky enough.

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Updated Sep-08-2018 at 12:44am by JeffD



  1. LongBlackVeil's Avatar
    It can't be overstated. I have to drive an hour to get the jam I go to. Absolutely worth it. So I guess I'm just barely lucky.

    I do worry for the future though. I'm by far the youngest one there. I have no problem with that except that it doesn't look good in the long term. When I'm the age of the folks I jam with, will I still have something like this? Agh I don't wanna think about it