Here is Susan’s report on her second visit to another “not-slow” jam that our friends David and Linda Lay host a few roads over from us at their vegetable stand. She says:
-I played in the back and did much better this time.
-The tunes were mostly in A, some in G.
-I was able to execute some rolls. (Take that any way you like!)
-I even put in a tag lick or two on one of the slower tunes.
-There were fewer actual pickers tonight, but the audience was packed!!
-There were 2 banjos (I was one); 2 mandolins; 3 fiddles; 1 bass; lots of guitars.
-I had heard of one of the tunes, “Nine Pound Hammer,” so I will have to get Casey's DVD out and learn that one.
When I was leaving, I went in the building to get some peaches and another jam was going on in the store with none other than “Fireball Mail” being picked by a banjo player (boy) who could not have been over 14. I was so excited to hear a tune I knew that I headed straight over there, banjo hanging around my neck, putting my picks back on as I went. I vamped to the end, which did not take long since I had entered the fray in the middle of the tune. They played more tunes, and I vamped along.
Finally it dawned on me that I was playing with a bunch of kids - again the oldest might have been 14. There was a little mandolin player (boy), about 8 years old, tearing some tune up, who saw me and inched his way over, never missing a note of his lead. When he was within ear shot, he called out, "Wanna break?" I did not know the tune---they were playing really fast, I could hardly keep up just vamping---so I declined, but was very much honored to have been asked. These kids were fantastic. In addition to the boys on banjo and mandolin there was a 13-year-old boy on guitar and 2 girls on fiddle who looked to be about 12 and 14, and me, 59 years old, on the Goodtime and having such a good time! Ain't jammin’ great?! I'm so glad I went!
Way to go, Susan! This is how you learn to play: jump in the fray!