Tip Jar Jam: I Know The Commercial!

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

This will have to be a quickie, folks, and no blog tomorrow as I'm heading to the West Coast to be with my Portland People! Women's slow jam on Thursday and workshop Friday through Sunday. Whoo hoo! I'm missing the football playoffs to do this! Go, 49ers! Go Broncos! Go Patriots! Go Panthers! (Conflict there, with also rooting for 49ers!)

Anyhow, our blog title is courtesy of Janet, who is finally back in the saddle after TWO hand surgeries for trigger finger. We were singing Bury Me Beneath The Willow, with me doing the lead and her doing the tenor. After we got done, Janet was trying to say that she knew the words to the chorus but didn't know the verses and what came out was, "I know the commercial!" A lovely combination of "verse" and "chorus"! I knew exactly what she was talking about. Kenney, her husband, calls it "Janet-speak."

We were small but mighty last night with just Janet, Kenney, and Diane. This gave us two guitars, a banjo (me), and Kenney on bass. It also gave us a women's trio! Janet, Diane, and I took turns singing the lead and experimenting with harmony parts. Both Janet and Diane tried to find that hard third harmony part, the baritone. And it IS hard. But they did a good job.

Since we were doing "womyn singing" we started the jam in the Key of C and stayed there for a long, long time. Kenney, who was having to use mostly closed (fretted) chords on bass, was very tolerant. But at least the key of C does have an open G chord, which provides a momentary rest!

About halfway through the jam I was surprised to see our square dancing friend Nick walk in! He had driven his wife Chris to her Bible study and was hanging around town with nothing to do. So he just dropped by to see what was happening. And, lo and behold, a jam session was happening! Nick said, "I didn't bring my guitar." I immediately said, "You can use mine!" and handed it to him.

Nick comes from the country side of music and spent many years playing electric guitar in country bands. He also spent years accompanying his mother, who played and sang on stage. I love that! Nick is brave enough to take a lead break to almost anything, in any key! He had put his music on the back burner for years (and his guitar under the bed!), but when I started square dancing and he found out I played banjo, he got the guitar out again and we've been playing ever since. Playing bluegrass--as opposed to country--was new to him and last night was the first time I've ever seen him use a capo! He wasn't quite sure of their function at first but now he thinks they are pretty cool! Now he can play in the key of G by capoing up three and playing out of E position! (Of course, Nick could easily play in open G, but he really likes the sound of E!) So, he stayed for a while, but kept a vigilant eye on his watch, because he didn't want to be late picking up Chris from Bible study. Chris always tries hard to be kind and forgiving, but I'm not sure that extends to standing out in 10-degree weather waiting for a late husband who is playing music! I think that would require More Bible Study!

Okay, I'm out of time. Gotta go pack and teach! Abrupt ending, but there you have it!

Jamming tonight in Winchester. Y'all come!

2 thoughts on “Tip Jar Jam: I Know The Commercial!

  1. Janet

    Glad you could figure out what I was meaning, Murphy. Seems I have a problem making my mouth say what my head is thinking sometimes. lol Hope this doesn’t happen to my fingers. Oh, thats right, I got them fixed didn’t I.

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