Tip Jar Jam: Boot Scootin’ Boogie!

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

[I was stuck for a title until I remembered that I had taken pictures at the jam. The pics have nothing to do with the blog but they are way cool!]

Father and daughter: Boot Scootin Boogie !

Father and daughter: Boot Scootin Boogie !

I am obviously way too distracted to write coherently. (Or maybe it's just that Ben has set the bar too high!) Today we were supposed to be shooting an improvising DVD with Ned Luberecki, but he texted Monday night to say that his flights from Montana to Denver to Nashville were all screwed up so there was no way he could make it here in time to shoot the DVD and get to Boston by 9 a.m. Friday when he had to teach a banjo workshop! So we are trying to reschedule. Meanwhile, we have this Gigantic Snow Storm that is heading our way, bringing perhaps a foot of snow! Naturally I had to join everyone else in Frederick Country at the grocery store where we were all stocking up on Storm Essentials: Beer, Bread, and Bryers. (That's an old Florida Hurricane joke from our banjo-picking buddy Hig.) I skipped the bread and doubled up on the beer!

This is how Ben looks at Kasey.

This is how Ben looks at Kasey.

But I wanted to say a word about last night's jam because we had some outstanding moments. Diane, who has been playing guitar for about a year and a half and jamming for only a few months, surprised herself by picking out a break to I Saw The Light on the spot.  She also sang and took lead breaks to Do Lord and Will The Circle Be Unbroken. I was so proud of her.

Janet played Soldier's Joy again this week and, while it didn't go perfect (that B part is hard!) it is getting better. But the song Janet played the best was John Hardy and when she got done I told her how good it sounded and I reminded her how she used to dread playing it. Now, however, it's smooth as glass. Even Janet admitted it sounded pretty good! I told Janet that I think Diane is inspired by Janet's picking. As she should be!

And this is how Kasey avoids looking at Ben!

And this is how Kasey avoids looking at Ben!

We introduced a new song last night, John Prine's Paradise, which Kenney had requested and worked on at his lesson. We do it in A, the bluegrass way, in 4/4 time, and it wasn't really difficult for the Jammers. I say that with a certain amount of pride because it would have been impossible to do that song in the jam a year ago. The chords are just G, C, and D (or I, IV, V, or A, D, E, however you want to think about it) but the changes are a bit tricky and the chorus is different from the verse. But, now, songs like that are a piece of cake of the long-time jammers. Ben and Kasey both improvised breaks on the spot though neither of them was familiar with the song. It has a "short D" (two beats) at the end of the break which was a bit tricky and I heard Kasey say to her dad, "It's the same lick that's at the end of Daybreak in Dixie." I never would have thought of that, but Kasey recognized it immediately.

Kasey continues to play well in open C and Ben continues to falter when he doesn't have someone to copy! Kenney is using his new high C chord (note) on the bass well, and one day he may even learn to like it!

We will be jamming again tonight, Wednesday, February 12, from 7-9. But if it starts snowing let me paraphrase Freddy Fender and say, "I'll be gone before the next snow drop falls." We'll be shutting her down and heading to the house. Lucky for me, Casey and Dalton will be spending the night with us. If we have to be snowed in, we couldn't ask for better company! And we do have all that beer......!

2 thoughts on “Tip Jar Jam: Boot Scootin’ Boogie!

  1. Paul Wagner

    Murphy, that snowstorm’s on it’s way up here in Adirondacks, too. To pass the time, I’m taking out my Deering, putting on Casey’s “Easy Songs for Banjo,” work on and nailing down that GCDG high break!

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