I wanted to write a quick blog just so I can show you this cute picture of me and my buddy and singing partner, Cam. Cam is Ben's grandson (he calls Ben "Pap"), and this was his first jam! He behaved like an angel, sitting on the couch and playing with a Kindle and the Ninja Turtle I had given him for a surprise. And when Kasey sang I Saw The Light, Cam was right there singing along on the chorus, with a big smile on his face. Come back any time, Cam. You da man! (Do people still say that? Or is that, like, so last
Speaking of Kasey, she sang another brilliant version of Rocky Top, this time at a slower pace which makes it even harder to hold out those long, high notes and stay on pitch. She did it, though, and with plenty of power. We were doing it a bit slower since three other banjo players--"It's-All-About-Me" Betty, Pam, and Doug--had also learned breaks. Betty and Pam were showcasing theirs for the first time, but Doug had played his many times, I think. He had learned Sonny Osborne's version off YouTube. Great break.
And we had a new bass player at the jam. Drum roll please....rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Kristina! Perhaps you remember that Kristina has been learning mandolin for the past two years. (On the basis of her lessons I'm working on a new mandolin video!) Who would have ever thought she'd be interested in bass? But, bless her heart, she thought she could help us out more at our camps, at the late-night jams, if she played bass. In fact, she made her camp debut at our Beginners' Camp in October. But this was her jam debut. The plan was for her to play through the first hour and then for Ben to take over for the second hour. But she was doing so well and she looked like she enjoying it, so at 8 o'clock I asked her if she'd like to keep playing or switch to mandolin. She said, as always, "Whatever you want." So I said, "It sounds so great, why don't you just keep the bass while we go to C so you can practice your C stuff." So she did.
Then at the end of the night, we closed out with John Hardy, which Kristina had NEVER played on bass. I went over the chord pattern quickly, reminding her that it started in C, and we were off. After the tune was over Pam remarked, "I don't see how she could pick those chords up so fast!" I said, "Well, Kristina and I both agree that playing the mandolin really helps. She already knows the chords on the mandolin, and she's heard John Hardy now probably a hundred times, so that makes it easy." And Kristina and I both think playing the bass will help her with the chord patterns on the mandolin that she's having trouble with. You can just SEE things so clearly on the bass, the patterns are so obvious. And, as Kristina said, she can focus totally on the bass because she doesn't have to worry about taking a break!
So, I said a "quick blog" so I will quit and go eat my oatmeal and read my Ted Williams biography!
Remember: We are jamming tonight, Wednesday, November 19, but NO JAMS the week of Thanksgiving. We'll be back in the saddle on Wednesday, December 3.