Here is our song list:
I Saw the Light
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Redwing (Sandy and Logan)
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
Boil Them Cabbage
Normally I like to start a jam with “Banjo in the Hollow” but that’s not a good fiddle tune, hence the steadfast, ever-popular “Cripple Creek.” (Which, I might add, we do in G. Most fiddlers play it in A, but Sandy knows her break in G. Did I teach her that?)
Actually, even with “Cripple Creek” we got off to a rocky start. So rocky that Sandy asked, “Are we going to play any other tunes tonight?” To which I replied, “No, we’re going to play ‘Cripple Creek’ for an hour!” All in good humor, of course. It was only by the time we hit “Boil Them Cabbage” that the group as a whole was begining to click and to sound warmed up. And of course, then it was time to quit!
Which brings up the eternal question, “Why can I play a song well some nights but not other nights?” And its twin sister, “Why can I play this song fine at home, but not in the jam?” We had a lot of that going on tonight and I have NO idea why. I can only say, as I said to them, that it happens to the professionals too. Perhaps not as much on the instrumental parts of a song (we’re pretty good at faking that when we get lost!) but forgetting the words is always humiliating. Not, perhaps, if you're playing a show for friends (and can make a joke out of it) or a party (when no one is listening) but when you’re doing a really important event and you forget the words. Whew! That’s rough. All this to say, I really do know how you feel when you can’t remember your break. Been there, done that. It’s awful. All you can do is get back up on the horse. It will get better.
Logan (age 16) was playing exceptionally well tonight. (And so were you, Sandy! <G>) In addition to the aforementioned “Redwing” which he’s just learned, he also played tasty high breaks to “I Saw the Light” and “John Hardy,” Earl’s break to “Blue Ridge Cabin Home,” and then, to totally show off (at my request), Don Reno’s “Dixie Breakdown.”
When the jam was officially over at 8 pm, Sandy and I played a few twin fiddle tunes (with Bob Van on guitar) for the folks as they were packing up. We gave ‘em “Golden Slippers,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “Down Yonder.” I could have fiddled all night, but we didn’t want to wear out our welcome. Better to leave ‘em wanting more! And better to leave you wanting more too!