New Fiddler At Jam

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

Tonight we welcomed fiddling Suzi, whom I’ve blogged about before, to the jam. Suzi’s been taking fiddle for just over a year, and she plays lots and lots of hymns by ear. Lately, though, she’s been working off of our Beginning Fiddle DVD, learning some bluegrass songs. Suzi, bless her heart, was not raised in a bluegrass home, and thus has never heard the mellifluous cadences of tunes such as “Cripple Creek” and “Old Joe Clark.” But with her innate musical ability (she plays piano and sings) she’s been able to fairly easily learn all the tunes on the DVD. So, we played four of these tonight, all in the Key of A:

Cripple Creek
Boil Them Cabbage
Old Joe Clark
Amazing Grace

The key of A, you might recall, is the “correct” (or most usual) key for the first three songs I’ve listed. Amazing Grace, of course, is sung wherever the singer is most comfortable and we told Bobby that he would be most comfortable singing it in A tonight.

So the rest of the Misfits—Ellen on guitar, Mark, Bob Mc, and Susan on banjos—gamely put their capos on at the second fret and we played in A for most of the jam. I got the fiddle out to support Suzi, and I must say we turned in a lovely duet on “Amazing Grace.” She’d never, ever jammed before or even heard bluegrass played live, but she did swell. (Isn’t that a good word?) I hope you’ll come back, Suzi!

After she left, I got out the guitar and we did a few more tunes, but kept the capos on:

Wagon Wheel
John Hardy
I Saw The Light
Blue Ridge Cabin Home

We were sounding mighty fine, if I do say so myself. There’s something about the key of A. I would say more but I’ve got to make a beedoubleeedoubleareyouin before Tom’s Market closes! This Sunday, Ellen and Mark and I are going to see Old Crow Medicine Show over in Maryland. I can’t wait to join the throng in singing the chorus to “Wagon Wheel”:

Rock me Mama like a Wagon Wheel
Rock me Mama any way you feel.....

I think they do it in A.....

2 thoughts on “New Fiddler At Jam

  1. ruth

    with great sorrow suzi never hearing MELLIFLUOUS CADENCES tunes
    sorry i missed last NITE jam. BUT
    a woman can say more in a SIGH than a man can in a sermon.

  2. Mark

    Playing in A was great practice, and much fun, as was having 2 fiddles — for the first time in one of our jams, I could barely hear even MY banjo! I told Ellen and Susan that I felt like I was playing in a bluegrass symphony. And “Wagon Wheel” sounded awesome with Murphy on the fiddle, and in the key of A.


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