“We Were Bold” or “While Murphy’s Away, The Misfits Play!”

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

While Casey and I were on our vacation last week, the Misfits got together again at Mark and Ellen’s house. Ellen was kind enough to file this report. Thanks, Ellen! My own editorial comments are in brackets.

What a jam we had last night! It ran the full gamut of human emotion. Well, maybe that's an oversell. There was lots of laughter. There were occasional outbursts: "I hate that song!" [That, I understand, would have been Logan...] And there were a couple of train wrecks. (There were, however, no visible tears.)

But there were also moments when we were all playing the same song at the same time, and it was glorious. And we clutched onto those sweet victories!

Bob V, on guitar last night, pretty much pulled us together (and, at times, that took a lotta pullin'!) passing breaks to the banjos— Bob Mc, Logan and Mark—then taking a guitar break himself now and again. Logan took a few guitar breaks, too. I was just happy when my guitar and I were playing the right notes in the background.

After running through the usuals—Cripple Creek, Boil Them Cabbage, John Hardy, Old Joe Clark, Blue Ridge Cabin Home, I Saw the Light, Foggy Mountain Breakdown—we ventured farther. Some of our experimenting took us to songs we'd tried a little at previous jams, like When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, Salty Dog, Circle, and Bury Me Beneath the Willow. But we also let loose on tunes like I’ll Go Stepping Too ("The Cat Song," as Bob V calls it), Your Cheatin' Heart (sung by Bob V magnificently), and Foggy Mountain Special (led by Logan and that purely tickled the whole group—we made him play it a second time). Concern was expressed that you would never allow us to gather again, since we strayed so far off the Murphy path . . . but we were bold and kept straying.

Several of us were feeling pretty rusty when we started, so the jam was valuable to get us playing and working out some kinks. The un-rusty ones kept us moving. Bob V capped off the evening singing Amazing Grace, because he knows I love that song (even though an unnamed person shared how he absolutely despises it). [Logan, again, I heard.] Thanks, Bob!

The "If I'd had a camera moment": Bob V and Logan turned to face each other (so imagine their two profiles), both of 'em full of attitude, expressing their opinions in their unique styles, smiling all the while.

It was a great evening!

[After reading this and hearing even more about the jam in person, when we got together for this week’s picking I felt compelled to ask Bob V if he wanted to lead this jam. He wisely declined....]

2 thoughts on ““We Were Bold” or “While Murphy’s Away, The Misfits Play!”

  1. Steve (in Japan)

    To: Ellen and Mark. Thanks too from a fellow student (via video) in Japan. I like to read about the Misfits and about your Jam sessions in action! This is a good account of what happened when the leader was away. I don’t think you strayed too far.

  2. Ellen

    Thanks, Steve. We are keenly aware of Murphy’s presence, even when she’s far away. So we (probably) would never do anything truly outside of the rules, like use tab!

Comments are closed.