We had four banjos at the jam tonight, one guitar, one mandolin, and no bass, Bob Van having decided—again-- that it was more important for him to go to a Trustee’s meeting at his church than play with us. Present were Mark, Ellen, Bob Mc, Susan, Logan, and Josh, who was apparently not scared off by us last week but came back for more!
Our song list:
I Saw the Light
Two Dollar Bill
At which point I decided not to sing anymore because it was killing my voice since these songs are all too low for me in G and singing over four banjos is hard even if they are vamping as quietly as they can, and Bob Van is supposed to be doing the singing anyhow.
So next we did:
When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder (as an instrumental)
Lonesome Road Blues
Old Joe Clark
And finished off with “Wagon Wheel” on which I had to sing because I had told Ellen, yes, I could sing and play the fiddle at the same time. Which I did, but it wasn’t pretty! Ellen, however, kindly waxed ecstatic when the song was over, saying, “I was sitting here in between the fiddle and the mandolin and I just felt....” At which point I added, “Like shooting yourself.” To which Josh, on mandolin, shook his head up and down and grinned in agreement. Then Ellen said, “No! It was wonderful!” And Josh looked at me and said, “Easy audience.” And I agreed! That’s the best kind!
I cannot say we were playing our best tonight (which I totally blame on the absence of the bass) but we did have some good moments such as when Mark and Susan ended “Old Joe Clark” up the neck together in perfect sync and when Logan inserted a bit of “Yankee Doodle” into the middle of the up-the-neck break to “Lonesome Road Blues.” He stole it from Earl, of course, who did it in “Bugle Call Rag” but I’d never thought of using it in LRB! Good move, Logan! Logan also played some nice guitar leads to “Old Joe Clark” and “John Hardy.”
As you may know, Casey starts her three-week tour with The Dixie Bee-Liners tonight (Thursday, the 29th) in Raleigh. I hope you all will be able to see the band somewhere along their route. They do a great show and have some terrific original material and a wonderful new album, “Susanville.” If you do see them, feel free to post your impressions in the comment section of the blog. Red and I plan to see them at the Birchmere on Monday, November 2. If you’re there, come up and say howdy!