Last Saturday some old-time pickers and I had a good old-time session playing at North River Mills, West Virginia for their annual town festival. And just where is North River Mills? Well, when you first drive there, it seems like a long way from anywhere, but it's only about 8 miles from Capon Bridge. (That's METROPOLITAN Capon Bridge, WV.)
The musicians numbered about 15 at various times during the day, playing an assortment of instruments which included fiddle, 5-string viola, banjos, mandolins, pennywhistle, guitars, bass, a harmonica, and an accordian. No kidding, the accordian player played very well and unobtrusively, so he was welcome. Here's a photo of this relaxed session:
And what did we play? We played tunes in the Key of D. We played Liberty, and Soldier's Joy, and Cowboy's Dream, and Yellow Rose of Texas, and Dubuque. We played several tunes I hadn't heard before but picked up (as everybody did) as we played them over and over-- that's what you do. Then we played lots more, including Forked Deer-- and here's a video of that tune, complete with the floor show, a gentleman who was quite a dancer:
(A note on old-time session etiquette: I started this tune, so I was the one who called "One more time!" near the end, so we'd all know when to quit.)
. . . . .
...I expect that we'll play there again next year. So if you're ever in this part of the country and would like to visit a place where (as far as I can see) not much ever happens, and it's good that way, drive through North River Mills. But don't blink-- you'll miss it!
Come next year. Bring an instrument. You don't have to be an expert. If you don't know the tune, just play rhythm. You just have to like to play!
thanks Red for sharing your time in North River Mills! That just what I want to do when I come back to Virginia hopefully this fall. I would love to travel around and find folks to play with! Love It!
Steve (in Japan)
Good advice! Thanks.
Thanks for the comments. I knew there was a September jam in North River Mills, but had not heard of the May jam.