Tag Archives: Halloween

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

Before I tell you about the jam (we had nine people total!) here is a note from Marty, emailed under the heading “Martin’s Musings”.

Halloween in my neighborhood is always a zoo. Because I was afraid my cat would get out with the frequent door opening required for the hundreds and hundreds of kids that come by, I decided not to waste the time and just sat on the porch with a bowl full of candy (that I had to repeatedly refill) and played the banjo. I got 2 1/2 hours of practice and everyone who came seemed to like it and I had to play with others listening. That turned out pretty good. I figured if the kids could pretend to be ghosts, goblins and witches, I could pretend to be a banjo player.

He does have a way with words! (And can now vamp reliably on the off beat!)

But on to the jam. Present tonight were Logan, Mark, Ellen, Bob Mc, Josh, Susan, Bob Van, and the Fabulous Ruth Steelman. I saw Josh bring his fiddle in, so as I was rushing around trying to find chairs for everyone, I stuck my head back in the studio and said, “Everybody put their capos on so we can play in A,” thinking that would be easiest for Josh. Well, as it turned out, Josh had spent all week learning to play our tunes in G! But after all those banjos (five!) had capoed and tuned, it was just too much trouble to uncapo and retune, so we stayed in A.

Our song list (all in A):

Cripple Creek

Blue Ridge Cabin Home (“Can you sing that in A?” I said to Bobby. “We’re gonna find out,” he replied.)

John Hardy
I’ll Fly Away
Boil Them Cabbage
Old Joe Clark
Old Joe Clark (really fast by Logan and Ruth)
Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Wagon Wheel

I told the group we’d do “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” in A just so I could see Bobby try to find the F# minor! (And durn if he didn’t hit it perfectly the first time!)

A good time was had by all and at times we laughed ourselves silly, but I’ve been teaching non-stop since 2 pm, it’s now 9 pm as I write this, and I haven’t had my supper. Or lunch. (Unless you count Starbucks and a cookie!) To paraphrase Woody Guthrie, “I want my supper and I want it now!” I’m thinking Triscuit and cheese...unless I scramble some eggs and make toast with homemade apple butter. Hmmm....decisions, decisions!