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The Magic Happened . . . and then the other magic happened!

Posted by bj on Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Last night was the monthly OT  jam at Godfrey Daniels. As I was coming across the Fahey Bridge into Southside there seemed to be a traffic light missing. Odd. Then at the next one I realized that the electricity was out to that section of town, since none of the traffic or streetlights were working, and all the buildings were dark. Unfortunately the section included Godfrey Daniels, so I worried a bit about having made the trip for nothing, but decided to just check and see if the jam was happening. It was. By one wimpy battery powered emergency light!

Got to meet another FHOer, though Kathy, aka mimmy, wimped out and brought her banjo instead of her fiddle. That's okay though, she's a fine clawhammer player and I look forward to jamming with her more in the future, though whether I'll recognize her or not is in question. It was pretty dark in there!

The first few tunes we played were ones I didn't know, but I was muddling through okay, getting most of the notes right, and even big bits and pieces. I was actually "getting" that crooked bit in the one tune I can't remember the name of. And then, on another tune I'd never played before, Spotted Pony, the magic happened. I played it. Without major mistakes. My fingers just went to the right places! And up to jam speed too, wowza!

As all of you can understand, This Is Big. It's like I turned a corner and everything looks different now. It was so powerful!

Of course, the next tune we played was Rock the Cradle Joe, and the fast bit flummoxed me some and made me humble again, though I got it mostly right on the last time through.

After a few more tunes, the building was starting to chill down (no heat with no power!) and the jam was winding to a close somewhat early, and we decided to do one more tune. And in the middle of it, the emergency light went out! We played on for a couple more times through, and then there was much fumbling by cellphone and tuner light to get packed up and out.

My car was parked down around the corner, and as I neared my car I saw that the Wildflower, even though as dark as the rest of the buildings, seemed to have people coming and going, so I wandered over, and yes indeed, the open mike was being held by candlelight! So I wandered in and ran into Suze and her kids, and listened for awhile.

And met Isaac, who now works there. He was carrying around an open backed banjo, which, of course, is something I'd notice right away. I commented to him that he should have had that banjo around the corner at Godfrey's earlier, and he expressed self exasperation at forgetting it was first Tuesday, which told me he was clued into OT. Anyway, we got to talking after he took his turn at the mike, and yes, he can play that thing. And we're going to be getting together to play Oldtime. I found a banjo player!  He's going to try to get over to the Phillipsburg/Easton Jam, though he's carless, so it may not happen all the time. But I, for sure, will be making the drive over to Bethlehem once or twice a month at least, to rip out a few tunes with him. YAY!

12 comments on “The Magic Happened . . . and then the other magic happened!”

Swing Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @5:16:22 AM

Ya know, some things are just meant to be...
Play Happy

Cyndy Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @6:30:28 AM

I was going to send you a message and then I saw your blog post so I'll just drop you a note here. Sounds like you had a great evening. Fun! Wish I still lived out east sometimes.

I got up this morning with Violet Hensley's "Uncle Henry" running through my head so I picked up my fiddle to see if I could "just play it" and, well, all of a sudden my fingers stumbled on the right chord and it sounded, well, kind of like it should, which means that my day is off to a very happy start! "Look, Ma! No Sheet Music!" LOL

robinja Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @6:58:31 AM

WhooHoo!! If you're like me, I'll bet you had trouble getting to sleep last night because of re-living the glory (and imagining future glories) in your head. Hee Hee - music is such a great high! Congrats on your magic - wishing you much more!

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @7:19:55 AM

Oh, VERY good, ajisai! Keep it going!

Yes, music is a great high. I got home from the Wildflower around 10:30 and ended up playing for another hour after finding a version of Spotted Pony that was similar to what we played. Didn't get to bed until after midnight.

There actually was a third thing that I didn't talk about, so I'll mention it. At least three or four of the folks from the GD OT jam are coming to the Easton P'burg jam, so it looks like we'll have a good turnout for our first one this coming Tuesday. Cool beans.

playmorebluegrass Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @7:46:30 AM

wished we lived closer together. there is a site called fiddlefork that has millions--is stress millions-- of tabs! you should visit it sometime. you have to be a member to download but it's all totatlly free. we played spotted pony saturday as well! love that song.

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @7:52:24 AM

I wished we lived closer too, Jenn, I'd love to play a few with you!

playmorebluegrass Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @8:09:16 AM

got to thinkin about rock the cradle joe. found free sheet music at this site. this site doesn't have as much as fiddlefork but it does have rock the cradle joe, and walking up georgia row! hope you have a good day♥

FiddleJammer Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @8:21:25 PM

And, you thought you were hooked before. :-)

Happy ear-fiddlin' birthday, BJ! Many more.

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 @8:34:11 PM

So I'm now officially a toddler? LOL! Thanks, Terri!

Jen, you should post those links on the forum for everyone. What great resources!

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, March 5, 2009 @7:07:18 AM

Thanks bj. I always enjoy READING your stuff because you have such a fine writing style. I enjoy the stories. Yet I'm wondering, so the power was off, how did you guys plug in the harmonizers and amps? Okay, not funny (I just yesterday jammed with a "band," and this fine singer hit a button and suddenly--magic--he had harmonies on the chorus, but he was the only one singing...). (I'm working on "Wind that Shakes the Barley," and it's sounding fine slow and droned, but not at all good at Irish speed.) But back to your stuff--so you drive to Godfrey Daniels (what's that?) and a bunch of folks still play in freezing cold Easton (which has got to be eastern) Pennsylvania, without heat or lights? Then you get done and you wander aimlessly into some pub and hear others playing open backed banjoey stuff? It all sounds pretty darn nice to me, bj, yes yes yes.

bj Says:
Thursday, March 5, 2009 @7:17:47 AM

Oh geez, canned harmonies now?

This website explains Godfrey Daniels:

Thanks for your kind words about my writing. Though I don't have the interesting writing style you do, Humbled. ;-)

janepaints Says:
Thursday, March 5, 2009 @6:04:04 PM

"Canned harmonies NOW"? That stuff been fixing mixes since the late 1970's. It's all oil smoke and mirrors. But congrats on the magic moment and on meeting more musical types, BJ.

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