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My Heart is still at Lake Genero

Posted by bj on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I think my ears are too. I have all these "new" fiddle tunes running through my head . . . Grub Springs, Clinton, Little Dutch Girl, Davy Come Back and Act Like You Oughta, Old Yeller Dog Come Trotting Through the Meeting House, Oldtime Fire On The Mountain,  Tater Patch, Benton's Dream, Sheep Shell Corn by the Rattling of His Horn, Double File, Old Horse and Buggy . . . and probably twenty or so others.

I met some stellar folks, too numerous to mention, but I'll hit the highlights.

Tops on that list is Art Bryan, who hails from New Hampshire. Art was my campsite neighbor and is an incredible player of various banjo styles and guitar, as well as a fledgeling fiddle player. I think we should nickname him Artipedia. His repertoire of tunes, developed over 40+ years of playing, coupled with his knowledge of their history and origins and different versions, is just awesome. He's also an inspiration in other ways, having overcome some serious physical limitations to regain playing proficiency. His prodigious tunestarting ability, humor, humility, generosity, and dishwashing skills will be fondly remembered. I hope I get to camp with him at future events. It was a joy. I already consider him to be a good friend. And I came home with many CD gifts from him! He isn't letting me forget what I learned!

I also finally got to meet Jim Stanko. It was wonderful playing tunes with him and the Albany crew on Friday night (love ya, Janet and Celeste!) Jim joined Art, Terri, some of the Absolutely String Band (aka the Phillipsburg Oldtime Jammers) and assorted others on Saturday night at my campsite. Hearing David Husic, Jim, Rick Carlson, and Terri fiddle together, while Art switched off between banjo and guitar, was, I think, one of the highlights of my '09 Genero.

Terri Lukacko was my other campsite neighbor, and it was a reverse of last year. She pulled in when I wasn't at my campsite, and then, when I showed up to help her set up her tent, asked where I was and I pointed "next door"! I really hope I get to see Terri more than once a year. It's just way too much fun playing fiddle with her to only do it annually!

I got to meet some of the other FHO folks. Pete plays some nice clawhammer. I didn't see his fiddle come out though, at least not with our jam. I hope we meet up again, it was fun! Didn't get to play with them, but I got to meet Don, Jane Rothfield, and Scott. Joe also made it, which was really great. This was his very first exclusively Oldtime Event, though he had gotten a taste of Oldtime from the Lyons Fiddle Festval last year, where we met. He was convinced, since he came out to Lake Genero late on Saturday, that we had all conspired prior to his arrival to make up all these improbable tune names such as Maggots in the Sheephide, Snouts and Ears of America, You Married My Daughter But You Didn't, etc. It took us awhile to convince him he wasn't the butt of some insane practical joke. Nancy, who has become a good friend, is a semi regular at the P'Burg OT jam, and just joined FHO, was also there and jamming with us, and managed to do well for a Genaro Virgin and Fiddle n00b! Her teacher, Steve Jacobi, joined us for a few tunes on Saturday afternoon, and I'm glad I finally got to play with him. I'm sure I left a few out, but all who I met new and saw again contributed to a fabulous Lake Genero experience!

This was my second Genaro, and it really showed me how far I've come. I managed to play at least 40 or so tunes I didn't know! The ear/finger connection kicked in bigtime, especially when playing with Janet from Albany, who I found incredibly easy to follow, as well as a delightful fiddler to listen to. Her choice of tunes seemed in some way to be in synch with the tunes I gravitate towards, which also helped. Playing with Terri again was also great, since she knows the fun tunes and somehow manages to kick me up to jam speed every time. And I already gave Art his due. Between the three of them my head is just stuffed right full of tunes. I got to play in Calico tuning for the first time too.

Now the countdown starts til next year . . .

Oh, and I didn't just come home and slack. I busked with Jane yesterday in Lambertville for around 3 hours and stayed for her great chicken dinner. And tonight is my regular jam . . . That will make 5 days in a row of playing with other people. My finger calluses are taking on a life of their own, and the ends of my fingers seem to be becoming permanently stained from the strings, no matter how often I clean the fingers or the strings. Which means my fingers look like the fingers of all my favorite fiddlers. Which also means that it must be a good thing. :-)

9 comments on “My Heart is still at Lake Genero”

mudbug Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @1:48:33 PM

Sounds like a great time was had by all!

chippyvan Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @2:54:27 PM


Oh, and you can't forget Terri's Tasmanian Tune (TTT) called
"Black Cat Piddled in the White Cats Eye."

FiddleJammer Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @3:14:14 PM


And, another one of my favorites... playing "tunes that we don't know" with my friends in the woods. It wasn't always pretty, but oh so valuable.

I need to always add this advice.... get to a festival or jam soon. Do not wait until you think you are 'good enough'. You are good enough right now to jump in and play some bit of an old time tune. Absolutely.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @6:54:53 PM

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Yet I don't know where Lake Genero is. So there's a festival there, an oldt timey one? Certainly sounds like you guys are having too much fun out on the east coast--

Cyndy Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @8:45:56 PM

Wonderful report from a wonderful weekend and what do I zero in on? Finger stains. (laugh) First time I've seen someone mention them here. I just love those little black diagonal lines and I keep thinking that when I start to get them on my little finger, I'll know I'm getting somewhere. (smile) C

bj Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @8:46:20 PM

We're Bound To Have A Little Fun . . .

Lake Genero is a glorified Pond located just west of the top end of Lake Wallenpaupack in Northeast Pennsylvania, near the town of Hamlin. Fiddlin' Bear Fiddler's Gathering is held there every Labor Day Weekend.

JohnHardy Says:
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 @11:23:24 AM

It was good seeing you BJ, I regret we didn't get to fiddle a few together, I just got stuck at home base all weekend...Will you by @ Lyons this year?

bj Says:
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 @11:33:37 AM

It was great seeing you again, Mike! I will most likely be at Lyons this year, and I vowed not to stay tied to the Drux circle this time, though I will certainly join them for awhile. I'm going to get out and about more, even if it does involve playing with an accordion! Some folks I didn't know then and do now will be there and we're certain to get another OT circle together.

Clodhopper Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @5:46:35 AM

It was good to meet you and all the others jamming at your camp. It was a great spot for a first timer to get his feet wet. Already looking forward to next year. Let me know when your jam group will be a Quiet Valley, I'd like to swing by.

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