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A Stellar Jam

Posted by bj on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All our jams in Easton are very good, but every now and again the right combination of players shows up and the jam transcends the usual "very good" and becomes GREAT!

Last night's jam was like that. The players who showed were among my favorites. The guitarists all knew almost all the chords! We had two great clawhammer players. And four fiddlers, two of whom were incredibly good. Beth Hunter and I managed to hold our own fiddling, but when Rick Carlson and Carl Baron got going things really took off into high gear.

Apparently everyone felt the energy. Even the folks who normally head out early due to work the next day ended up staying later than usual. And I didn't get home until after 11, and since the jam starts at 7, that's saying something!

We played a lot of our fave tunes, and learned a few new ones from Carl. I know it's a distance for him, but I do hope Carl does show up once in awhile, it was really fun having him join us. It was his first time visiting Easton.

John Ridge made the drive up from his new digs in South Jersey too. John is, without a doubt, the one guitarist I love having in my right ear. And peeking over at him, with that staring-off-into-space and I'm-in-Nirvana-for-sure grin of his is always a treat. I wish he hadn't moved so far away, but it seems he misses us too if he'd drive a hundred miles to come play with us again. Apparently he's just bought a house and will be at least 30 miles closer, so maybe he'll be able to come up and visit at least once in awhile.

John Updike and Neil Morris made the trip down from Stroudsburg too. Having John and Drew on clawhammer to my left was wonderful. Neil's another one who gets a funny grin on his face when he's playing, and I love his guitar work. Mike Kuzma and John Ridge both added tasty mando licks.

It's nights like this that make me realize what a lucky gal I am. I am so blessed with great musical friends!



25 comments on “A Stellar Jam”

carlb Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @9:31:20 AM

What was the name of that German sounding polka that was composed by a someone from Nova Scotia or PEI or Cape Breton? Also, was there a tune "Going to the Free State" or ? which you said was in Bayard. There's no tune by that name in Bayard but there is a tune with that title that was played by John Ashby of Northern Virginia.

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @9:39:03 AM

The "german sounding polka" was Loggieville Two Step by Matilda Murdoch of New Brunswick Canada.

I didn't say "Going to the Free State" was in Bayard. If I recall, it's "Down the River" that I said is most likely in Bayard, though I'm not sure the name is exactly right. That's the one that I snagged from Todd Clewell, Glenn Carson and Barb Schmidt from their PA tunes CD they put out, and that was gifted to me by Art Bryan.

carlb Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @9:51:24 AM

Thanks.

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @10:26:45 AM

Going to the Free State is also called Avalon Quickstep, according to Fiddler's Companion, which says it's a Mississippi tune.

robinja Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @11:57:12 AM

Sounds like fun! Wish I could arrange a well-timed business trip up there, but you're a long way away from anywhere I'd need to go, darn it!

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @12:23:43 PM

I wish you could too, Judy! Maybe someday . . .

Terry does travel to GA occasionally. Maybe if he's doing an Atlanta show I can make the trip with him. Maybe. Possibly. :-)

Tennessee Tom Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @6:30:42 PM

Great to hear your jams are going so well!

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @6:36:53 PM

Thanks, Tom! I'm glad you got hooked up with a jam. There are only a couple things in life that are better.

FiddleJammer Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @7:22:52 PM

I'm thinking it's the PA Paddy on the Turnpike in Hill Country Tunes that comes from them Pennsylvanians... tunes.fiddlejammer.com/cliffto...paddy.mp3

FiddleJammer Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @7:24:43 PM

If you build it, they will come, eh? It's worth the effort to publicize to the general public, and not necessarily limited to the local public. The way folks travel around these days, there folks out there who will come from a distance when the opportunity is there.

bj Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @7:30:12 PM

We didn't play Paddy on the PA Pike. :-)

The tune was Down the River. And that is a PA tune. I have it on a CD by them, and it says so.
tunes.fiddlejammer.com/cliffto...river.mp3

carlb Says:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @9:19:56 PM

John Ashby's "Gone [Going] to the Free State" is nothing like "Avalon Quick Step" in spite of what's in the Fiddlers' Companion. There are errors there and I've have picked up a few which I let Andrew know and he's made corrections when he gets round to it.

from:
fieldrecorder.com/docs/notes/ashby.htm
The "Free State Hornpipe," also known as the "Hornpipe in A" or the "Hilltop Hornpipe," came from Winchester fiddler, Ralph Lamp. John is said to have composed "Ashby's Breakdown," "Going to the Free State," and the "Fauquier County Hornpipe."

FiddleJammer Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @8:40:13 AM

Down the River is in Bayard?

FiddleJammer Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @8:45:34 AM

Ahah, found it online ... from Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife. from a transcription of the playing of Charles F. Cook. All I have is the Hill Country Tunes that's out there on the internets. :-(

Check out the PA Paddy, though... another good tune.

bj Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @8:47:00 AM

I don't know if it is. I said it might be, since it is a PA tune.

bj Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @8:48:22 AM

I already play Paddy on the PA Pike. We just didn't play it at the last jam. ;-)

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @1:00:02 PM

Rasperry or Blackberry.

bj Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @1:54:25 PM

Dingleberry

carlb Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @2:57:47 PM

Terri and BJ,
The closest copies of Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife to you guys are:
Moravian College, Reeves Library
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 United States

New York State Library
ALBANY, NY 12230 United States
University at Albany, University Libraries
ALBANY, NY 12222 United States

Also, Terri, Where did you find the transcription on line? I couldn't locate one, at least in 10 minutes. I'm just curious as I do have a copy of the book.

bj Says:
Thursday, March 24, 2011 @3:06:54 PM

Thanks, Carl!

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Friday, March 25, 2011 @3:55:26 PM

Imogen Heapberry jam

bj Says:
Friday, March 25, 2011 @4:19:06 PM

Humbleberry Jam

ChickenMan Says:
Friday, March 25, 2011 @4:37:31 PM

Sounds like a good pie fillin' - humbleberry.

bj Says:
Friday, March 25, 2011 @5:26:27 PM

Ah, for Humble Pie?

FiddleJammer Says:
Sunday, March 27, 2011 @2:22:05 PM

Hey, Carl, thanks. Of course, a library! You're brilliant. :-) I've never seen Down the River online in dots, sorry. I was talking about Pennsylvania Paddy on the Turnpike, which is in Hill Country Tunes. mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/tunes/hct/ I should have a closer look at the unidentified dance tunes and reels, though. Might be some secrets hiding in there.

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