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The Wind That Shakes The BowHand

Sunday, May 10, 2009 @8:04:43 AM

Dee (aka FiddleCat) hosted an informal jam at her lovely home last night. Since she put the word out to the Hilltown Jam group, the folks who showed to play were 'grassers. We played under a big beautiful (maple?) tree, with the chairs grouped around a firepit they'd built in the middle of the backyard, surrounded by farmfields and serenaded by her brood of chickens. The beauteous Page, Dee's daughter, is a charmer, who was the first to greet me, even before I got out of my truck. Her feet are backwards though, poor child!

Early on, Dee and I sat together and I taught her the tune "Maggots in the Sheephide", which she was playing pretty well by the end of the night.

Four of us played, two fiddles, a twelve string guitar (and occasional harmonica) and a BG banjo, and we sang a few as well, which was a lot of fun. There were a dozen or so people sitting around the fire, enjoying our serenade.

It looked like rain was going to threaten early on, but as we played, mostly common fiddle tunes and some old BG chestnuts, a gentle breeze started blowing, and the stars started to peep out from the clouds being blown away. What a beautiful night! Then we got some stronger wind gusts, and Dee had to move her chair since her hair would have caught fire from the sparks blowing. Luckily the ground is still very wet from our week of rain!

We played more and as we played, the wind started to pick up even more. We still played. It gusted harder. We played some more, throwing our songs into the wind. At one point, when a car's headlights down the road showed my bowhand I could see the rosin blowing off the bow in tiny clouds. I also found out I could (barely) play through pollen blown sneezes.

By the time we finally came out of our jam induced playing coma after a couple or so hours, we'd come to realize the other dozen or so people weren't even sitting outside, they'd smartly gone inside out of the wind! And we stopped because it was tough controlling our bows, the gusts had gotten that strong! By this time the fire was a low bed of coals, and that beautiful tree was writhing in wind induced agony and looked like it was going to let loose a branch or two, which didn't bode well for anyone standing under it.

What a kickoff for outdoor jam season! Thanks Dee!


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