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8/30/09 jam and cookout

Posted by Chesapeake on Monday, August 31, 2009

About 30 people, roughly one-third of whom were musicians, gathered at our place overlooking the falls on the Great Works River in South Berwick, ME., for the "Rocky Gorge Multi-Genre Jam, Cookout, and All-Around New England Get-Together." The idea was to traverse the continents of bluegrass, old-time, and folk, and what may lie in between. And we did!

Finally got to put real faces to names of Hangouters John Coleman ("mainejohn" - whom I'd actually had the pleasure of meeting before), Jerry Leibrandt ("fisher"), Don Morrison ("Mainchowder"), Bob Peelstrom ("Bob Peelstrom") and Bill Hayes ("Bill-in-ME"). Steve Davis couldn't make it because he was busy rebuilding his lobster trap empire after Hurricane Bill made a hash of it, and by the time co-host Skip King ("eagleisland") finished delivering his sailboat to Yarmouth, it was too late for him to make the trek. Also, Bob Cameron ("Klondike Waldo") woke up with a bad back, so couldn't make the two-hour drive. They were missed, but we soldiered on.

A number of musically inclined neighbors rounded out the group, along with wives, sweethearts and friends. We had to compete with the nearby falls, which played the whole time in only one key: loud. The river was swollen by rainwater from Hurricane Danny, which had passed by the day before. The following day it was perfectly silent - no water going over the falls at all.

We played on anyhow, and partook of quite a feast, coordinated by my wife Pat, who also baked a couple of unbelievably luscious blueberry pies, and whose son John and his wife Sue manned the grill and serving tables. Pat's son-in-law John Brannigan also did yeoman service. Guests brought lots of delectable side dishes, and Jerry had a special offering of marinated venison - a real treat.

If we'd had a few more pickers, we might have been able to divide into two circles, one for the bluegrassers and one for the folkies/oldtimers. Nevertheless, I thought everybody got along pretty well, musically speaking. The banjoists even gamely played along with a jazzy number or two offered by one of our guitar-playing neighbors.

(Btw, if anybody on the Hangout lives in New England and didn't get an invitation, it's because I didn't know about you. Please drop me a line in case we decide to do this again next year.)

It was a blast, guys. Thanks for coming!

3 comments on “8/30/09 jam and cookout”

Mainechowder Says:
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 @4:48:33 AM


Thanks so much for hosting the get together. We all had so much fun. We actually were having so much fun chatting with Jon & Laurie ( your contractor & his wife) that I never even made it into the circle to play. It was great to finally meet you and I look forward to next year, we'll be there!! ( providing we are invited back).

Thanks again,

The "other" Don 

mainejohn Says:
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 @5:07:19 AM

Hi Don,

...and a huge thanks to you and Pat for hosting this fine event, which I'm sure took alot of preparation and effort on both your parts. Nothing better than good folks, good music, and good food and a whole lot of New England hospitality. Actually the noise of the falls was fine by helped drown out my many "miscues"


fisher Says:
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 @3:29:19 PM

Hey Don,thanks again for having us.It was awesome.

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