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On Jamming

Posted by Stev187 on Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I am highly irritated right now, as I have mislaid the video tape I made of the Mike Seeger Uncle Dave Macon session.  It was here on Sunday--where is it????

Also on my mind is the use of the term "jam" or "jamming" for playing old-time music.  I have started using the term, mostly because everybody does (and what else are you gonna call it?), but it still seems goofy to me.  At its very worst, the term has a Beavis & Butthead/Wayne's World vibe that I don't like; at its very best, it's a kind of MC5 "Kick Out the Jams, Motherf**cker!" kind of vibe.

I'm going to keep using the term because it has clearly crept into the old-time lexicon while I was away.  Picking, playing, or gathering aren't much better, I guess.  And I really don't care.  So here's the MC5 live in 1970...

I guess in my mind, bluegrassers pick, metalheads jam, and old-time folks, well... play, I guess.

Now where is that doggone video tape????

Well, it's no use.  Ain't gonna find it tonight.  So I qued up a great track from the cool new album The Old Time Banjo Festival, "I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow."  I heard Mike Seeger play this with Cathy FInk and Marcy Marxer.  Marcy played a cello banjo and I swear it sounded like a tuba or a baritone.  They had us sing the chorus with them.  It was super fun.

8 comments on “On Jamming”

SlowPockets Says:
Tuesday, June 5, 2007 @9:55:33 PM

HAHA Nice!!!!

Shatfield Says:
Tuesday, June 5, 2007 @10:18:12 PM

I guess ya gotta pick the jam to play the video!  : )

Shatfield Says:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @12:20:43 AM

or maybe thats jam the pick...  and play the video?   : )   Just joking!!

ya could play the pick and jam!

oldfashioncwby Says:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @1:08:04 AM

Its in that unlikely place you put it down... Forget the likely places, look where it shouldn't be... MT Cwby Timothy...

vrteach Says:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @9:09:59 AM

I feel the same way about the word Jam. Back when I played alot, we had music parties. Jams were for jazz people, I just played

Stev187 Says:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @9:17:24 AM

I dig it, Daddy-o.  Still, looks like we're outnumbered on this one.

vrteach Says:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @10:34:53 AM

Yup, the OT world changed on us. Oh well, I also don't particularly like the word "lick" but that's the way it goes.

Stev187 Says:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @10:40:20 AM

Wow, Erich!  We appear to have the same perclivities!  I always used the words "run" or "passage."  I noticed, though, that Mike Seeger uses "lick" very comfortably and often, and ain't none of us been doing this longer than he  has.

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