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Music jam/lawn party

Posted by FretlessinTexas on Monday, July 28, 2008

My wife, Tera, and I had a lawn party/old-time music jam at our home in Fort Wayne yesterday.

About 50 people showed up, many being friends from our church, but also some local musicians. We normally have a fourth Sunday jam at my home for old-time music, so we just combined the party with the jam session. It worked very nicely.

I spend time grillig burgers, chicken, brats and hot dogs for the first hour or so (completed most of the grilling before the guests arrived), and was able to sit in on most of the jam, which featured two old-time fiddle players, which is a treat if not a rarity in Fort Wayne.

Rev. John Long played guitar and clawhammer, but would put down his banjo and pick up his guitar when I entered the circle. (I only essentially play clawhammer banjo.) His wife, Jan, also an ordained minister, played hammered dulcimer.

Ed Benner drove down from Goshen to play fiddle. And John Luck from Fort Wayne sawed away on his fiddle, too. As incentives, I gave the two fiddle players DVDs, home recordings that I took at Mount Airy back in June featuring Rafe Stefanini.

We had a very diverse crowd, probably 30 percent of our guests were African-Americans, who really got a kick out of old-time music. I told them that old-time music was "better than it sounds."

The day before, my friend Gil Sewell, a fiddle player from Pikeville, Tenn., called me to ask if I were going to Clifftop. As I took off a lot of time in June to go to Mount Airy and then Mars Hill, I had to sadly decline. But next year, I hope to be there.

Gil left for Clifftop on Sunday and is probably sawing away on his fiddle right now. My next nnext event will be attending "Gil-fest," an old-time music party over Labor Day weekend down on his 300-acre spread in Pikeville. It's almost too much fun.









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