I decided to head out to Jack Murray’s Jam (formerly the Barto Jam), now held infrequently at Landhaven Bed and Breakfast in rural Huffs Church, PA. LH hosts folk concerts regularly, so its a really nice listening room, and it was packed tonight with musicians and regular folk. Jack’s first set featured drums, bass, steel, violin, guitar and lots of friends on stage. That’s the essence of his community music at these jams: Regulars coming by to sit in and play some good ole tunes together.
I was about to pack it in when Jack said, ‘You’re next.” I corralled my old friend Tom Walz to sit in on harp for the first tune, and since he had only one harp with him, it came down to something in A. Shoo That Fly came to mind, featuring that Dave Fry Sound that Kris Kehr suggests is a bono fide style, and it was a rocking good version, with Tom’s wonderful solo (and the signature high A that only comes with harps in the key of A). I followed with Don’t Call Me Early as a solo, and it was warmly received. It felt good to play strong and get off stage.
A note on being a regional performer (I didn’t say ‘local’ on purpose).
I have played LH once as a solo two years ago to a full house, and it was nice to be recognized as a viable folk solo act amongst the traveling pros on the schedule. And frankly, I feel I have a niche as a unique folk performer. But I still find it hard to get a return gig here and similar places (Listen Live and Minstrel Show, etc.)
Upon leaving the stage tonight, I remarked (with the owners present) that folks should come back and see me when I play there again. And, as an aside, I said that Ramona (GD artistic director and also on the LH committee) told me to say that. A subtle jab, but what’s a boy to do to get a gig? Ramona laughed.
Although it was a long day, the nicest moment was taking in the crescent moon rising over the barn and the cornfields from the back porch of this country store on a superb late summer night.
A day filled with music is a day well spent. …in spite of the driving.