This is one of the friendliest jams around, led by Amy Forsythe, a fine fiddler/artist/educator in my old stomping grounds in the hills of Bally, PA. It’s in a fairly new venue/brew pub in Boyertown, in the back room.
It’s a big circle of different players, different abilities, different instruments, but, thanks to Amy, it is a very welcoming circle. Tunes are offered by all as we go round the room, and everyone chips in their talent. Some mighty fine songs rise up and the whole spirit of the community rises as well.
I only get to lead a couple of song during the night, and that’s fine. I really enjoy being able to sit back, figure out tunes on guitar or mandolin, add what I can, improvise and generally take in the whole deal. Good for the soul.
I’m finding out that what I can contribute most to the circle is my rhythm chops. With no drummer and few other strong players (thank god for the bass player!) there are few folks who can lay down the pattern for the songs. I know Amy appreciates what I add. I’m glad to do it and I enjoy the rewards.
I did ‘Skip to my Lou’ early on because of it’s simplicity, its folk-roots nature and its vocals. I finished it out with just the room singing and it achieved the effect that I was aiming for. As the evening passed, we rocked out a little more and expanded on the musicality.
Some very good players, new and old friends, young kids, new faces. Just what I was looking for on a cabin-fever night in February.