This is one of the nicest monthly jams I know, mostly because of Amy Forsyth’s guidance and care. It’s in the back room of a pub in Boyertown with chairs circled up. It’s a nice mix of some old friends, some familiar faces and some new folks, usually a mixed bag of abilities and that’s cool by me.
I really like the opportunity to play backup on mandolin and guitar to tunes the others have to offer. I don’t get many chances to noddle on my instruments, seeing how I have to front most of my gigs. This works for me; play leads every once in a while, support the group with some strong rhythm (that’s why Amy is glad to see me) and add three or four songs to the mix as my turn comes around.
Tonight, I offered Three Ships to start with, which has a nice drone to it, as well as a tricky rhythm part which I eventually spelled out during the song. When it came around again, I did Santa Assassin, since it has such a short shelf life. A good response. The last one was Mary Had a Baby, which remains one of my favorite kick-ass Christmas tunes. It has some tough wrinkles, but I figured to go ahead and play it. Folks picked up on most of it and it wasn’t a standard Christmas tune.
The vibes are friendly, despite the differences in capabilities, and that’s the whole point. Nice to play with Nick on harp and LA on fiddle, as well as Amy on fiddle as well.
It was so good that I drove the 45 minutes back to Bethlehem in silence, the tunes still ringing in my head.