I was tickled to sit in for Amy Forsythe’s monthly jam in Boyertown on Thursday. It’s quite a friendly gathering and I’ve come to enjoy the developing friendships at this event. It’s different, though, to run it. I do have to temper my performance sensibilities (tight arrangements, etc.) and allow everyone to ‘take a lead’ on a song, especially if I’m not presenting the tune.

Guitars, superlative harmonica, washtub bass, mandolins, flute, fiddle, banjo. Swing, blues, oldies, R&B, Beatles, fiddle tunes, and my stuff, whatever that is. I love surprises!

I love the diversity of styles, instrumentation, skill levels and more, but what really impresses me is the outstanding willingness to share and explore our songs with each other. There is a lot of TRUST going on, and that is the deep message that I glean from these sessions, and overrides my inner sceptic about the ‘quality’ of the music. Again, I reflect on Pete’s message that singing together promotes trust. Here it is…. exhibit 1001.

I get some great time to explore this wonderful mandolin I have in my dirty little paws. It make me listen first, support the rhythm and then explore some leads. It is one of my dearest friends, and we continue to grow together.

It is in these special spaces that we all get to grow together. There are some really good relationships developing, respect for each others musical personalities, and some very, very funny moments. These are intellectual artists, and we get to toss it around on a Thursday night in Boyertown. I get to shape the jam but I don’t control it. I get to lead and follow, and that’s what good dancing is all about.