I’ve enlisted myself to run Amy Forsyth’s Jam at the Old Farm place in Boyertown. It’s been one of my favorite jams, thanks to Amy’s gentle guidance, and is worth the time and effort to keep alive. Tonight’s jam featured some old friends from past jams, Bonnie, Nick, Cliff, LA, Greg, but tonight was defined by a fiddling mom and her two fiddling daughters. They knew a few tunes but were shy and unsure of this jam situation. I worked on incorporating them into this musical community. They obviously had some chops and had been in bluegrass sessions before. But I wanted to help them assert themselves tonight. I leaned on them to come up with tunes they wanted to play (not their mom’s) and, at one point, asked them to play the tune while smiling. That was a precious moment. They did, and then the whole circle smiled as well.
Afterwards, the mom came up and thanked me for my presence and said that one of the girls, the ‘serious’ one, said that it was hard to hold the fiddle to her jaw when she tried to play and smile. Life lesson.
It’s a lot of work to pass the music around, with different abilities, from virtuoso harmonica to shy beginner. But I enjoy being open to the opportunity to create community. I get to play some standards as well as some of my obscure (but simple) tunes from my repertoire.
Made some laundry money for tomorrow.