I always look forward to this small monthly acoustic jam in Emmaus, simply for the simplicity amongst friends. We are a small circle that gathers in this local coffeehouse and we get to share tunes that we like to play. I am particularly proud of these folks who continue to grow as musicians, take chances with new material and diverse genres. The time goes by quickly. It’s the interactions among us that makes it valuable for me. And there are some very wonderful musical moments. We know when they happen.

Tonight, an older gentleman dropped in with a square instrument case and parked on the sofa and listened in. As I poked about with him and asked that he break out his mysterious instruments and join in, he politely refused. He made several knowledgeable remarks about my mandolin (I am not quite secure in the details on my wonderful Gibson), I realized that he was more than he seemed to be. I made several entreaties about his black box of instruments, etc., but he never committed to playing.  He eventually left during Mr. BoJangles and it seemed we never connected with him and it was personally frustrating.

We surmised that he was a old school bluegrasser uncomfortable with our loose jam. This is a common reaction among various folk stylists, be it Blues, Old Time, Bluegrass, Songwriter, Celtic, etc. I would hope that we remain open to all styles of folk music, just by its universal (in my view) nature. But people have different comfort levels.. So it goes.

I gave out CDs to all my friends – my odd assortment of kids’ music, a Christmas compilation, and my older adult stuff – to thank them for their support and friendship at this small, monthly community.

It’s what it is all about. I parted with my ” I love you all madly”.