Heartland Jam is now Closed……..read more

Hello fellow jammers.

After nine years of continuous jamming, we are ending the Heartland Jam on the 4th Friday of the each month.  This means there is not a jam in August or thereafter.

It just so happens that our main contact, is moving on to the Northland and no longer attending Woods Chapel Church, so the facility is no longer available without paying someone from the church to open, clean and close the building.  Based on our existing relationship, the charge is reasonable, but it is more than we receive in voluntary contributions each month.   As most of you may know, we are not an official bluegrass club that charges an annual membership, so we do not have the funds to continue.

So we (John, Dave, Bill, Carl) unanimously decided to close the jam and take a break from our volunteering.

If someone else is interested in starting another jam, just let us know and we could help get you jump started.

Finally, we want to thank everyone who has come and supported the Heartland Jam.  Hope to see you all at some of the other jams starting up this fall.   I plan to continue the website for awhile longer during this transition.  I will also post this notification on the website:  Heartland Jam Link

PS:  Please help us out by letting anyone you know that does not have email about the closing.

Best Regards,

Bill, Dave, Carl, John

It was in the Spring… Picking Outdoors

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Hello Everyone.  It is so nice to finally be making the turn to warmer weather from such a long, long winter.  Now that Spring is definitely in the air we can look forward to a lot of new activities including the typical “Spring House Cleaning”, flower and garden planting to get us jump started.  However other tasks also come up, like “yard mowing, trimming and blowing”.

However there is also one of my favorites:  Outdoor Picking.  Being outside to just get some fresh air is always a good thing.  But when you add some bluegrass music it just makes it so much better.   The Kansas City area is very fortunate to have so many talented musicians that support the Bluegrass genre of music.

If you are new to bluegrass venues, you will find some very interesting characters and good folks that love to listen, play and fellowship with others.   There is quite a catalog of bluegrass tunes with a wide variety of topics.  A song for every season, you might say which is why I selected this video today of a very popular song entitled:  Sitting on Top of the World.  I hope you enjoy this outdoor picking!.

 

Bill

The Old Roman Soldier

Hello everybody.  Since this is Easter season, I am posting a song that provides a perspective of an old Roman soldier standing at the foot of Jesus’ crucifixion.  Listen to the words carefully as it has a lot of meaning.   The song is recorded by the Spinney brothers which is a Canadian group.  I love this song and hope to do this at my church sometime this summer.
THE OLD ROMAN SOLDIER BY THE SPINNEY BROTHERS

I hope you enjoy it as well! Have a great week and have a Happy Easter with your family and friends.
Bill

Talk about High Tenor! WOW!

Hello everyone.  I recently ran across a YouTube video featuring Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder singing “Voice from on High”.  Of course they do a wonderful job as usual, BUT this song has some very high tenor parts sang by one of the guitar members of his band.  It is fabulous.  It is a few years old when Rhonda Vincent’s brother, Darrin is playing the arch-top guitar and Ricky is playing the mandolin. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

REMINDER:  Don’t forget to check out the TEN NEW ITEMS added to the “buy or sell” page.  Click the link:  http://heartlandjam.bgwebconnect.com/buy-or-sell/

Local Musician Interview

Doug Morgan

Doug Morgan

Hello everyone.  I am pleased to provide another interview with a talented local musician whose name is Doug Morgan.  He has just released a new Gospel CD entitled “One Day Closer Home”.  Before we continue the interview please click on the video link below to hear a sample of his singing, producing and mixing skills.  He did a great job!

Doug’s New CD Promo Video   Help support our locals.

BB: Introduction – Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?  Doug: I was born in Ammons, KY, a backwoods community, at a time when we had no electricity, no roads, no doctors and wonderful country neighbors. One of our neighbors rode a horse by a trail to a nearby town and got mail for the entire community once a week. We listened to the Grand Ole Opry on a battery powered radio, lights from Coal Oil lamps, at the Ammons Country Store on Saturday nights after Prayer Meeting. That was my first exposure to Country/Bluegrass music. I developed a love for it then and have never developed a great appreciation for any other genre of music except Gospel Songs, Hymns of course sung and played in the Country or Southern Gospel style.

BB: When did you get started in your musical journey?  Doug: When I reached the age of about 8 years old I wanted a guitar so bad. We had roads by then and got mail every day. My dad ordered a guitar from Sears and Roebuck. I imagine it cost about 5 dollars then. Wasn’t much but I wish I still had it. After that I began to try to play Hymns and old tunes we sang in the community. I forgot to mention that in that guitar from Sears came a booklet with guitar chords in it. I would make chords and try to fit them to tunes and after a few months began to be able to play simple three chord songs.

BB: What happened after that?  Doug: I began to sing and play at church, though I’d hate to hear what it sounded like. Then in high school I began to play with other guys. I would enter talent contests at county fairs etc. Played on a local radio station with a group some.

BB: Where did you go from there?  Doug: I joined the Air Force in 1960. While in San Antonio, TX, I walked into the Airman’s Club one night and was homesick, depressed and lonesome. I sat down at a table and one of the Airmen in the place must have looked around and saw lots of guys who looked down like me and yelled, what is this, a house of blue lovers tonight? Bingo, it turned my depression into an idea for a song. House Of Blue Lovers was a song written by me, sold to a DJ in San Antonio whose name was Charlie Walker. James O’Guin recorded it and it became a semi-hit; I think it was 1961. Then I wrote several songs but one was recorded by Claude Gray on the back side of his big hit, “I’ll Just Have a Cup of Coffee Then I’ll Go.” My song was “I Just Want to Be Alone.” Of course I sold it to a guy named Dan Breeland who I met in Washington, DC while stationed there in the Air Force. 

BB: What happened next?  Doug: While in the AF I won the AF World Wide Talent Contest in the Country Category. I also played in Jimmy Dean’s band, The Texas Wildcats for about a year while stationed at Andrews AFB. We played at a place called the Senate Inn, in Marlboro, Maryland, a suburb of DC. My claim to fame is I played lead guitar on a 45 RPM single that Jimmy recorded. The two songs were “Blue Diamonds” and “False Pride.”

BB: How did you get into Bluegrass/Old Time/Other Music?  Doug: In all honesty, I don’t consider myself a Bluegrass musician even though I love it. I guess you could say that a friend named Bill Barker got me started going to the Bluegrass jams.

BB: What is your favorite Bluegrass Band or Artist? and who influenced you the most?  Doug: My all-time favorite singer is Jim Reeves. My second all-time favorite is Ray Price (who just passed away at age 87). There has never been nor ever will be, anyone in the same category with Jim Reeves. Chet Atkins said, “When Jim Reeves sings a song, it’s been sung.”

BB: How many songs have you written?  Doug: Several

BB: What advice would you give to young people wanting to get started in Bluegrass?  Doug: Practice, practice, learn from others, get as good as you can but always have fun doing it.

BB: Anything else you want to say to wrap up this interview?  Doug: I have to acknowledge Jesus my Savior and Lord. This CD is to honor and glorify Him. I have tried to record songs that we used to sing about going to heaven and looking forward to the time when we get to see Him face to face. The title of the CD reflects what I consider with my time left on earth. As the song says, “I’m not getting older I’m just one day closer home.” 

BB:  Thanks for reading this interview.  If you see Doug at one of our jams, stop by and say hello.  I know he would appreciate any feedback on his new Gospel CD.

 

Bluegrass, White Snow

Hello everyone,

It is not often that I think of Bluegrass and think of Snow without it being two separate thoughts. However, I ran across this video by Patti Loveless and wanted to share it.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Have a blessed Christmas and try to remember the greatest gift ever given to mankind. There have been countless songs written about it, including many Bluegrass songs. Can you think of it? I even know when I received my greatest gift. I was 14 years old.
Bill

If Instruments could Talk!

Hello friends. For quite some time now, I have been collecting pictures of “stringed-instruments” in my Pinterest account.  If you click here:  Stringed Instruments  you will see a variety of creative instruments with strings from across the world.  If you like what you see you can click the follow button and you will receive notifications every time I add a photo.  Most of you are musicians and wonderful listeners as well.cropped-100_0911_edited-11.jpg

If only our instruments could talk!  What would they say?  I know what my banjo would say to me >>>> Play me more!  This is one reason, I always keep my instrument out of the case and setting on a stand in my home office.  Can you figure out what your instrument would say to you?  If I use my imagination, my instrument might also say something like:  “I  wish you would clean me up a bit and change my strings it would create a better sound for you”.   Or maybe it might say:  “It sure is dark in this case, I wonder if my owner really cares to shed some light on me”.   Oh yes, how about:  “I wish you would get a new belt, that buckle is scratching me where I don’t itch”.   Or how about, “I wish you would wash your hands so you don’t dirty up my neck or head”.

I hope you have enjoyed the instruments photos.  I love being creative!  Have a great week and hope so see you at the next jam.

Bill

Fallen Leaves

Hello everyone,

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Fall 2013

Hope you are enjoying the fall weather and beautiful trees. This time of the year reminds me of a song by Grandpa Jones.  Below is the attached video.  This song has a wonderful message about life, friends and the future.  Hope you enjoy it as you listen to the message in the song.  This song starts out with a man standing at a grave site. Old songs like this one are classic of the powerful ways individual think about life.  We can learn lots of lessons about how important is it to care about others.  Grandpa Jones presents a powerful testimony about life’s relationships and about caring for others and ending up with more friends at your grave site than the fallen leaves upon the ground.  Below is the you tube link:

Do you have a Cabin on the Mountain?

Hello friends,

I have embedded a video by AJ Lee who is one of my favorite young bluegrass artist.  Not sure if you have heard of her or not.  Anyway, she does a great job on this old song entitled:  Cabin on the Mountain.  This is back in 2011 at the Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival held in Wind Gap, PA.    Hope you enjoy it. By the way, don’t forget the Heartland Jam on Oct 25th and bring your friends.  They just might win the free CD give away.

Bill