The Picking Continues………

Our last jam on April 29th was a lot of fun. We had a nice size crowd with five rooms of pickers.  I saw several new faces and even saw a new “blond” bass, owned by Mr Dave Hicks.  Way to to as it sounds great.  Here is a link to the photos: Jam Photos of 4/29  I am sure you will see yourself and get reminded of how much fun we were having.

Our NEXT jam is scheduled for 5/27 at our regular time of 6:30pm.  Hope to see you there.

What exactly is a demi-john?

Hello everyone.  If you have been around any Bluegrass jams you most likely have heard someone sing a very traditional song entitled: “Hot Corn, Cold Corn”.  The song uses the phrase “bring along the demijohn”.  So what exactly does it mean?  In my opinion for the purposes of this song it is referring to a large bodied jug with a short neck which would be used to store some homemade corn liquor. Sometimes the demijohn bottle is encased in wicker. 

However, according to Wikipedia  it has a more precise definition which is:  “In brewing, a carboy is also known as a demijohn. It is a glass or plastic vessel used in fermenting beverages such as wine, mead, and beer. Usually it is fitted with a rubber stopper and a fermentation lock to prevent bacteria and oxygen from entering during the fermentation process.”

When I first heard the song, I thought they were singing, “bring along a “jimmy john”, which even confused me more.  But I finally got straightened out when I read the lyrics.  Another challenge is to sing Hot Corn Cold Corn three times at an upbeat tempo.

“Hot Corn Cold Corn” is an interesting song to sing and play.  So if you have not tried it check it out.  Many believe it is a Flatt and Skruggs tune, but I am not sure.  Here is link so you can hear it.
“Hot Corn Cold Corn”

See you at our next jam on April 29th!!

Wrestling with Cabin Fever….. Is there a cure?

CABIN FEVER:  Every year about this time of the year, I get what is commonly called “cabin fever”.  It is defined by Wikipedia as:  [an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period (as in a simple country vacation cottage during a long rain or snow)].   Simply stated it is having an “urge” to “go outside” and do something.

The CURE:  For me, doing something outside can mean almost anything.  For example:  taking a hike in the woods is one of my favorites.  In late winter or early spring, I just love to take a walk in the woods and get away from all the hustle and bustle of normal work life.  It is great fun to observe all of God’s little creatures running about the forest floor and trees.  If is also fun to observe the small ponds as the ice gives way to fresh flowing water that sparkles in the sunlight.  Are you feeling better already?  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the happiness I receive from playing my banjo outside under a big oak tree, even if it is a little chilly.  As a matter of fact, “cabin fever” could be the name of a bluegrass song.  What joy it is when my fever breaks as I get lost in many other outdoor activities with friends and family.  I am talking about the smell of a small outdoor fire and some hot coffee or cocoa while being with my picking friends. 

Hope you can get rid of your “cabin fever” by getting out of your house and attending our monthly bluegrass jam on March 25th at 6:30pm at Wood Chapel Church in Lee’s Summit.  However, I must warn you that you may get another “hot fever” for hearing and playing our Buegrass/Gospel/Old Time music.  I am looking forward to seeing you there.

Guidelines for Picking in the New Location – Starts February 25th

Hello everyone,
I hope you are making plans to attend our new jam because it is going to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to check out the new facilities.   It will be a great time of fellowship, picking, singing, laughing and just having good “clean” fun.  All skills levels are welcome.  We are getting a “fresh” start, just like the image of the flowers that I got for my wonderful valentine.  But instead of picking flowers we will picking our instruments, some slow, some fast.  It is going to be a good time for all.

Because we are in a new location, I would ask that everyone be respectful of a few guidelines as we are getting started until all the “newness” gets ironed out.   Also this is the first time this church has done anything like this and we want to be appreciative of their kindness.

The guidelines are pretty simple and helpful to ensure everyone has a good time.
0.  Have fun and invite others.
1.  No music stands are provided so, if you want one, please bring your own.
2.  There are four jamming rooms reserved with these numbers:  310, 311, 322 and 323, plus a large room that is reserved for snacking or just visiting.   The four rooms are big enough for both pickers and listeners.
3.  No jamming in the Library (which is on the same floor).
4.  If either Lee’s Summit or Blue Springs cancel classes due to bad weather the church jam will be cancelled as well.
5.  There will be a CD give away each month.
6.  Please continue to bring snacks as you like. 
7.  The guidelines will be reviewed periodically and adjustments made as the need arises provided it is approved by the church.
Thanks in advance for your consideration of these guidelines.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Coming Soon – Bluegrass/Gospel/Old Time Music Jam on February 25th.

Hello everyone.  I am personally very excited about our new picking location.  The facilities at Woods Chapel Methodist Church are excellent and the people are great to work with.  We have four rooms reserved for the next 12 months, to accomodate our monthly jams held on the fourth Friday of each month. It is FREE!

I hope you will come out and join us for our first jam on 2/25 at 6:30pm. Please enter on the south side of the church using the east entryway, then proceed upstairs (elevators are available).  We typically have about 20-30 local musicians playing a variety of instruments including:  fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass fiddle.  Occasionally we will have a dobro or stringed instruments.  We love to sing, laugh, pick and just have a good time.  All skills levels are welcome from novice to professional.  Of course listeners are always welcome as well.   We want to promote this genre of music to all ages as it offers good messages and clean fun.  PS:  The picture of me “picking with the chickens” is at the “Hummingbird Inn” near Branson, MO.  Click to enlarge if desired.
See you at the jam,