Saturday, February 28, 2009


Friday night free entertainment!

Last night Pat and I went to the local Senior Center after dinner to watch and listen to a jam session by the Washington (State) Old Time Fiddlers local branch. They do this twice a month here, on the 2nd and 4th Friday, although the 2nd Friday one is shorter in the music department as they also hold a business meeting first. This is kind of a practice session for them and they never know who all will show up to play, nor how many there will be in the audience. It was the second time for Pat and I and we've really enjoyed them both times.

I have a cousin in Sacramento, CA who plays a fiddle in a Blue Grass group. Ann & I were visiting them there over the 4th of July in 1995 when he hosted a bunch of musicians at a party at his home and we were part of it. Neither of us had ever followed that genre of music but we both enjoyed it and I find that Pat also enjoys Blue Grass. One of the guys that I walk with here in our park had told me about this group and we finally remembered to go listen to them last month. This month we had it on our schedule. There is a big week long show of Blue Grass music in a rural town not far from us and we could take the RV. Maybe.

They never know how many musicians will be there nor which ones it will be, and the same with the audience. It is a drop in kind of thing for both and goes from about 18:30 to 21:00 hours. Of course I have a few photos that I took and will post them here:

Old Time Fiddlers 04
Here are a few of the musicians and some of the audience. A large van that arrived from one of the local retirement centers brought a small bus load of their residents which swelled the attendance. I guess they are fairly regular attendees but were not there in January. Pat & I arrived early enough that we were seated in the third row but to the right of those in this photo.

Old Time Fiddlers 02
There are quite a few instruments represented. This photo shows a fiddle, harmonica and guitar- there were many of each but there are also some unusual things. One guy plays a washboard. Another plays a saw. With a violin bow (photo later.) A gal plays a little horse that she taps on a small wooden plank she sits on and it provides rhythm. Last month a guy had a galvanized steel wash tub that was upside down and had a single string attached to it's center that went to the top of a stick he held. It was plucked and gave rhythm. He seemed to be able to change it's sound by how much he pulled on the stick, making the string tighter or looser. There is a piano for certain songs. The daughter of this fiddle player in this photo also plays a fiddle, very well, but I understand that she cannot read music. Just hears something, then she can play it herself.

Old Time Fiddlers 01
This bass player was here this time but not in January. He stayed in one place as the bass would have been kind of hard to move around and I had a hard time getting a clear photo of him without someone from the audience or another musician getting between us. But this one came out pretty well.

Old Time Fiddlers 06
Here is a photo of some of the other musicians, including the saw player, sitting on the right. He also plays string instruments like a banjo and guitar. The washboard player is the guy in the cowboy hat sitting behind the guitar player in the center of the photo.

Old Time Fiddlers 05
Here's a closer view of the saw player. It provided a rather weird sound but it fit well with the other music. And he could actually carry a melody with it. It wasn't real loud so they had a microphone placed pretty close to it. I've heard of people playing a saw but this is the first time that I can remember actually seeing & hearing one played.

We will plan to go to these jam sessions on a pretty regular basis. I may even try using my camcorder to see if I can get something on tape along with the music. It is fun and the price is sure right. Free.

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Looks like a good time.
Have you seen the movie "Young at Heart?"

You should.
I LOVE bluegrass, especially the really old stuff. Not so much the new stuff they call "newgrass". I can chord a little on a guitar but that's about it for my instrumental ability. I can sing almost anything though and love to harmonize to bluegrass, or really almost anything.

I've been to lots of jam sessions and participated in the singing, but it's been a while now.

Hope y'all have a blessed Sunday, Dick.

Love and hugs,

We know all about jam sessions here in Northeast Arkansas.. almost everyone has an uncle or cousin that can play

I play piano by ear, the saxophone, and sing as well...

Blue grass is not my favorite, but I do enjoy the jam sessions and also know the songs...

Have a great week
Good post..

Love, Jess
Gday Dick.. Theres some old timers there.. Glad you enjoyed the show. looks like a good time was had by all
As I was using my scroll wheel to scroll down your photos, my last stop landed on the saw player. My little pointy finger hand cursor landed directly under his nose, picking it if you will.

Just thought I'd share that.
This is so cool!
The saw player looks very serious.
You might enjoy this video of 30(!) saw players playing together from the annual NYC Musical Saw Festival. Go to the video page of
Why is everyone just sitting there watching??!! I'd be up in the aisles skipping to the fiddle!!
Sounds like a great jam session. And free to boot, you can't beat that. Hope you and Pat are doing well. :)
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