I had a chance to jam (on banjo) with a couple super-accomplished musicians yesterday – one playing fiddle and guitar and the other playing mandolin and guitar. They play a variety of music beyond the old time material in two or three different groups. Both these women knew most of the tunes I play plus many more, including some I was completely unfamiliar with. Wow was that ever a fun time, enriching and challenging! I particularly enjoyed the small ensemble setting over a big jam with loads of players. The experience really emphasized to me that I’ve been playing in isolation way too long.
I’m working on trying to find one or two or three other old time music freaks who live reasonably close-by, to play music with on a regular basis. I’ve sent a request out through a stringband email list here in town – the most likely place for me to find the people I’m looking for – but it can’t hurt to put out the call here too. If you live in the west end of Toronto and play the Old Time Appalachian stringband repertoire on fiddle, guitar or mandolin – and you’ve been looking for a clawhammer player – let’s get together and play some tunes.