Nothing Beats Live Music

First Friday Music Jam

Photo by Pepper Watkins

Virtually every year I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to “play more music with friends.”  But life (or the procrastination gene) kept getting in the way.

Until this year.

On the first Friday in January, we had two families over for dinner and the husbands brought their instruments. I had such a good time playing music with these talented friends that I decided to finally act on that resolution…and the First Friday Music Jam was born.

I went through my contacts list and found about 15 friends I’ve played with through the years.  Early in January I sent out a recurring invitation to join me in our music room on the first Friday of the month for some handmade acoustic music.

Two “first Fridays” later, we’re off to a great start.  Five friends have joined me both evenings for several hours of good music, fueled by adult beverages and snacks.  Among our crew we have old folkies, a young swing guitarist, bluegrass devotees, and multiple rockers. So far we’ve had an abundance of good-sounding guitars, but we also can throw in harp (or harmonica for those of you who don’t know your roots music), resonator guitar, acoustic bass, banjo, mandolin, and piano.  And in the tradition of “don’t give up your day job” the group that gathered the last two months includes preservationists, a librarian, the head of the science department at a local high school, and a management consultant among others.  Don’t let those jobs fool you, however, as these guys are good.  I’ve got to practice more and pick up my game so I can hang with these fellows.

Last night Pepper (he of the swing guitar) whipped out his smart phone in the middle of the evening and – unbeknownst to us – took the panorama picture you see at the top of the post.  (Sorry about the third ear, Tom.)  It is clear that everyone was having a good time.

We have a couple of other folks who are trying to make their schedules work so they can join us in the upcoming months.  As long as one other person shows up, I think I’ll keep this gig going.

Besides the good time with very talented friends, I have loved hearing new music. Last night was no exception.  Late in the evening Pepper pulled out a gem of a song, Ft. Worth Blues, and after playing his version he sent us to this wonderful Steve Earle performance from a Townes Van Zandt tribute.  It is wonderful, but I’ll warn you that you may want to join Nanci Griffith (at about the 2:48 mark) with a tear or two.

Enjoy the video, but remember that nothing beats live music.

More to come…

DJB