Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22, 2017
Friday night bluegrass jam in the Common Cup Coffee Shop
Collierville United Methodist Church
       BLUEGRASS AND OLD-TIME MUSIC is well worth the effort! Whether you play, are just learning to play, or are one who enjoys the listening and the fellowship of good friends over a cup of coffee or apple cider, it's all worth it.
       The Collierville, TN, Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Jam is rolling on into its 18th year! We find that remarkable! While we have taken our share of criticism and ridicule, we have pulled through and grown stronger for the effort. The jam began in 1999 with a small handful of pickers (encouraged by our late friend, mentor and musician Marty Kempke) and enthusiastic fans. The jam has met on Friday nights in a variety of churches during the fall and winter months, and we always anticipate our return to the beautiful Historic Town Square. Our current meeting place is the Collierville United Methodist Church at 454 West Poplar, where we gather at around 6:30 p.m. Bluegrass Standard Time from mid-October to mid-April. The church has many pluses, with the most outstanding one being their Common Cup Coffee Shop, where volunteers keep us supplied with coffee, hot chocolate, cider, and small snacks. The musicians pick in there, in the Missions Room across the foyer, and in the beautiful lobby of the church.
       With the blessing of late mayors Herman Wright Cox and Linda Kerley, and the encouragement of the current mayor, Stan Joyner, we gather at around 6:30 p.m. BST at the Square in mid-April each year and just pick to our hearts' content each Friday evening. Folks come out of the fine restaurants around the Square and walk down to see what all the music is about. We love that! We also love it when families bring their children and spread a blanket on the ground to listen and perhaps have a picnic supper. Folks bring a variety of dogs on leashes, and that just adds to the merriment.
       Wherever the jam meets, we remind musicians from time to time that we are an all-acoustic jam, meaning no microphones or amplifiers (not even little bitty ones). The instruments that are used in an all-acoustic jam are as follows: guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, an occasional ukulele, an occasional bodhran for an Irish tune, and more importantly, the human voice.
       Whether you're young or young-at-heart, the jam invites you to eat at one of the restaurants on or near the Square or bring supper in a sack, bring your lawn chairs, and come for the fun. There is no beer or alcohol permitted in any of Collierville's city parks, so just pack the soft drinks or bottled water in case you get thirsty on one of those hot nights that will be returning soon. If you are just learning to play bluegrass or old-time music, or if you are a seasoned musician, you are welcome at the Collierville Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Jam. Find a group and pick with them. If you get tired of that group, walk around and find a different group to pick with. This jam is easy, relaxed, and welcoming.
       We will show you some pictures taken recently at the winter jam at Collierville UMC. You're invited to join us in the music and fun. See you soon! Pick away!
Old-Time musicians seated in a circle
Fans chatting and enjoying the music
Our favorite Ralph Stanley fan
Bluegrass with a country touch
Friends sharing a photo op
'Liberty' played on hammered dulcimer
The next generation of bluegrass
musicians -- It's why we do what we do

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