In one of those complicated wife’s friend’s husband’s buddy has a a guitar jam every Thursday night things… it actually worked out. I took a chance and managed to sit in on one of the guitar jams last fall and thought I would go again this week. Herm has a garage/pole barn he fixed up including a finished room with a heater, PA system, chairs and guitar stands – enough to sit about a dozen people in a circle. Musicians of all skill levels show up and take a seat and everyone gets a chance to perform a song in clockwise rotation. Most folks I’ve seen are pretty good vocalist and a couple of guys, Corky and Rick, are pretty good pickers. Another guy, not sure of his name plays a bass made from a steel wash tub and the neck off a stand-up bass and it sounds great – he is right in there which helps the rhythm when a lot of un-mic’d instruments are hitting chords.
Some of the guys are a bit older than myself. Not sure if this dates it but they drove the circuit in downtown Grand Rapids with their Detroit muscle cars back when Japan was famous for transistor radios. A couple gray hairs in evidence. So when my time came up I wasn’t sure if they’d warm up to newer stuff meaning 70’s stuff which is still pretty ancient in the grand scheme of things. I opened with Rocket Man by Elton John and it went over well, so I was encouraged to try some other classics like Fire on the Mountain/ Marshal Tucker and a old Ozark Mountain Daredevils tune, It Probably Always Will. Herm said from the get go I should play what I like to play – don’t pander to the group. Variety is good. So maybe next time I’ll try some more progressive stuff. Maybe even some originals.
There’s a sign on one of the doors that says the Wannaabe’s and that is a name that sort of stuck for the group. According to Herm, historically, the group is comprised of folks who couldn’t give up their day job to persue music. I didn’t mention Rock Bottom and the Out of Tuners, my successful band with Feral Tweed featuring session guitarist Keith H and bongo player Natch because there is no point in bragging. There’s a good chance we’ll give up our day jobs when all of us turn 65, then look out music world.