BOONE — Pickers and grinners rejoice — the Jones House will extend the weekly jam session to include free “slow jams” every Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., before the regular old-time jam from 7:30-11 p.m.
“Slow jams are entry-level jam sessions, with local musicians on call to help lead the group through songs and tunes,” said program coordinator Mark Freed. “These sessions are great ways for people to come learn how to participate in a jam, meet some new musical friends and learn some new songs and tunes.”
The slow jam sessions will feature at least three rooms of jamming, each dedicated to a different style or focus. One room will focus on folk songs and singing, and another room will focus on fiddle tunes.
Deborah Jean Sheets, of the Sheets Family Band, will be there to help lead the singing jams on June 6 and 13. John Cockman, of Amantha Mill and the Cockman Family Band, will lead fiddle tunes for a week and the singing jam another. Anissa and Kathleen Burnett, of Strictly Strings and the Burnett Sisters, will lead tunes for a couple weeks. David Burns, of The Corklickers, will lead the fiddle tune jam on June 27.
The front parlor room of the Jones House will feature a blues jam, led by Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville of the King Bees.
“Rob has been leading this blues jam for the past several years, and they are always have a fun time,” Freed said. “Mostly acoustic guitar players show up, and people have also jumped in with harmonica, mandolin and piano.”
“Really, any acoustic instrument is welcome, as long as you know how to play it,” Freed said. “The sessions are not a lesson in how to play your instrument, rather how to play in a jam. For example, the instructors might review the chord changes of a song before the group plays it, but they will not go around the room showing students how to make the chord.”
On June 20, the day before the Town of Boone celebrates the Doc Watson Day at the Jones House, Brooks Forsyth will lead a Doc Watson-themed jam session.
“Brooks has led the Doc jam for a couple years now, and we love adding this tradition to our annual celebration of Doc Watson and his rich musical legacy,” Freed said.
Other instructors participating in the June slow jams include Brandon Holder, Trevor McKenzie and Aaron Ratcliff.
“These guys are all teachers in the Jones House JAM program, and they have a lot of experience working with students of all ages,” Freed said. “And we hope you will consider coming to join us for a jam or two in June.”
For more information about the Jones House, including the jam sessions and JAM program, which offers music lessons to kids and adults, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call (828) 268-6280.