Yesterday -another Thursday in which our plan was to culminate in playing music with Bobby Hicks and his many friends at the Zuma Coffee House in Marshall, North Carolina - was a beautiful day. When Mary and I left Greeneville, we took Rte 107 through the Houston Valley and had a picnic deep in the Cherokee Mountains before coming to Rtes 25 and 70 and arriving in Marshall. Mary took countless gorgeous photos that will eventually be posted on this website.
This time I was moved to bring a couple of my fiddles with me to the jam. I sure am glad I did. My new friend who I admire so much for his fiddling ability, Roger Howell, relocated the sound posts on both of my fiddles and wow, what a difference that made in the overall sound and balance.
In addition to what I would call the “regular” fiddlers, i.e. Bobby Hicks, Roger Howell and “Mac” Claflin, the audience was superbly entertained by other fiddlers including a young man named Branson Raines, another young man who is a student of Bobby’s named Adam Masters who Bobby claims has almost caught him in ability, and several others I didn’t get names for.
Lead guitar runs were very professional executed by Bryce Parham and mandolin was beautifully played by Orrin Jenstad. Leonard Hollifield sang many songs while Cathy Arrowwood played superbly on the standup bass. Prior to the evening of jamming, I played fiddle with a really neat guy, Steve Davidowski, who was providing entertainment by playing the upright piano. Steve is a graduate of Eastman School of music and he and I spent quite a while reminiscing about our music school days and how the directions taken differed so much from our original ambitions.
I'd heard the tune "Squirrel Hunter's" the previous Thursday, but I didn't have my fiddle with me, so this Thursday I came prepared and when the gang started playing it, I played along until I got the gist of it and took the wrinkles out early this morning. It's a fun reel to play.