Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Washboard duet

Bluegrass music is literally in Jay's blood. I can tell you that his grandmother, my mother, was born in the hills of eastern Kentucky, and that we had many an evening of mountain music when we visited early in my life. But all you really need to do is watch him when the music starts.

We have been feeding this interest for some time now, with visits to the Adirondack Fiddlers, and to various fairs and events nearby. There are regular and spontaneous hoedown throw-downs all around us- at the farmers' markets, art events, festivals, bluegrass is alive and well right here in and around the Green and Adirondack Mountains. Since we are positioned smack between the two ranges, we get it all.

This summer we have discovered Little Theater on the Farm in nearby Fort Edward. It's exactly what the name says, a little theater on a farm. The stage and a seating area are in the back of an old dairy barn. They hold regular bluegrass jams, as well as gospel jams that are thinly veiled bluegrass jams with maybe an extra nod to the spiritual roots of the music.

A few weeks ago we had our large animal vet, Lauren Marsh, out to help me with some infected scratches on my horse's legs. As we worked, we chatted about the area and the culture. Lauren asked if we knew about "Pickin' in Pawlet." I said no, but we were happy for the tip.

Tonight we went to our second Pickin' in Pawlet, in the Tavern of The Barn Restaurant. Yes, I took my 2-year-old to a bar to dance and chase women. Okay, well, I took him to eat and dance. The other part he did on his own. And hell, he's almost three, right?

He is becoming a big hit among the locals. and tonight he joined the jam. A beautiful young woman who regularly sings with the musicians, also sits by the stage and strums a washboard when she is not singing. She loves Jay, and gets up to dance with him when he hits the floor. Tonight she got out a second washboard, and invited him to play along. He was in seventh heaven. He studied her closely (technique is very important- must get it right!). Soon he was strumming along with the band in between the local ladies' frequent dance requests.

It's a beautiful thing to watch, spontaneous and fun, as a jam should be. He already "gets" the spirit, and why not? It runs through his veins, it makes his very heart beat. It is his lifeblood.

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