Friday, August 17, 2012

Jammin' at Merlin's Rest

Last Tuesday night I resolved myself to be brave and join in the Tuesday night jam at Merlin's Rest. When I arrived with my dulcimer, book, and purse, I would have awkwardly stumbled in through the door, but a waitress opened it for me. I've known about the Jam for a long time, but I just never got the courage to join in until now. This was a big step for me, as there usually are some very fine musicians who show up.
Musicians Open Jam Session: 8:30
If you are a musician and want to share your talents or maybe learn some new ones – stop in every Tuesday. A fantastic evening of listening and joining in with some of Minnesota’s top musicians
So I was there at 8:30, and a hammered dulcimer player, who also plays guitar was there, as well as one other guitar player. I asked if it was OK to join them, and open means open, so I sat down to play. The hammered dulcimer player did not want to lead in any songs right away, so I alternated with the guitarist. I led in three songs: Wild Mountain Thyme, Diamonds & Rust, and Where Have all the Flowers gone. Actually I was kind of nervous, but not as nervous as I thought I would be.

My quiet dulcimer did not do well against all the noise of the bar, but I got a little applause starting out anyway. Sometime after my second song, the hammered dulcimer player wandered off. I played anything I had that wasn't a ballad, so I began packing up at around 9:15 and the other guitarist went for a beer break. Minnesota Ren Fest starts this weekend, so I'm guessing that may have affected how many musicians were showing up, or how few. I might try showing up again when I am confident of a couple more "bar friendly" songs, and with heaviers strings and pick in hand to try and combat the noise. All in all, it was a successful night for me, if a short one. My new autoharp might be a better choice regarding the noise, and it has more chords, so I'd be less limited in a jam environment.

We'll see if I go next week.

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