The hall was already decorated for Valentines Day, with red curly metallic streamers dropping from the ceiling and paper cupids on the restroom doors. The musicians filled the stage and then overflowed into chairs the front. There were 31 of them at the jam session last night, each with their guitar, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, or keyboard -- and, in one case, even a concertina. They took turns playing the song of their choice, with the rest of the musicians playing or not as they wished.
The opener was a woman who sang "And the Band Played On," ("Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde...") which she probably knew so well because she remembered when it was in the Top 10. Then a woman yodeler, a succession of George Strait wannabees, and a beautiful rendition of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" on guitar, all interspersed with serious fiddlers and pickers doing bluegrass classics. Canadian John played guitar and harmonica on "Bean Blossom Special" while the others did their best to make train noises on whatever instrument they had. Then an audience participation number -- we all sang the "Poor Old Charlie" line in the chorus of "(Charlie on the) MTA." You could almost see the snorting ghost herds during "Ghost Riders In the Sky," except they all skipped over the "Yippie Yi Yaay" part -- what were they thinking? Without a trace of irony, a portly redneck in a cowboy hat, his protruding stomach barely covered by a black t-shirt that declared, "Do Something With Your Life -- Get me A Beer" tearily sang a very long, emotional rendition of "One Day At A Time (Sweet Jesus)."
It has been fun staying at this "Music Lover's" campground, but tomorrow I am leaving for the Florida Keys and the Winter Star Party. I'll miss the music here, but not the tinkling of acorns falling on my roof!