Bluegrass jam session attracts local musicians
The bluegrass music scene in Aiken is growing and the sweet melodies are filling the streets of downtown. On the first Saturday of each month, musicians and music lovers join together on Park Avenue to pick, sing and listen. Yesterday nearly 40 people gathered, and everyone who brought an instrument joined in the picking.The bluegrass jam sessions are organized by Vintage Music and, as word spreads, the crowds have grown. The jam is held under the shade in front of the store and in the grass median. Saturday's jam session was led by Flatland Express and Savannah River Grass.Musicians of all ages joined the group, combining their talents and sharing their love of bluegrass."Music is a common denominator that brings all these people together," said Wallace Seigler as he sat and enjoyed the music.Henry Courtney, a longtime local musician and radio personality, and his wife Millie were having breakfast this morning when someone mentioned they should attend the jam session. They went home, picked up the mandolin and joined the crowd. "We are so glad we came," said Millie Courtney as she watched Henry picking and making new friends.The jam sessions get under way around 11 a.m. and last into the afternoon. It is designed to be a time to showcase local acoustic talents. "Anybody who wants to come and play is welcome," said Roger Abernathy of Vintage Music. "We encourage people to come and listen and recognize acoustic music is building. A lot of players don't get a chance to play out to the public that often, and this offers the perfect chance." There is no charge for the jam session. Simply bring a chair and/or an instrument and step into the shade and enjoy. For more information, call Vintage Music at 644-8399. The next jam session will be held on Sept. 5. Contact Rachel Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.