April 16, 2020
One of the last times I was able to get within 6 feet of someone was at the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention’s Spring Situation back on March 8. It was a happy day of jam sessions, concerts, and workshops designed to focus attention on local and regional traditional music.
Some traditional musicians came down from the mountains to lead a packed jam session in the lobby of the Freight and Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, CA. This duo from the Sierra Nevada mountains also did a set on the main concert stage with other bands.
Local musicians volunteered to showcase their music during a short concert set, lead a workshop, or be the MC on the main stage.
It was beginning to feel like springtime and lots of folks showed up.
The bands and musicians relaxed and warmed up back stage before their concert performance in front of the audiance.
It feels good to finally get your banjo in tune. Then you’re ready to go.
Here is one of the bands during their performance. Everyone seemed to relax and enjoy the show. Hot music and an appreciative audience.
After the concerts were finished and the workshops were done many musicians gathered at the Starry Plough, an Irish Pub and Restaurant, for the monthly Shred Sesh. A “Shred Session” is a jam hosted by one band who calls all the tunes which are then played up to speed. This particular session was exceptional. Many fine musicians were in attendance since they were already in town for the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention’s Spring Situation at the Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Everyone was ready to play together!
This session was hosted by Jim and Amber Mueller from San Luis Obispo. Jim is an excellent fiddler and Amber keeps everyone together on bass. Other local musicians helped complete the band that would lead the tunes.
It was a great selection of tunes! Everyone was happy, not knowing that this might be one of the last times musicians could gather in such close proximity. Social distancing was only about a week away.
The Starry Plough Irish Pub and Restaurant has been a Berkeley institution for 47 years. Due to the extension of the shelter in place guidelines many small businesses have been having tough times. If you know and love the Starry Plough and want to help you can do so here.
Stay healthy, happy, and positive.