Hello to all
The Riverside Jam, an annual gathering of musicians and friends, was held this past weekend in and around Great Barrington, Massachusetts. This event has been going on since 2000, when Dan ("Laz") and Laura ("babydoclaz") hosted it in Westport, Connecticut. Since then, it's been in Chicago (2001, 2003), New Brunswick, New Jersey (2002), Elkhart, Indiana (2005) and Minneapolis (2006). This was the second time the event took place in the Berkshires, the first time being in 2004.
It's pretty close to impossible to list every single thing that happened, so I'll try to give you the overall schedule and some of the things that are rattling around in what passes for my short term memory.
Thursday night was a small concert, highlighting the songwriters of the group. We had small sets by Nick Torres, Kathy Reichert, John "the Celt" Roche and Aaron Eppy, Karen Barry, Jeff Brownstein as well as local songwriters Todd Mack and Joel Schick. Each writer was accompanied by various members of the Riverside Jam touring troupe. You can read more about this event here:http://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=34638
and also John's wife Karen videotaped the whole thing for posterity. He's posted a couple of the rough videos already.
Friday was an "off day," during which we played and practiced pieces we hoped to do on Saturday. It was very informal and a lot of great music came out of it. I'm particularly impressed with the version of Hurt
that we came up with later in the evening.
Saturday saw two different events. First was an acoustic sing along at the Great Barrington Farmers' Market, in which a number of students from my classes at the Berkshire Community College took part. That lasted about two hours and then we moved everyone over the train tracks to the gazebo / bandstand behind town hall for a free public concert that lasted five hours. A few local musicians joined us (most notably Guitar Noise moderator Wes Inman and his piano playing friend Dimitri) and we rotated musicians in and out of the line up from two-thirty until seven-thirty. This particular even was also used to raise funds for the PR Kellerman Foundation, a local non-profit organization that provides money for music lessons to needy children in Berkshire County. Check the News Forum for how well that went.
Sunday we slowed the pace down, having a "song circle" session at the American Institute for Economic Research, a huge mansion with gorgeous views of the surrounding hills. At one point I think Karen counted close to thirty people, but I'm not really sure about that. Anyway, we sat in a circle and took turns choosing songs that the entire group played on.
We played from about noon until six, with a break for lunch.
We just saw ouir last guests off yesterday, so I'm still a little wired and worn out and not the best person to do things like post song lists or personnel line ups and such. I'll try to flesh this post out later in the week, but in the meantime I'm hoping that the participants fill in some of the gaps for me. This would also be the post to put up photos or links to photos and other such doodads.
I can't thank everyone enough for making the whole week such a fun time. And for their generous spirits. Can't wait to do it again.