SIX NATIONS — While braving the heat for this past weekend, the very first Homestyle Pickin’ Bluegrass Jam commenced on Second Line featuring bluegrass bands and jamming musicians for a two-day event.
Over 200 bluegrass, country and gospel fans came in throughout the weekend to appreciate the sound of music outdoors. Bits of Bluegrass, The Nelson Family Band, Tuxedo Bluegrass Boys, Wayne Johnson and Tay Greene from a Note in Tyme and Joe Roher of Rhyme -n- Reason offered the best in live sound.
Bluegrass itself as a genre seemed to develop the most in 1945 which many listeners know as the time of classic bluegrass, with high harmonies, banjo, harmonica, accordion, guitar, fiddle and more. The sound is closer to folk music rather than country and the string instruments include a lot more quick handiwork.
Bits of Bluegrass musicians including Doug Moerschfelder, Greg Street, Don Couchie, and Hosts Hub and Robin Maracle opened the day for visitors to enjoy, as Robin Maracle explained that she and a sponsor worked together to come up with the event.
“We just thought we’d get something going because we know that the elders love music,” said Maracle. “We used to go into the [Iroquois Lodge] and play quite a bit. I would even like to see a van of them come out some day for a couple of hours and enjoy that because it’s something different to do.”
And in the future they would definitely be able to as Maracle hopes to host the event annually with elders as a part of the target audience. She included that the event itself offers opportunity for the musicians.
“There aren’t too many places that you can find home style picking jams, and that’s what I wanted to call it,” she said. “There are festivals, but at those festivals you pay $45 or $50 dollars to get in just like any concert and then there’s a line up. But with what we had here, there wasn’t a line up, so as an artist you can sit anywhere you want to and just play. Even while groups or bands play you could be sitting with a group at a fire or whatever you want.”
And their intention with the event wasn’t just to offer hard to find live music.
“We’re hoping that this will get bigger because we have a lot of room for camp-ers at some point,” she said. “Our purpose is just to keep blue grass growing,”
With as far away as some festivals are, Hub Maracle said that they wanted local musicians to enjoy themselves closer to home.
“We wanted to give the musicians a place to play and community members a place to come and hear the music, because it is hard to find this kind of music,” he said. “A lot of the musicians that came here were bluegrass musi-cians, but there were other kinds as well including acoustic and country.”
And just as his wife already said, they simply want the genre and the event to grow.
“We’re going to try to have it every year and hopefully it will grow,” he said. “And even after everybody played up on the stage they gathered under the tents and just sat around and played together.”
Maracle said that the response from the musicians was incredible and both hosts are thankful to those that came out. Both of the Maracles wanted to offer their appreciation to their sponsors; Willy’s World, Stan Jonathan and Nancy’s Gas and Variety and hope that nest years jam will be even better.