Jam Camp continued to move along into its final event, a performance from the Cabin Stage at Merlefest on Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday there was plenty of time for new jam groups to work together on their jamming skills as well as to prepare for the mini-camp festival, a feature of Thursday's program. Pete and his staff worked with us in large and small groups to improve our jamming skills and to bolster our confidence. The comfort level rose along with the skills as the group jelled into a cohesive unit. Wednesday is perhaps the most enjoyable day of Jam Camp as campers become increasingly comfortable with each other and confident that they can play with others...at least a little.
On the Wilkes Community College Campus the Wilkes Accoustic/Folk Society jam tents were full and more people arrived from outside to watch. These three evenings running up to the Merlefest opening on Thursday are one of the hidden gems of the festival. Members of local bands and great pickers from the region come together to just make music. In essence, their evening jams reflect the way music has been passed down for generations. Old time fiddlers, auto harpists, and mandolin players pick for cloggers. A few folks sing classic country and gospel songs. There are some hot bluegrass pickers pushing the limits. Afficianados stroll from tent to tent soaking up the atmosphere. Here's a collection of the faces of American roots music.