...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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October 11, 2005 || 5:19 pm
Bluegrass infiltration

On my continuing mission to find myself more jam sessions to feed my addiction to old-time American music, Sunday night found me drinking in the Harlequin pub just behind Sadlers Wells theatre. A real gem of a pub, named after the clown Grimaldi who performed at the old Sadlers Wells (which itself has a fascinating history) - tiny, real beer, perfect, and at the back there were two banjos, a guitar, three fiddles and an autoharp playing real old-time mountain music. Ah, my ears were sated - although I love bluegrass, old-time is another thing altogether and I happily ensconced myself with a couple of friends. No Sunday night blues when you've got a banjo ringing in your ears.

Two of the musicians were also at the Hemingford Arms the other night when I went there, and I saw them again yesterday, when I finally took out my fiddle and played my first jam session in London. I went back up to the Hemingford and played with the old guys for three happy hours. It felt so good to be playing again - even though it didn't, of course, feel the same as playing in Alabama. Strange to hear Cockney accents, and even the guys there who were American had all but lost their accents. And they weren't (from what I could hear of their accents) from the South either - one was definitely from the Bronx and another looked pretty much like a Northerner too. But still it was hugely much fun, and I'll be back there and at the Harlequin often. If any of y'all are at a loose end on a Sunday or Monday night, come down the pub.

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