September 13-15, 2019
A Combined Old Time and Bluegrass Event
“A Fine Old Time on Penobscot Bay”
Bluegrass and Old Time Music Jam Festival, Searsport, Maine
Friday at 2 PM – Sunday 2 PM
Welcome all players and listeners that appreciate old time and bluegrass music to a weekend of playing, learning, sharing and listening with some of the best old time players in New England.
Events include many interesting guided jams (all levels), workshops, night/afternoon performances, recording studio, community pizza oven, community song share, and lots of old time jamming (beginner-advanced), singing & dancing all happening on the shores of Penobscot Bay. Vendors and campground cooks always welcome.
The weekend is sponsored by the Old Time Music Players and Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp of Maine and is hosted by Searsport Shores Ocean Camping in Searsport, ME. Come with some friends and make new ones while you are here celebrating American string band music, stories and the cultures that brought us those traditions.
All types of camping is available that weekend including tents, hammocks, RVs, safari, cabin rentals. Discounted camping rates available for old time participants. Volunteers are needed, and any time you can give is greatly appreciated. Bartering welcome. Come early, stay long.
General Admission Tickets:
Suggested donation is $60 for the weekend
$100 with tent site in Old Time Group area.
Includes admission for Friday, Saturday, Sunday to all performances, jams, workshops, recording studio, and other activities. Hot showers, picnic table and fireplace (oceanfront & RV site upgrades available). Your donation helps to cover costs of jam leaders, staff, tents and food stuffs. A little to rich for your blood? Ask us about volunteer opportunities or lead a jam session as your donation.
For Festival & Camping details call 207.548.6059
2019 Schedule will be posted April 30th
Last years schedule is listed below to give you a bit of what to expect.
2018 Schedule (last year)
2-5 PM: Check-in, reception, & informal picking time.
Free to all: Introductory Old Time music session hosted by “Bound To Have a Little Fun”. Learn a few tunes, how to jam together and listen to an Old Time band up close. 2-5 PM for this session. Promises to be a great introduction, refresher or warmup class for Old Time Music. Get your groove on!
5-6 PM: WELCOME (Snacks, orientation, etc) Hoping you can all arrive by this time. The pizza Bar is open so bring your favorite topping and we’ll do the rest!
6:30-7 PM: Performer & Teacher Previews (Quick demos of what to expect on Saturday and Sunday)
7-8:30 PM: Opening Concert- Emily Jeffries and the Mudpies- Kicking off the weekend with one of our favorite old time fiddlers, Emily Horne Jeffries. She loves teaching fiddle, and sharing her knowledge of some awesome old-time music. Emily and friends will make this night a celebration of Old Time Music at it’s best!
9:00 PM: Small Group Jams Pick a spot in the center of things or seek a quite spot to make music. Hosted Jam Sessions by many of the instructors including “Bound To Have A Little Fun”
We are honored to have Terri Lukacko who puts on the wonderful Black Creek Fiddlers’ Reunion as our Slow Jam Hostess for the weekend.
Later Sit by the fire, make music, make friends, eat chips, enjoy music by and with friends.
8:30 AM: Waffles w/ Jam for All!
Banjo Workshop w/Jon Kerr
Old Time Mandolin Workshop (All levels welcome) w/ Baron Collin- Learn a great old time tune and how to add double stops and chords to it to make it sound extra old-timey!
Old-Time Fiddle w/ Emily Jeffries– Old time fiddle music is all about rhythm and old time fiddle rhythm is all about the bow. In this workshop, we’ll learn one southern old time tune and ways to use the bow to get that old time sound. We’ll talk about double stops and bow catches, bow pressure and bowing patterns. Bring your questions and a fiddle!
12 PM: Food booth opens provided by Chef on the Run.
Flat Footing workshop w/ Amy Dias
Backup Guitar w/ Art Bryan and George Fowler- This session will focus on my “less is more” approach to backup. Showing how to use bass runs, partial chords and a light touch to support the melody player(s) while still being solidly present. Standard guitar tuning. Sharpen listening skills and learn how to anticipate chord changes. Something for everyone from rank beginner through intermediate and advanced players. George and Art are happy to answer questions and share tricks of the trade.
Old-time Clawhammer banjo workshop w/ Rory McLeod of the Bound to Have a Little Fun String Band. Everyone welcome.
Fiddle Cross Tuning w/Terri Lukacko “Well explore how to get that authentic old time sound by using alternate tunings. Playing some open drones on a tune in standard tuning will lay the groundwork. Then, we’ll tune the G string up one step to an A, we’ll use some open drones to play a tune in D. Come with questions and a tuner (or use mine). I’ll come with a list of tunes by key for future reference.”
Old-time fiddle tunes in the “Calico” key (AEAC# cross tuning) w/ Sandol Astrausky of the Bound to Have a Little Fun String Band. Intermediate to advanced fiddlers.
Country Blues Fiddles w/ James Hyland– We will address some blues by Charlie Poole and other sources. We will concentrate on musical elements that will help add a blues style to your playing.
Old-time string band workshop w/ Jeff Titon with members of the Bound to Have a Little Fun String Band. An old-time string band isn’t just a performing group; any old-time jam is a string band. In this workshop we’ll learn a few tunes and we’ll learn how the instruments contribute in their own ways to make the sound and groove (swing) of old-time southern Appalachian music. All welcome.
5:30 PM: Supper (on your own) Grill will be fired up at Tango’s Cafe. Serving homemade potato chips. Bring something to grill for your dinner. Potluck cookout!
6:30 PM Release party for the CD: Fiddle Tunes for Slack-Key Guitar with special tasting to complement.
7-9 PM: Saturday Evening Concert- One or two and off. Sign up with new or familiar combinations to play up to two pieces. Instructor bands to perform….. Followed by campfire and studio jams.
8-9:30 AM: Waffles w/ Jam
9:00 AM: Jam tents open. All invited to play Reveille on your harmonica, key of C
10 AM: G-Tunes Extravaganza w/ Emily Troll- Bring your favorite G-tunes and I’ll bring mine! We’ll relish this dynamic key and play tunes from the mellow to driving. This workshop can be a mix of tune learning and just plain jamming.
Old Time Harmonica w/ John Pranio – harmonica workshop for beginners. Teaching the basics of how the 10 hole diatonic harmonica works. How to play folk/ country/ blues etc. Bring a C harmonica ( I have a few terrible $7.00 harmonicas to sell just to get an idea of the harmonica basics). Then, and I will play some old-time songs and tunes in a short concert on fiddle/guitar/banjo and harmonica.
11:15 AM – 12 PM: John Pranio & Toki Osima in an Old Time Fiddle Concert (and possible group jam).
12:00 PM: Final Slow, Fast Jam and Fancy Food Bar – Join a Jam with many or a few. Share a tune, technique or song that grew out of one of the workshops or just sit with other great people and play.
1 PM Until It’s Over: Old Time Community Sing: Tunes and Songs in Context. Hosted by Bill Smith.
Players/ participants are encouraged to present at least one song or tune that has some personal connection or special meaning. Share a bit about the personal story you have related to that song.
Goodbye and Cleanup 2-2:30
Jam Tunes May Include: Sail Away Ladies (A), Molly Put the Kettle On (D), Jenny Lind Polka (G), Shoot the Turkey Buzzard, Grasshopper Sitting On a Sweet Potato Vine (G), Whiskey Before Breakfast (G), Cluck Old Hen (A Modal, maybe we’ll pluck the E & A strings a bit), Snowdrop, Angeline the Baker (D Major), Bonnie on the Rhine, Twin Sisters (A Modal), Biscuits and Gravy (G), Pretty Little Gal with the Red Dress on (G), Say Old Man I Want Your Daughter (cross A), etc, etc, etc.
Campout Recording Studio: A recording studio will be set up for the weekend open to anyone wanting to record a tune with new or old friends.
Workshops begin at 10 AM: The first 12 players are seated in a circle on chairs. Extra players or people that just want to observe are welcome to stand around the circle to listen in. Slow Jam and Fast Jam Tents are open to all. Players choice. Many of the playing sessions will be led by an old time player. Anyone willing to teach please get in touch.
Lock up storage room available for all instruments.
Other Workshop Possibilities include:
Playing for contra-dancing A fun workshop focused on matching tunes to dances and/or general contra repertoire.
Meat & Potatoes- Old Time Tunes- everyone should know (bring any instrument).
A sign up board (time, space, topic) will be set up at registration for anyone willing to offer other workshops, wanting to partner with someone to learn a tune, or just to organize a jamming circle.
Fiddle Tunes for Slack Key Guitar consists of old-time southern Appalachian fiddle tunes adapted to the guitar by Jeff Titon in duets with Roy Andrade and with Corbin Hayslett, recorded in Johnson City, TN in April, 2016. In the spring of 2016 Titon stepped out of retirement to teach at East Tennessee State University, home of a renowned program in Appalachian Studies and Old-Time and Bluegrass Music. There, he met Andrade, head of the Old-Time program, and Hayslett, a graduate student in the program. Together they spent many hours playing this and other old-time music, and at the end of the semester they went into ETSU’s studio to record these guitar duets. The album cover and notes are graced with paintings by Blue Hill artist Heidi Daub. Old-time fiddler Christian Wig heard an advance copy and said this: “I put your CD in the player and after a few tunes I was relaxed, stress was abating, I was feeling good again. Your CD was better than any wonder drug I’ve ever taken…well, close anyway. I loved it.”