Old Time & Bluegrass Music Campout, 2021

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.

Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp has teamed up with the Old Time Campout to create a joint Old Time and Bluegrass Event: Strung Together, A Fine Old Time on Penobscot Bay. The Campout is held at one of the most beautiful outdoor jam spaces on the planet in Searsport, Maine.

Porch pickin’ on a Sunday afternoon

This years Strung Together Music Jam Campout will be held on the coast of Searsport, Maine, September 17-19th, 2021.

The OT & Bluegrass Jam weekend begins Friday afternoon with an OT Jam and banjo workshop followed by our world famous Strung Together wood fired pizza bar and concert. The jams will take place in different areas in the park but close enough to give all participants easy access to both jam circles.

Old Time Banjo Workshop is being offered by Sara Grey with a focus on 2 finger song accompaniment. (7 student minimum to hold weekend workshop. Suggested workshop donation-$90). Click here to sign up for this awesome workshop! Sign up for your space today

An exciting addition to this year’s Campout is an introduction to the Montville Project– learning & playing Essential New England Dance Tunes under the guidance of George Fowler, Art Bryan and Fred White.  This will be a one hour or so learning session on Saturday with a live out-of-doors dance on Sunday. Dancing will be lead by Chrissy Fowler and the Belfast Flying Shoes ensemble.

This year we are jamming around the grounds under tents, porches, trees and other canopies.   Designated spaces will be laid out for each style of music, with unlimited spots to hold you own jam.

Sharing a few OT tunes on a winter’s night

Workshops and jam sessions are being offered this year in a more spontaneous fashion.  Volunteer workshop and jam leaders will post their offerings on the big marker board in the middle of the camp. Please feel free to offer up a workshop, lead a jam or just sit by the fire playing with a friend during the weekend. Most importantly, enjoy sharing a few tunes along the seaside in a welcoming and relaxed space.

Jam Spaces will remain open all weekend and are not limited by the schedule or time. A room will be available to lock up your instruments in the evening.

“A Fine Old Time on Penobscot Bay”

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. Volunteers are needed, and any time you can give is greatly appreciated. Bartering welcome.

Come early, stay long.

Extra proceeds will be used for musician scholarships and to help fund the instrument lending project at the Searsport Carver Memorial Library.

The Campground follows the most current CDC COVID 19 recommendations..

Banjo players
Recording an old time claw hammer tune.

General Admission Tickets:

Suggested donation is $30 for the weekend ($10/day)

Weekend includes admission for Friday, Saturday, Sunday to all jam spaces, performances and community fire rings along with any other activities that may pop-up.  Your donation helps to cover costs of jam leaders, staff, tents and clean bathrooms. Ask us about volunteer opportunities or lead a jam session as your donation (Extra monies will be used for musician scholarships and to help fund the instrument lending project at the Searsport Carver Memorial Library).

Base cost for the weekend will be $30 not including camping, special workshops, lunch or private lessons. Call or write to Searsport Shores for a camping spot. Campsites include hot showers, picnic table and fireplace (oceanfront & RV site upgrades available).

Please stay tuned for more updates as the date approaches.

Sign up for our mailing list: makersguildme@gmail.com. Reserve your campsite now by calling Searsport Shores at 207-548-6059. Make sure to mention you’re coming for the jamming weekend when you call.

Shape Note Singing

For Festival & Camping details call 207.548.6059

2021 Schedule


2-5 PM: Check-in, reception, & informal picking time.

Free to all: Introductory Old Time music session 3-5 PM for this session. Promises to be a great introduction, refresher or warm-up session for Old Time Music.  Get your groove on!

3PM Old Time Banjo begins with Sara Grey: Sara has been playing banjo for over 58 years for song accompaniment as well as for tunes…both frailing style and two finger picking.

Sara’s voice alone makes her one of the most popular singers on the folk scene. On many of her songs Sara accompanies herself by frailing a five string banjo and, when playing tunes, it is obvious why she is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of the old-time style.

Sign up for your space today

5-6:00 PM: WELCOME (Snacks, orientation, etc) Hoping you can all arrive by this time. The pizza Bar is open! Please bring your favorite toppings to share and we’ll do the rest! $10/ pie

6:00-7:00 PM: Opening Concert – Sara Grey performs Old Time Music

Sara Grey plays at Old Time Music Gathering at UU Church
Sara Grey plays at Old Time Music Gathering at UU Church

7:00-8:30 PM: Music Continues John Pranio live! John will be performing a few Old Time Tunes before he gets everyone involved in the evenings music jam for all of the Strung Together Gang.   A celebration of Old Time Music at it’s best!

Dancing at Center Stage. Sit by the fire, make music, make friends, eat chips, enjoy music by and with friends.

8:30 PM: Small Group Jams  Pick a spot in the center of things or seek a quiet spot to make music.  spaces are identified on map.


10-11:30 AM Banjo Lessons
Sara Grey teaches old-time banjo and banjo to accompany Appalachian Songs and Ballads ($90 for weekend of instruction)

10-12 AM Jams begin.  Please check the marker board for what’s happening and where.

12 PM: Picnic Lunch

1-2:30 pm Banjo Workshop

1-4 PM:  Jam Sessions continue. Volunteer jam leaders will be on hand or feel free to begin your own. Plenty of space to work with others on particular songs as well.

2:30-4:00 PM Delve into the New England Dance tune world with the Montville Project Band. George, Art and Fred.  Chrissy Fowler of the Belfast Flying Shoes will take the lead with those that are willing to move their feet to the music.

5:30 PM: Community Picnic at the Garden Kitchen! Bring your favorite dish and beverage to enjoy by the campfire. Ovens and grills available for heating your meal.

7-9 PM: Saturday Evening Coffee House.  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 jam circles.


9:00- Sunday morning community sing, in the round by the garden kitchen. Led by singer/songwriter Mark Baker and Guitarist/ Songster Richard Hoverman

10-12 PM: Jam tents open. All invited to play Reveille on your harmonica, key of C

10:30-11:30: Last Banjo Workshop. Practice a few tunes to present at noon.

12:00 PM:  Final Dance Jam with the Strung Together Band (everyone is welcome to join in:). This is an outdoor dance session. The waltz will be taught during the music jam to all that are willing and able.  Led by Chrissy Fowler of the Belfast Flying Shoes. Bring your favorite partner or fiddle!

Goodbye and Cleanup 1:30-2:30PM

Other Information

Jams begin by 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.

Old Time & Bluegrass Tunes by Key/Tuning

Some of the tunes being shared during the weekend are listed below.  Tunes with * have a lesson & sheet music at http://www.mandolessons.com

Undecided Key

Black Mountain Rag, Lazy John, Mrs. Macleod’s (Hop High Ladies), Rocky Mountain Goat

D Tunes

Angeline The Baker*

Arkansas Traveler*

Cherokee Shuffle*

Coleman’s March*

Dry And Dusty

Ducks On The Millpond*

Eighth Of January*

Five Miles From Town

Flop Eared Mule*

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss*

Johnson Boys

Julianne Johnson*


Molly Put the Kettle On

New Five Cent Piece

Over The Waterfall*

Pig Ankle Rag*

Sal’s Got Mud Between Her Toes

Sam and Elzie

Soldier’s Joy*

Spotted Pony*

Twin Sisters*

Whiskey Before Breakfast*

Cross A Tunes 

Dance Boatman Dance

Grey Eagle

Grub Springs*

Half Past Four

Jim Shank*

June Apple*

Kitchen Girl*

Little Billy Wilson

Red Haired Boy*

Red Prairie Dawn

Road to Malvern

Sandy Boys

Say Old Man I Want Your Daughter

Waiting for Nancy

Ways of the World

Standard A Tunes

Bill Cheatham*

Boil Them Cabbage Down*

Bull At The Wagon

Cherokee Shuffle (or D, really)*

Cluck Old Hen*

Cold Frosty Morning*

Cripple Creek*

Hangman’s Reel

Ida Red

Liza Jane*

Old Joe Clark*

Sail Away Ladies 

G Tunes

Barlow Knife

Big Sciota*

Biscuits and Gravy 

Blackberry Blossom*

Bound to Have a Little Fun

Elk River Blues

Girl I Left Behind Me*

Golden Slippers*

Grasshopper Sitting On a Sweet Potato Vine

Jenny Lind Polka


Old Beech Leaves*

Possum Up A Gum Stump

Pretty Little Gal with the Red Dress on

Red Wing (The Union Maid)*

Turkey In The Straw*

Sail Away Ladies (or Modal AEAE)*

Seneca Square Dance (Waiting For The Federals)*

Shoot the Turkey Buzzard

Shove That Pig’s Foot A Little Closer To The Fire*

Tombigbee Waltz*

Whiskey Before Breakfast

C Tunes

Billy In The Lowground*

Mustache Wax

Bluegrass Tunes Chords

Blueridge Cabin Home 1-4-5

Boil Them Cabbage Down 1-4-5

Bringing in the Georgia Mail 1-5

Bury Me Beneath the Willow 1-4-5

Dark Hollow 1-17-4-5

Darling Corey 1-5

Don’t This Road Look Rough and Rocky 1-4-5

Dooley 1-4-5

I’ll Fly Away 1-17-4-5

In the Pines 1-17-4-5

Long Journey Home 1-4-5

Man of Constant Sorrow 1-4-5

My Homes Across the Smokey Mountains 1-5

New River Train 1-17-4-5

Nine Pound Hammer 1-4-5

Old Home Place 1-27-37-4-5

Pig in a Pen 1-4-5

Reuben’s Train 1-5

Rocky Top 1-4-5-6m-7

Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms 1-17-4-5

Salty Dog Blues 1-2-5-6

Sitting on Top of The World 1-4-5-6m

There’s More Pretty Girls Than One 1-4-5

Will The Circle Be Unbroken 1-4-5

Working on a Building 1-5

Worried Man Blues 1-4-5

Anything Goes Jam Tunes May Include: , Cluck Old Hen (A Modal, maybe we’ll pluck the E & A strings a bit), Snowdrop,  Bonnie on the Rhine, Twin Sisters (A Modal), Red Rocking Chair, Sail Away Ladies, Angeline the Baker, Down by the Willow Garden, Bury me Beneath the Willow, Starch and Iron, Bully of the Town, Diamond Joe, Shady Grove, Cannonball Blues, Wind and Rain, What Does the Deep Sea Say?, Hard Times, Wildwood Flower, Cuckoo Bird, Amazing Grace, etc, etc, etc.