Bluegrass Jam Camp – Blog

It’s been a year since I have written a blog post, and it’s been an interesting year no less. Luckily, I recently found myself where I left off having fun at bluegrass jam camp. Last month, September 2017, I returned to the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion Bluegrass Jam Camp that I attended in 2016.  And it was great to be there. Coming back a year later allowed me to further explore my growth as a bluegrass musician, enjoy some awesome after hours jamming, and step out and perform more throughout the week. You can see in the above photo, (Courtesy of Becky Campbell Photography from Johnson City TN), that we had a big group again – with all bluegrass instruments well represented.

Just like the last time, the camp and the instructors were nothing less than fantastic!  Gilbert Nelson, Leigh Nelson, Dee Rosser, Derwin Hinson, Alan Epstein, Bob Minke, Liam Purcell, and Kalia Yeagle were great to work with. On Friday we performed a few songs as a group on the main stage at the Bristol Rythm and Roots Reunion Music Festival in Cumberland Square Park in Bristol VA. That was a lot of fun. I was one of the featured vocalists this year and kicked off our groups performance with a roaring version of the classic – “Foggy Mountain Top.”

I can’t say enough about this camp and the instructors.  Gilbert and his team follow the Wernick method of bluegrass immersion and have you playing and jamming within the first few moments of the camp. Your fingers do get a little sore, but you also have lots of fun! If you think that you would like to get together with some like minded folks that are exploring bluegrass music, or if you think that you would like to participate in fun and enjoyable group instruction, or receive some extra attention from very patient – world class instructors, then you should really give this camp a try.

I’ve played the guitar since I was a teenager, but bluegrass has not been my genre. It’s been fun to explore bluegrass music and to learn the nuances of performing in a bluegrass group. The camp has been a great opportunity for me as a guitarist to pull in some of my knowledge of playing rock and country solos and experiment and try to work it into a bluegrass format. Also, it’s been great to learn the etiquette of structured bluegrass jams, and the traditions and stories behind the songs. The dates for next years camp have already been set for September 18-21, 2018. It’s a 5 star experience in a beautiful location at the Jubilee House in Historic Abingdon VA. See the link below for more information.

Wishing you all the best!

–Mark Salyers

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One Response to Bluegrass Jam Camp – Blog

  1. Gilbert Nelson says:

    Thanks Mark for your encouraging comments. We love impacting musical lives this way.

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