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June 14th, 2014
Washington Folk Fest 2014, Free and Fun At the Historic Glen Echo Park
By Dale Roethlisberger

What a blast! Get more than a dozen musicians on stage at the same time, and then let them jam. Close to mayhem, but our “director”, Geoff Seals, picked a revolving handful of players and singers for a few songs (all done jam style on the fly), then another subset of our blues horde continued until a 45 minute set was performed. For more than a decade, the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation has sent an all volunteer group of musicians to the Washington Folk Festival. We must be doing something well enough to keep being invited back. Usually the first weekend after Memorial Day is when the festival occurs.

June 13th, 2014
Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Jam in Riverdale, Maryland
By Dale Roethlisberger

The address and location of the relocated jams can be found at www.acousticblues.com. The jam is every Sat. with few exceptions from 1 to 5pm or later. It’s musician time. Check out the website to see other interesting things about the Foundation. That’s me on the right, Dave Rothman in the middle, and Ian Walters on the left. There are around a half dozen other people in the room playing as the lead passes from person-to-person in the jam.

The jam is an all acoustic affair and it’s supposed to be Piedmont Style blues, but after 5pm anything goes. Standard jam etiquette applies. The rotating “lead” calls the tune and key. That person signals others to take musical breaks where desired for that song, and signals the end of the tune with a standard “doggie leg lift”. Of course, don’t play too loud over the singer, and don’t step on or overfill someone else’s “break” on a song.  All ages and musical or singing abilities are welcome. It’s all about participation and trying to keep a culture going.

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