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Old-Time Jam in the Key of C

Friday, May 28, 2021 @ 7:30 pm9:30 pm EDT

with Tim Rowell, Don Borchelt, John Reddick and John Maguire

This jam started in 2015 after John Reddick and Don Borchelt started meeting once a week to expand and practice their C-tune repertoire. They both appreciated this unique musical mix which included rags, breakdowns, songs and waltzes. And they needed to solve the riddle of why half the players in a jam would decide it was time to head home when a C-tune set would start. They met once a week and Don cooked lunch. John Maguire joined in early 2016 after he retired. Tim Rowell joined in early 2017, as soon as he found out what we were up to (including Don’s lunch), balancing things out at 2 banjos and 2 fiddles. We keep saying we are through with learning new C tunes (nearly 70 on our list), and then another one comes along that we can’t resist.

The key is rooted tonically right at the middle of the fiddle’s first position range, with a very cool inverted-third double-stop on the second and third strings, giving it a sound all its own. If you haven’t explored this key we think that you should start now.

We will include a mix of the well-known and unusual tunes, some easy and others more challenging. We invite you to play along or learn them later from the jam recording or (better yet), from the original source recordings.

C-Tunes we hope to play Friday night:

  • Altamont
  • Old Mose
  • Spider Bit the Baby
  • Old Joe
  • Waltz In C. (Henry Ford’s Waltz)
  • Hell Broke Loose in Georgia
  • Four Cent Cotton
  • Cranberry Rock
  • Rocky Pallet
  • L & N Rag
  • Texas Gales
  • Farewell Trion
  • Sally Comin’ Through The Rye
  • Monkey In The Dogcart
  • Bibb County Hoedown
  • Hy Patillion
  • Sleepin’ Lulu
  • Grover Jones Waltz
  • Katy Did
  • Henry Reed’s Birdie
  • Old Melinda
  • Tennesee Mountain Fox Chase

Tim Rowell is a player and teacher from the Boston area. Actively fighting Instrument Acquisition Syndrome. He’s arranged and tabbed about 700 tunes if anybody wants one.

Don Borchelt has been playing the banjo for over fifty years, and is a well-known proponent of the old-time three-finger style of picking, which employs a myriad of left hand roll patterns to provide both melody and a highly syncopated rhythm.  He plays mostly on a semi-fretless banjo, with a smooth brass plate installed up to the 5th fret, in order to get “the notes between the frets.”

John Reddick, a native Texan who migrated to New England 25 years ago for damned good reasons, has been dabbling with stringed instruments since his early teen years, beginning with guitar, passing through a mandolin infatuation, a clawhammer banjo delirium, ultimately to become a chronic old time fiddler about 15 years ago. He has inspired many beginning players, some saying after their first jam with him, “I can do better than that.”

John Maguire has been playing at Old Timey music for about 20 years.  Retired, he plays with his buddies almost daily.  He does love a good tune.



Friday, May 28, 2021
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


The Grove