What's new at the Pegram Jam?
R.I.P. Ron Ault
JUNE 2021 -- With great sadness, we report the passing of our dear friend Ron Ault, a founding member of the Pegram Jam. His presence will be sorely missed, but he leaves behind a legacy of great fun and great tunes. Ron came to the very first Pegram Jam 20 years ago, and was a fixture ever since. Besides bringing a huge number of excellent old time and Celtic tunes to our jam, he also became our close friend and confidant over the years. Fare thee well, old friend. Here is Ron's Obituary
New Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book Available
JUNE 2020 -- We are happy to announce an update to the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book. Corrections only, no new additions. As always, the book is available for FREE as a PDF download, or you may purchase a printed and coil-bound book from us for $15. See the "CHORD CHART BOOK" link in the menu at the left for more information.
Tunes By Name List Updated
DECEMBER 2019 -- The Tunes By Name List has been updated. "Tunes By Name" is an attempt at a Master list of each tune played at the Pegram Jam. The list is frequently updated behind the scenes without notice. We try to find a listenable representative version for each unique tune. In some cases, a tune has only been played once or a handful of times, so few choices exist. We hope that you'll find some new favorites in the collection.
Service Interruptions Fixed
FEBRUARY 2019 -- We have received reports that the Pegram Jam site was not working for a few days in February. The problem was related to our web server configuration, and we believe that the problem has now been addressed. We apologize for the inconvenience.
In other news, the release of the NEW Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book is imminent. We just have to get through the NOTSBA Breaking Up Winter event this weekend, and then we'll be ready to start shipping. Thanks for your patience.
Many New Tunes Added
JANUARY 2019 -- Almost 40 new tunes have been added to the master list of Pegram Jam tunes. Check out the TUNES BY NAME menu choice on the left hand side of this page. A new version of the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book will follow very shortly.
Fun New Tunes Coming Your Way Soon
SEPTEMBER 2018 -- Lots of good jams recently. There are some nice tunes we've recently added to our repertoire. Check out the TUNES BY WEEK menu choice on the left hand side of this page. We're also working hard on an update to the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book. Stay tuned...
"Coon Dog" added to Tunes With Scores
JUNE 2018 -- "Coon Dog" came to us via Rachel Eddy of Morgantown, WV. It is quickly becoming a favorite, and we hope that you will enjoy learning it as much as we have. You can check out all of the available scores on the TUNES WITH SCORES menu choice on the left hand side of this page.
"Sycamore Tea" added to Tunes With Scores
APRIL 2018 -- Here's a nice little tune that came to us from the late Trevor Stuart. We hope that you will enjoy learning "Sycamore Tea". You can check out all of the available scores on the TUNES WITH SCORES menu choice on the left hand side of this page.
"Spring Creek Gals" added to Tunes With Scores
FEBRUARY 2018 -- We have been playing Spring Creek Gals since the very early days of the Pegram Jam. It's about time we put this one on paper to share. A long time favorite around these parts, we hope that you will enjoy learning Spring Creek Gals. You can check out all of the available scores on the TUNES WITH SCORES menu choice on the left hand side of this page.
Jam Sessions from 2017 now On Line
JANUARY 2018 -- We've heard that some folks enjoy jamming along with our recorded sessions. For you, we are posting all of our jam sessions from 2017. As always, the quality from tune to tune is highly variable. You'll hear tunes that we could barely play, and a few where we (almost) nailed it. We hope you'll enjoy some of the latest music from the Pegram Jam. You can check out all of the jam session recordings by clicking on TUNES BY WEEK in the menu on the left hand side of this page.
"Shenandoah Falls" added to Tunes With Scores
DECEMBER 2017 -- We found Shenandoah Falls in the Portland Collection; other scores are available online. Apparently the exact origin of this tune is unknown. It's quickly becoming a favorite. We hope that you will enjoy learning this tune.
"Waltz Of The Little Girls" added to Tunes With Scores
NOVEMBER 2017 -- Here is a pretty little waltz that we are told is of French origin. Thanks to Ron Whitlow for introducing us to "Waltz of the Little Girls". A score and recording are available on the TUNES WITH SCORES section on the left hand side of this page.
"Tippin' Back The Corn" added to Tunes With Scores
OCTOBER 2017 -- Brought to us by Taylor Dunn, who discovered Roger Netherton playing it on YouTube. Tippin' Back The Corn is a lively number, and we strongly recommend checking out Roger playing it with various folks on YouTube. A score and recording are available on the TUNES WITH SCORES section on the left hand side of this page.
"Rock Andy" added to Tunes With Scores
SEPTEMBER 2017 -- We've got another cool tune for you this month, inspired by all of you Rockin' Andy's out there. It's none other of course, than Snake Chapman's "Rock Andy". A score and recording are available on the TUNES WITH SCORES section on the left hand side of this page. Stay tuned for more scores!
"Kennedy Rag" added to Tunes With Scores
AUGUST 2017 -- In an attempt to expand our repertoire with some ragtime tunes, we're glad to introduce Kennedy Rag. A score and recording are available on the TUNES WITH SCORES section on the left hand side of this page. More scores coming soon!
Jam sessions from 2016 now on line under Tunes By Week
AUGUST 2017 -- By popular demand, we are posting many of the jam sessions from 2016. There are some new tunes since 2015, and a couple of spirited sessions in the bunch. We hope you'll enjoy some of the latest music from the Pegram Jam. Stay tuned for sessions from 2017 with even more cool new tunes. You can check out all of the jam sessions by clicking on TUNES BY WEEK in the menu on the left hand side of this page.
We've brought back an old favorite -- Tunes With Scores
FEBRUARY 2017 -- After a long hiatus, we have brought back the "Tunes With Scores" section of the web site. Tunes With Scores is the place where we feature one of our current favorite tunes. We provide a Pegram Jam recording, plus a written transcription of the tune in standard notation. We will focus primarily on tunes that we can't find in any current book or tune collection. Sometimes a tune just grabs hold of us hard, and we feel the need to share it with everyone. Tunes With Scores is one area where we can accomplish that goal.
In the past, we made use of a special web browser plug-in called "Scorch" by Sibelius. Scorch allowed users to literally play the score by clicking on it. After many trials, we concluded that the Scorch plug-in was simply not stable enough for everyday use. So we've simplified things a bit. While you can not click on a score to play it as in the past, we've provided a link to a recent Pegram Jam recording of the tune right above the score.
Our plan is to add new tunes as time permits. You can start with our newest favorite, "Bee In The Pumpkin Blossom" available at this link: Tunes With Scores
Chord Chart Book grows another inch
AUGUST 2013 -- Once again, we're happy to tell our friends who stop by that we've given birth to yet another update of the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book. Version #48 now brings you over 450 chord charts. We've also published a chart book update .pdf with just the changes that have been made since the January 2012 publishing, so if you have an older edition, you can get all the new tunes without printing out or purchasing a new book.
The Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book is always downloadable for free in .pdf format. We also have printed books available for $15 + shipping for those who aren't set up to print out a 78-page book.
Check out the Chord Chart Book page to download or purchase.
While we no longer hold a large open-to-the-public jam (we found out the hard way that there is such a thing as too big), today we enjoy smaller, invititation-only gatherings where we concentrate fully on learning cool new tunes. But never fear... we'll continue to share what we learn and discover with you.
Hot off the presses: a new edition of our Chord Chart Book
JANUARY 2012 -- We are pleased to announce the release of the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book v.47, now packed with the chords to over 400 songs. Help yourself and print one out. We added over 30 new tunes to this edition, marked with an asterisk here on the site.
We've been weeding out errors from the last edition, and have published a 2012 Supplement. If you already have the last version of the book (v. 46), the supplement contains just the new tunes and any other changes we made to the chord charts. This will keep you current without having to print a new book if you already have one.
Word has it that the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book is popping up all over the place. We're glad to hear that the charts have been useful. The book is getting larger. At 66 pages, it can be tedious to print on your home printer. We didn't want to reduce the type size (our goal was to make the pages readable laying on the floor at your feet) and we've got the tunes as close together as possible to still be legible from a distance, so we had some books printed up for sale. Each is secured with coil binding so it will lay flat when open and has protective clear plastic covers on the front and back. Now you won't have to use your ink, paper and time to own a chord chart book. The price is $15 per book plus shipping. See the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book page for details.
New Chord Chart book to be published soon
JANUARY 2009 -- Kirk and Susie have been updating the PegramJam chord chart book. We have added dozens of tunes and corrected all of the errors which were discovered over the past year. Thanks to the folks who sent us corrections and suggestions for the book. We hope that you will find the new book more useful than ever. Stay tuned..
Thanks for Six Great Years of Music
JANUARY 2008 -- It has been said that all good things must come to and end. We prefer to think that all good things can lead to new good things. After six straight years, we have decided to discontinue the weekly public Tuesday night jam sessions at our home in Pegram. It has truly been an amazing six years, but we need to take a break from hosting the fun. Whether you attended the Pegram Jam one time or a hundred times, we sincerely hope that you had some fun, and perhaps even made a friend or two.
Susie and I plan to take the extra time each week to focus on some other aspects of our music making. We also hope to do more playing with different groups of folks as opportunities permit.
The Pegram Jam web page will stay alive for the forseeable future. We will add content from time to time. Keep an eye out on the "Tunes By Week" page for new recordings and cool new tunes we're learning. Our love for traditional music has not dwindled a bit. We just needed to let go of hosting the weekly public jam sessions, and focus our energy elsewhere for a while.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of the Pegram Jam. It's been an honor and a pleasure to host the jam, and we look forward to more music together in the future.
Below are some "anniversary photos" from Pegram Jams past:
It's all about the Tone
NOVEMBER 2007 -- I had somewhat of a revelation the other day. I was reading an old quote about a fiddler who "knew a thousand tunes, but couldn't play one of them worth a darn." I think it's possible to spend too much attention on learning more tunes, and too little attention cultivating one's TONE. In the end, it's the SOUND that comes from our instruments that matters.
I love learning new tunes, and hope to expand my repertoire until I'm no longer able to play. However, I am going to spend a lot more time concentrating on my tone from now on. I'm listening to my favorite players, paying special attention to the sound they pull from their instruments. I figure I have to know what good tone sounds like before I can try to create it myself.
In Search of the Ensemble Mind
OCTOBER 2007 -- Thanks to everyone who has been attending the Pegram Jam. The crowds have been smaller, which is historically what happens during the summer months. We've been chugging right along, with some more intimate sessions and of course, new tunes.
One concept which has been on my mind lately is the difference between playing for myself and playing for an ensemble. It feels like the ensemble sound has a complete mind of its own, and it will tell me what to do if I listen for it. It's a little bit like surrendering to the flow of a river, or being on a sail boat. The great ensemble players have figured out that some approaches support the flow, while others wind up feeling like trying to swim upstream. Usually I find myself having to listen more and play less, just in order to hear what the ensemble sound needs. When it's at its best, great ensemble playing feels to me like everyone is lifting a hot air balloon together. Each player is contributing just what the balloon needs, without weighing it down with anything extra. It is an exhilarating feeling when it happens!