Suwannee Spring Reunion is a Picker’s Paradise
There aren’t many things that make me happier than a great bluegrass jam. I am sort of an addict when it comes to roots music, and I prefer it live and in person whenever possible. If you feel the same, then the upcoming Suwannee Spring Reunion is the place to be. The trees of the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, are about to come to life with the sounds of music. For four days, March 23-26, the park is host to the best festival around for serious pickers and beginners alike. Along with a stellar lineup that includes some of the hottest acts from across the roots music genre including The Infamous Stringdusters featuring Molly Tuttle, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, and Leftover Salmon, the park will be filled with camp jams for all ages, levels, and styles.
When you aren’t catching a show on one of the five event stages, take a wander around the 800 acres of campground with your ears open, and you will stumble across a wide variety of “pickin’ parties” at campsites throughout the park. If you’re not sure where to start, then try the Bill Monroe Shrine or Slopryland and take a listen. Many of the musicians on the lineup will be camping at the park, so you never know who will show up at a jam (or when), but you can count on hearing something that will make you grin.
Whether you are into jamgrass, traditional bluegrass, old time, Dead grass, or just love acoustic music, then this is your place. If you play an instrument, sing, or just want to listen, there will be plenty of music to go around. Did I mention that it was all ages? Yes, the kids can join in the fun. Check out the Kid’s Tent and music workshops for more information on activities throughout the weekend.
I will add that there are some etiquette guidelines for jams that will help you along the way, and Chris Jones of Bluegrass Today laid out some good ones.
The main goal of jamming “rules,” or principles of etiquette, is simply to make sure that people get the most enjoyment out of it, and to keep injuries and arrests to a minimum. Try to size up what kind of jam session it is before joining in: Traditional, progressive, swing, Dead head, or old time styles can intermingle, but be sensitive about it. If you see a group of four musicians perfectly recreating the entire Stanley Brothers’ Columbia catalogue, it might be best not to run up and say “Hey, do you guys know ‘Wagon Wheel’? You’re opening yourself up to a story about meeting Bill Harrell’s cousin. On the other side of the spectrum, if you see some people doing an extended jam on what sounds vaguely like EMD, and that was right after a 20-minute ‘Minor Swing’, don’t rush up and say, “When y’all are finally done with that one, I’d like to sing Little Annie.”
So, dust off the vocal chords, the ole stringed instrument and change those strings. We will see you in a few days at the best pickin’ party around, Suwannee Spring Reunion!
Suwannee Spring Reunion