Jam sessions in Pictou invite all levels of musicians

Amanda Jess
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PICTOU – Beginners and talented musicians with lots of patience have a place to jam with the community again.

Alan Mackenzie looks forward to his Friday nights out on the town. The Pass The Mic Jam Sessions are starting up again on Sept. 20 at the Pictou Legion. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS

Pass The Mic Jam Sessions are back Sept. 20 at the Pictou Royal Canadian Legion.

“In terms of talent, I’d be at the bottom of the totem pole,” says organizer Alan Mackenzie, proving any music level is welcome to come and play their chosen instrument. 

The evening of music is set up as a semi-circle that allows everyone a turn at the microphone. It’s up to them what they’d like to play. The instruments of choice include acoustic guitars, mandolins, violins and a stand-up bass.

He likes the variety of music that arises from the musical evenings, ranging from old-time country to Gaelic. 

Mackenzie himself plays folk on his acoustic guitar, but also has an Irish whistle and a fiddle. 

Anyone is welcome to come and listen, but don’t expect current chart toppers.

Mackenzie says the newest songs people may hear would be from the 1970s.

“The seniors really like it because (the music is) in their era.”

While anyone 19 and over can join in and play, Mackenzie says there is a list of regulars who come from as far away as River John and Truro.

When there’s no other entertainment in Pictou that evening, the relaxed jam sessions can see up to 35 audience members.

“It’s an excuse to get out of the house in the wintertime on a Friday night,” says Mackenzie, adding that it’s a great way to meet people in the community. 

The jam sessions run Friday evenings from September until June, starting at 6:30 until 10:30 p.m. 

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Organizations: Pictou Royal

Geographic location: River John

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  • Andrew J
    September 14, 2013 - 09:55

    Commend Alan for his dedication and community involvement. It's a great thing for Pictou. Nice looking Gibby there Alan