It was started by Scott Wilson on bass and vocals and Roslyn Wilson on mandolin and vocals. They’re a couple who live in the Yukon, but they spend a good part of the Canadian winter in Tasmania. Scott ran it initially, but when he and Roslyn go back home, Dennis Murphy takes over.
The jam attracts guitars, banjos, mandos, fiddles, harmonicas, double bases, drums, accordions, singers and the odd kazoo player. The numbers vary from week to week. It tends to slow down a bit over wintertime. They’ve had 25+ players in the summer and moved the jam to the courtyard out back to make room for everyone (and give the diners inside some space). During winter, the jam is moved to the main dining area of the bar, where there’s a wood fire. There is usually a small audience of regulars at the bar along with whatever diners come in to eat.
Organisers tell us that it is pretty much all jamming, but very casual. They have a few books of songs with lyrics and chords from which they pick some bluegrass standards such the, Will the Circle be Unbroken, Cripple Creek, Foggy Mtn Breakdown, Oh Susannah etc.) and a few Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, CCR, thrown in. But if someone has a special tune or song they want to do, that’s cool, everyone will shut up and listen.
Like most bluegrass jams, they do a lot of 3-chord songs in the key of G. Anyone is welcome to join in and have a go.
There’s no cost to attend, except just buy your own drinks/munchies from the bar. Every Tuesday evening at the Riverview Inn, Sandy Bay Road, Hobart.