The headline is hyperbole, but if any jam has a claim to the title, this one does. I recorded this little bit of nirvana at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival on August 11, 2018. The festival workshops frequently feature multiple acts swapping songs on a wide stage, often with performers who are meeting each other for the first time. Often the more capable instrumentalists blend in, and sometimes multiple performers will jam. When, as in this case, you have 200 years plus of musical performance experience across the stage, all heaven can break loose.
The song in question here is John Hartford’s ‘Gentle on my Mind’ and I was kept busy panning my phone camera as the lead shifted across the stage. The performers are, in order: Molly Tuttle, vocals and guitar; John Reischman, mandolin; Allison de Groot, beautiful sounding banjo; Bruce Molsky, violin; Cathal Hayden, violin; Máirtín O’Connor, button accordion; Stash Wyslouch, guitar; Seamie O’Dowd, guitar. Whew. Also accompanying: Sean Louis Trischka on drums and Max Johnson on stand up bass. Looking on: Martin Simpson and Iarla Ó Lionáird, whose respective performances were also a treat. (Normally I stick to short clips on a ‘fair use’ basis, just to illustrate a performer’s work, but I broke my rule a bit here. Hope, that’s okay.)
Press the HD button to view properly.