In 2020, old-time music has been thriving in the virtual world, with a huge array of concerts, classes, jams, and other offerings taking place on Facebook and elsewhere online. This is just a partial list of events that haven taken place in the spring and summer, and we invite readers to submit additional links to our new website. Special thanks to Lindsey Terrell for her help in compiling these listings.
Since springtime, the Facebook group Quarantine Happy Hour has broadcast scores of from-home concerts by old-time and other traditional and roots musicians. The group was founded by the Horsenecks (Gabrielle Macrae and Barry Southern), and as of this writing has more than 13,000 members. Nightly concerts start at 5:30 PM PDT. Donations are encouraged through virtual tip jars. Past performances are available for viewing on the Facebook page.
Every other Tuesday from 7 – 9 PM EDT, Brad and Ken Kolodner and Alex Lacquement host a slow jam, live-streaming from the Facebook page Baltimore Old Time Jam. Rachel Eddy and Emily Hammond host an open old-time jam at 7:30 PM EDT on Thursdays, live-streamed on YouTube. The Facebook group Old-Time Open Jams is also a great resource for connecting with virtual old-time and Irish jams.
The Augusta Heritage Center’s Summer 2020 programming has all gone online, and the classes and concerts can be viewed by registering at augustaheritagecenter.org. The Handmade Music School, from the Floyd Country Store, has an online series called Handmade at Home, broadcasting many classes and concerts in traditional music and dance. They stream live on Crowdcast and are available for replay. Freight & Salvage offers online classes in many traditional musical forms, including old-time. The Old Town School of Folk Music has a large slate of traditional music classes for adults, kids, and “wiggleworms” (“newborns on up”). Song to Seed, in Lenoir, North Carolina, hosted the Bean String – Ballad Sing, featuring Bobby McMillon and Susan Pepper, hosted by William Ritter.
The Mike Seeger Commemorative Old Time Banjo Festival and Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer hosted the Online Old Time Banjo Contest August 1 – 8, which received more than 100 video entries. Those performances are available for viewing on Facebook and YouTube (on Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer’s channel). Oldtime Central hosted its first old-time festival, The Hoot!, July 24 – 26.