published Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Folk musicians are on the move with Folk School

Folk School of Chattanooga's recent move to the Southside also means a change of venue for the monthly jam of the Friends of Folk Music.

The first meeting in the new location, 1800 Rossville Ave., will be 2-4 p.m. Sunday. The two-hour get-together allows time for individual performances and a jam session for acoustic musicians, said the group's newsletter editor, Tom Morgan.

The group has been meeting since 1984, Morgan said, and originally was chartered as the Chattanooga Area Friends of Folk Music.

"Our central theme was, and is, to make playing and singing folk music available and user-friendly through monthly jams," he said.

Early on, Morgan said, the group met at members' homes, then at Eastgate Mall, Audubon Acres, Harrison Seventh-day Adventist Church and most recently at the Folk School.

The initial group, he said, began after touring performers Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard came to play a folk concert at the Hunter Museum of American Art, Morgan recalled.

"(Local musician) Pattee Wilbanks asked the obvious question," he said. "How can we organize and get the word out for future gigs?"

The Hunter series continued for several years with performances by folk heroes such as Norman and Nancy Blake, John McCutcheon, Eddie and Martha Adcock and Sam Bush, among others, he said. The group also sponsored and played festivals at venues around town.

Several years ago, the group dropped its charter with the state but continued to meet informally without dues, officers and registered membership. The monthly jam sessions are held every first Sunday.

For more information, call 867-3092, 775-2996 or 827-8906; or log onto www.chattanoogafolk.com.

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