Bluegrass Jam Ball

Bluegrass Jam BallHere’s something fun we found online, courtesy of the good folks at Janet Davis Music.

We all remember the Magic 8 Ball, the ersatz occult toy that rose to popularity in the 1950s, along with the Oiuja board. Children (and adults?) were to hold the ball upright, ask some probing question, and then turn it over where one of several small isohedrons floating in liquid would reveal the answer by coming to the surface and displaying a message printed on one of its sides. It was all good fun until someone got hurt.

Now, thanks to Kelly Stockwell of Putney, Vermont, the divisive issue of “what do you want to play next?” at your favorite jam is solved by modern toy technology.

Her Bluegrass Jam Ball is a variation on the earlier concept, but instead of evasive answers like “Could Be” or “We Shall See,” the Jam Ball returns either a familiar jam song title or category. It’s also smaller than the Mattel version, designed to fit perfectly on a keychain or case handle.

When you jam is hopelessly deadlocked, or everyone is looking at their shoes after a song is concluded, ask the Bluegrass Jam Ball. It might offer a definitive answer like “John Hardy,” or a theme for exploration like “Messy Murder Ballad” or “Barnburner in G.” Disaster averted!

This clever device has apparently been available for just over two years, and surely countless jams have been saved by reliance on Kelly’s tool.

They sell for $10 and all the ordering details can be found online.

A perfect gift for your Bluegrass Valentine?

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.