While we all enjoy the big festivals and indoor concerts where we can see our favorite touring artists, sometimes the best fun is to be had at local bluegrass association meets, or small town market events like the monthly get together in Pine Mountain, AL. They call it the Bluegrass Jamboree and Trade Day, and folks from all over this rural part of central Alabama come out to hear some music, see friends and neighbors, and both buy and sell wares they have grown or created themselves.
This is where pickers and singers can get their feet wet performing on stage, and figure out how to behave in a band setting, especially younger musicians. In Pine Mountain they usually have a band or two up to play, and they invite all and sundry up for an open mic where no one judges and everyone is supportive. It’s great fun for all with a pot luck dinner and concessions of every type. There is no charge to enjoy the Jamboree, and proceeds from concessions are donated to the bands that perform, and to the region’s community center.
Many thanks to Kristin Yarbrough who shared this set of images from the August 2022 Jamboree. She did a wonderful job capturing this little slice of Americana, which is also an important part of the way bluegrass and old time music are preserved and transmitted, even in the modern world.
She explained a bit about herself and her motivation for shooting at the Jamboree.
“I’ve been a fan of music and photography, and music photography, since I was a teenager who got to photograph and write about rock shows for my high school paper. I had almost no exposure to bluegrass before moving to the South and started going to our Jamborees. And of course, live music is magical, and I saw that the festival deserved a bigger audience. So I started photographing the events and writing for our local paper to get the word out.”
We look forward to sharing more of Kristin’s photos going forward.