Missouri Fiddling in the New York Times

Upper body shot of Alvie in a field with a dreadnought guitar

Alvie Dooms has been a regular at the McClurg jam session for decades. Here he is his with his guitar, 2013 (from Old-Time Music and Ozark Heritage Festival)

Looks like Missouri fiddling is famous these days! Our friends at the McClurg jam session have appeared in the New York Times, with an article about how the pandemic is affecting traditional arts.

McClurg’s session isn’t meeting these days, because of the pandemic, but here’s hoping that when we can all get together again, they’ll re-start their long-standing Monday night tradition. It’s a great way to spend a Monday night in the Ozarks. Listeners, card players, snackers, and musicians are all welcome, and there’s a wood stove for cool nights. (Make sure you are ready to drive some curvy roads if you visit!)

All in all, it’s not too different from something your grandparents or great grandparents might have done on a Monday night, long before Netflix or Monday night football.

Like the McClurg jammers, we all really miss dancing and playing together. But missing it also reminds us what we value about music and dance. In Missouri we have a still-lively fiddle and dance tradition full of welcoming people. But our traditions stay lively because we put our time and energy into them, and into each other and our communities in the process. Here’s hoping we can soon do more of the ‘work’ of passing on our traditions—that is, playing tunes with friends under a shade tree or dancing the night away!