Acoustic jam in a Gardnerville book store
Mike Rottman began meeting at the Eddy Street Book Exchange a few months ago to play his acoustic guitar in the company of other musicians, when his regular jam spot, Java Joe’s in Carson City, stopped being open on Sunday afternoons.
“We used to go there for open mic,” said Rottman, 48, of Virginia City. “Now we meet (in Gardnerville) the last Sunday of the month. If it was closer to where we live, we would do it more often.”
Rottman and some of his friends help make up a group of about 12 who meet at the Eddy Street Book Exchange for a monthly acoustic jam. The musicians are guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and bass players, who along with singers and listeners, travel from all over the area to meet for one evening of music a month.
Rottman usually brings along a tambourine and other shakers and rattle-type instruments for those who want to take part in the beat. Rottman travels the farthest, with others coming from Dayton, Carson City and Topaz, as well as Minden and Gardnerville.
“There’s starting to become a set of regulars,” said Rottman. “We’ll take as many as we can get.”
According to Rottman, and the store proprietor Linda Finch, the musicians are of all levels and all styles of music.
“We go from really good musicians to just barely learning,” said Rottman. “By no means are any of us very polished. It helps to bring lyrics, or chord (or tab) sheets for everyone to use.”
Finch said she clears out the front of the store to accommodate the musicians and the half-a-dozen or so audience members who usually show up.
“The musicians are learning from each other,” said Finch. “They’re sharing different kinds of music, from Neil Young to country to folk.
“The musicians are endlessly patient with each other. As a non-musician, it’s been phenomenal for me to watch. The group is incredibly welcoming. Anybody can come and try it.”
The next acoustic jam session will be 5 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Eddy Street Book Exchange, 1225 Eddy St. in Gardnerville. For more information, call Finch at 782-5484.