Making music for the Margaret

Published 1:03 am Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jim Avett, father of Scott and Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers, will be performing at Saturday’s Tar Landing Jam. (Contributed Photo)

The Beaufort County Traditional Music Association will be making music this Saturday to help rescue a 107-year-old sloop beached by Hurricane Irene.
The Tar Landing Jam’s $10 admission fee (per person) will go exclusively to Save the Margaret, a fund created to get Captain David “Buck” Edwards’ boat off the beach and back into the water where it belongs.
An open, acoustic jam, in which players of all instruments and all skill levels can join in the music making, launches the event at 2:30 p.m. Musicians are invited to sign up for the Open Mic Variety Show and a 15-minute spot behind the mic. Three headline acts will take the main stage at 7 p.m.: Pungo native Roger Allen, a 12-string-guitar player and original songwriter in the outlaw country style; local husband-and-wife duo, Chris Nappi and Vail Rumley, and their eclectic selection of songs and instruments; and Jim Avett, songwriter, guitarist, and father to Scott and Seth Avett of the widely acclaimed group, The Avett Brothers.
The family friendly Tar Landing Jam ties in with BCTMA’s message — of preservation of the traditional music handed down by homegrown musicians through many generations — a subject about which Avett is passionate.
“I have a great respect for anyone who has talent, and the way to pass that on is to do things like the Tar Landing Jam,” said Avett. “I heard what was going on down there (in Bath) and said, ‘I want to be a part of that.’”
As part of the BCTMA’s pledge for community outreach, funds raised by this past spring’s jam were donated to those in immediate need: the victims of last April’s tornadoes that devastated the Askewville area. Proceeds from this Saturday’s event will be donated even closer to home.
“I heard about the Margaret from the article in the Washington Daily News,” said Rob Cuthrell, BCTMA president and host of the Tar Landing Jam, when asked about BCTMA pitching in for the Margaret. “It’s the logical thing to do. It’s a way for us to give back to the community, and it’s also a way to introduce the community to what the BCTMA does.”
The Margaret was anchored in Bath Creek during Hurricane Irene, but wind and waves proved too much for the anchor chain of the 66-foot-long vessel. When the waters receded after the storm, the Margaret was left stranded 50 feet from the shoreline on Plum Point, near the mouth of Bath Creek. Inaccessible by land, the Margaret faces a difficult and expensive extraction, and her captain, Edwards, suffers from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Resources once dedicated to lovingly preserve the antique Margaret are now slated to preserve Edwards’ health.
Edwards looks forward to being able to thank everyone in the community bid for Margaret’s rescue:  organizers, musicians, and anyone showing up ready to play or listen.
“Somewhere along the line, when you get to the point where you can give something back, you need to give something back,” said Avett. “At this point in my life, it’s all about giving it back, about teaching others.”
Such generosity of spirit means more to Edwards than most: “It’s renewed my faith in mankind.”
The Margaret will be featured on the UNC-TV show “North Carolina Now” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13
The Tar Landing Jam is held on private property at 304 Tar Landing Drive, off Creek Road near Bath. For more information about the Tar Landing Jam, visit BCTMA’s website at or

Vail Stewart Rumley, a WDN staff writer, is one of the featured performers.