Jam sweetens area’s music scene

Published 6:32 pm Monday, May 21, 2012

The Cuthrell family — Christina, Caitlyn, Caitlyn's husband Daley Sutton, Cindi and Rob (seated) — with Linda Boyer (seated) sing a rousing song at Saturday's Spring 2012 Tar Landing Jam. (Submitted Photo)


It was a toe-tapping good time at the Spring 2012 Tar Landing Jam on Saturday.

From blues and bluegrass to moonshine stomp, Piedmont traditional and hometown pickin’ — jam attendees were treated to a medley of rhythms and songs.

“I think it’s great … such good music. They always have something interesting,” said Verma Baynor.

“I want to thank Rob for having us all here in this little piece of heaven,” said Joey Toler, executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council.

That “little piece of heaven” is Rob Cuthrell’s Tar Landing, a tree-studded parcel alongside Bath Creek, with open, grassy areas that sparkled in Saturday’s sunshine. The landing and Cuthrell’s barn were an ideal location to hear the plucking and strumming of traditional strings, vibrant vocals and high-energy guitars.

Following an afternoon community jam, at which a host of musicians and singers joined in traditional music, surprise guest Lightnin’ Wells entertained with his engaging, storytelling folk songs.

“He’s a real treasure here in eastern North Carolina. He plays some real good ol’ music,” Cuthrell said.

That he did.

Another surprise showing came from the multi-talented Cuthrell family — with patriarch Cuthrell on mandolin and guitar, wife Cindi on violin, daughters Caitlyn and Christina on guitar, bass, mandolin and banjo and Caitlyn’s husband, Daley Sutton, on bass. They were joined by Linda Boyer on banjo as they played a rousing series of traditional songs.

Chambergrass, with Kim Terpening on banjo and David Schwartz on bass, brightened the early evening with its humor, traditional singing and banjo picking mixed with the pluck and bow of Schwartz’s stand-up bass.

The torch singing of Teresa Prichard and the bluesy guitar-picking of “Big Poppa Sid” Rothchild with guitarist Don Skinner, bassist Darren Smith and drummer Justin Casey — a reunion gig for the one-time Tried & Blue — rendered both melancholy and upbeat blues tunes to the crowd’s enjoyment.

Toler entertained with his forceful renditions of old rock songs, including two from Tom Waits (but not in Waits’ style). BCAC board members John Tate and Vail Rumley, accompanied by Rumley’s husband, Chris Nappi, on vocals and guitar, belted out traditional and more-raucous tunes.

Carolina Still brought the house down with its fast-paced, smokin’ stomp.

Presented by the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association, the spring jam was a fundraiser for the Beaufort County Arts Council in honor of the council’s 40th anniversary.

“The arts council has been a big supporter of what we do, so we wanted to say thank you,” Cuthrell announced during the jam.

“I appreciate (the BCTMA) doing (the jam for the council). The arts council is so proud of the BCTMA … for what they have done for music in this community … for such a great line-up of talent today,” Toler said.

Rob Cuthrell aptly summed up the day for the musicians and jam-goers.

“It’s all about having fun,” he said.