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Bluegrass Jamming on RAGBRAI

Anybody traveling via RV and will have their instrument along? Let’s figure out how to connect during the week to play and sing. It was the music at night that was my favorite part of RAGBRAI III. It’s a little different now … hoping to bring back those memories 4+ decades later.

5 Replies

KenH, June 26, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Well I will be in a motorhome and I have a bass guitar or three but my gig is playing in a church worship band so I don’t know any Bluegrass and I don’t know how welcome an electric bass would be in that genre! I’ve seen a couple of riders playing cigar box guitars in a town during 2014, I believe. One of them dresses like Uncle Sam, one in a gold sequined jacket, and their wives dress as babies in pink outfits. Hard to miss them, they sounded great, but I’ve only seen them play the one time. “Uncle Sam” I believe it is, goes by the screen name dalebob on this forum. Maybe if I bump this thread for you he will take notice of it.

There was a great gospel bluegrass band in CASTALIA last year, helping to raise funds for repairs at Zion Lutheran Church. One day there was a great power trio of young boys rocking their hearts out for us in one of the pass through towns and the dalebob crew were sitting in with them and passing a hat for donations. If you have an instrument you can take on your bike you might run into opportunities like that in almost any town. Find a nice spot in your campground and start playing every evening and I bet anyone who does have an instrument along will wander over and join in….


TKeibler, June 27, 2018 at 7:30 am

Hi Ken, Thank for writing! I was introduced to bluegrass on RAGBRAI 3 by self-proclaimed “hippies” from New Hampshire. I was 13. I play bluegrass now because it was so easy to find people to jam with. I’m somewhere on the beginner spectrum and started playing (again) earlier this year to add more happy into my life because my work is helping elderly people through tough stuff. Worship band music- awesome. I am even on an album cut by National Community Church in DC.

Our RV will hoist a flag. I’ll try to post a photo so you’ll know where to find me. Otherwise, I’ll be under a tree somewhere playing guitar and trying to learn to flat pick a new song. Our other FEATURE is that we are traveling with a massage therapist who will be giving massages.

A few years ago, there was a tent that had instruments for people to just pick up and play. That was fun. I got a lot of encouragement there.

Music and bike riding. A wonderful combination! Hope to connect in person on the ride. It shouldn’t be hard. The RVs are always parked together.


John Meriwether, July 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Yes, yes…. My friend and i will have a guitar and mandolin and a fiddle along for the ride. We would love to jam… Sooo – how to connect?

We will be in the RV camps for most of the week. Any other suggestions on how to connect? This forum, post, FB, listen for the banjo? We are from Washington state but will be riding and RV’ing with the Dubuque gang from TRUE. Fitness. Come find us. Adding a jam session to to the week would be great.


TKeibler, July 9, 2018 at 5:21 pm

You made my day!!! I have a photo of the flag we put on our RV. I’ll figure out how to post it here. I’ll have our driver on the look out for True Fitness as well.


John Meriwether, July 10, 2018 at 10:21 am

Awesome; I hope it works out.


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