Celebrating String Band Music in Middle Tennessee

Music is a great gift, one of the greatest anybody can have,
because it’s something nobody can take away from you.
Money can’t buy it. It’s a precious thing, I think, very precious.

Ernie Carpenter, 1909-1997 | Appalachian fiddler, “Elk River Blues”

Welcome to NOTSBA.org!

The members and Board of Directors of NOTSBA – the Nashville Old Time String Band Association – are dedicated to sharing and promoting Old-Time music. Membership in NOTSBA is open to anyone who has a love for string-band-style tunes. Musicians of all ages and abilities are invited to join in. We normally meet to play music at least five times a month – every Thursday night for old-time jams plus our Fourth Sunday Jams featuring an afternoon pot-luck and pickin’ session in the homes of kind-hearted NOTSBA members and friends. Covid-19 shut down our jams for more than a year, but hooray, they are starting up again…

Two Jams Return!

A special note from NOTSBA’s President Rob Roepke…

NOTSBA has some exciting news… after over a year of not hosting any jams due to the Covid pandemic, we would like to announce the start-up of jamming again! The NOTSBA Board of Directors has given much thought into the best time to resume jams and much consideration into how to best proceed.

NOTSBA will resume two recurring jams starting in May 2021. At this point in time, we will recommence jams on the first and second Thursday of the month to be held at the Buchanan Log House from 7:00-9:00 pm.

In order to ensure a safe environment in which to jam, we are asking everyone to follow the following CDC guidelines during the jams:

  • Face masks required
  • Social distancing when possible
  • If you have a fever, feel sick, etc… please do not attend the jam
  • Jam at your own risk

We will hold jams outside, if at all practical, depending upon the weather.

NOTSBA is working at arranging jam space for the third and fourth Thursdays of the month. When arrangements are finalized, the announcement will be posted on our website and by e-mail to members and friends.

All of us at NOTSBA are excited about the start-up of our jams with the first jam to be held Thursday, May 6th at 7:00 pm at the Buchanan Log House.

So until then  — Keep Pickin’! 

We often hold “teaching jams” where volunteer members teach fiddle and banjo tunes in a slower format, but we practically guarantee that no matter what jam you go to, there will be new tunes to savor. Bring a recording device with you… you’ll want to capture all the unfamiliar melodies. If you don’t know a lot about old-time music, please come and listen and see if you think you’d enjoy it as much as we do.

NOTSBA has a performance group that plays for special events, festivals and dances in the Middle Tennessee area throughout the year. Not a jam opportunity, this dedicated ensemble is the result of rehearsals and special arrangements, some that accommodate singing. It’s a joy to attend and perform at these events, many at historical venues.

In addition, NOTSBA hosts an annual Breakin’ Up Winter old-time music retreat each year at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. This 23 year old conference brings together young and old for a weekend of fun and education. There’s usually a dance and plenty of fiddle tunes. It’s always well attended. 

Check out the dazzling Breakin’ Up Winter promo video created by producer Jon Grimson

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