PAM WEEKS is a trad musician from central Maine. She plays fiddle, mountain dulcimer, guitar, piano, cello, mandolin, flute, saxophone (and more!) and sings! Here are a few words condensed from her website: Pam is an outstanding fiddler, Appalachian (mountain) dulcimer player, singer, and tunesmith from central Maine. She is fiddler and singer in the Maine-based Cajun dance band, Jimmyjo & the Jumbol’Ayuhs (here’s a sample), sings and plays several instruments in the folk trio, T-Acadie, is fiddler for the Maine contradance band, Scrod Pudding, and performs solo or with guitar player and dance caller Bill Olson. She has composed scores of tunes, jigs, reels, airs, waltzes. Many of these tunes have been picked up by other musicians and are played throughout the U.S. and abroad. Pam began playing guitar and piano during high school in NY state. After moving to Boston to attend the BU School of Music and study voice, she moved in a slightly different direction and picked up fiddle and mountain dulcimer, became a street musician, and worked as a singing waitress. Her early musical influences and teachers include Allan Block (fiddle), Lorraine Hammond (mountain dulcimer), and Donna Hebert (fiddle). Pam moved to Maine from the Boston area in 1985, and now teaches mountain dulcimer, fiddle, viola, cello, guitar, sax, flute, piano, Celtic harp, ukulele and voice at her studio locations at the Leavitt Institute Building in Turner, ME; Bath Dance Works in Bath, ME; at home in Bowdoin, ME; and through 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, ME. Read about her bands and recordings on her website HERE.
If you would like to study mountain dulcimer with Pam, she will be teaching dulcimer at Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville, Maine, during the “June Week” this summer (June 18-23). here’s the link to the MFC webpage:
I’ve been playing music with Pam for over 30 years, and she still never fails to amaze me! As a teacher she has a unique way of connecting with her students of any age (5 to 90!). Her grasp of harmony both instrumentally and vocally always blows me away. Here’s a silly little video we did with David Kaynor (R.I.P. David my good friend) out in the lobby at the Dance Flurry in 2014. David, (who is another of Pam’s musical influences for sure) and Pam trade off harmony parts on fiddle.
Oh yeah. A cappella harmony you might ask? check this one out:
Finally, her breadth of knowledge about Appalachian dulcimer coupled with her unique flat-picking style on that instrument is a big part of why I am writing this piece.
So, finally… Last year (March, 2022) Pam was invited to solo with the Bangor (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the amazing Lucas Richman in a performance of “Blackberry Winter” a piece written by Conni Ellisor for string orchestra, mountain dulcimer and “Tennessee music box”. This is an amazing “melding” of traditional and classical music genres. When did you ever hear “Blackberry Blossom” and “Reuben’s Train” played by a classical orchestra?! Check out the video:
At about 5:40 in this video you see Pam playing the “Tennessee Music Box.” What the heck is that you may ask? Well it’s a dulcimer meant to be bowed… here are some words: Our bandmate, Jim Joseph, helped Pam build this one. We just looked at a bunch of pictures and did the best we could. Sounds pretty good, everything considered!
A REMINDER – Tuesday night online Jam session and mini-concert.
Pam Weeks and I have been hosting an ONLINE jam session and mini concert every Tuesday night. This is a free, guided “fiddle tune” jam session for all instruments geared toward the intermediate player, Tuesdays from 7-8PM EST. Tempos will be moderate and chords will be called out the first time through. The jam will be preceded by a short mini concert at 6:45. This jam is fairly unusual in that we ask for and almost always honor tune suggestions on the FB chat. We always have lively chat going on and sometimes a “stump the band” situation (we are rarely stumped!) Check it out. The jam will be streamed on Facebook Live, accessed through Pam’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pamweeks.73. For more info email Pam at email@example.com
seey’all next month! – bill
Pam Weeks: Appalachian Dulcimer
The CONTINUING TRADITION Number 14