Heather G’s Jam – The Blue Grass Session at Ric’s Grill (Prestige Inn, Cranbrook) Friday February 1, 2013 from 7:30pm to midnight. In a slight departure from previous sessions Heather opted for an acoustic session of mostly Blue Grass music. This was a significant sonic challenge. Blue Grass musicians are notoriously picky about plugging in their instruments. Their preferred mode of sound re-enforcement is to use condenser mics and for musicians to step up close enough to be heard. The idea is to to preserve the acoustic nature of the music. The dancing back and forth of the musicians to the microphones can be a little distracting but in certain circumstances it can work well. Unfortunately the sound characteristics of Ric’s and the crowded stage somewhat compromised the ideal. At the beginning of the evening the audience background noise was almost overwhelming and musicians had a hard time hearing each other on stage. As the evening wore on the musicians found an optimum, audience noise abated and the sound quality improved. Having said all that it was a night of marvelous music with a capacity crowd. The stage was populated by some of the finest Blue Grass musicians from up and down the valley. From as far away as Creston, Fernie and Invermere. Well know identities such as Mike and Annie Hepher, Elena Yeung, Steve Jones, Heather Gemmell, Shelagh Redecopp and Keith Larsen kicked off the night with some well known tunes. They were joined by other well known musicians such as Dave Carlson and Bud Decosse, Brian Noer and Heather Gemmell. On a quieter note Sheva (Shelagh and Van Redecopp), 11th Avenue Stopover (Beth Crawley and Rod Wilson) and Daze of Grace (Sharon and Jubal Routley), although not strictly Blue Grass, played acoustic sets that were consistent with the intent of the evening. The outstanding performers of the evening were Elena Yeung with her strong banjo playing, Heather Gemmel`s vocals on a minor key version of You are my Sunshine, Keith Larsen`s I am a Man of Constant Sorrow, Steve Lungal`s sing-along selections and Clayton Parsons` reworking of some old blues styles.