The Port Arthur News
One thing about making music, you don’t have to be good for it to feel good.
“Music lifts your spirit,” said Nederland guitar player Bill Robertson.
“And singing is good for your soul,” said his wife, vocalist Dean Robertson.
The Robertsons are members of the mid-county bluegrass band “Glory Group” performing this Saturday at the 14th Annual Bluegrass Jam-O-Ree.
For years, the eight-person band enjoyed impromptu sessions together up on Triple Creek and at Sour Lake each month with the Southeast Texas Bluegrass Association, before forming their band.
Now they just pack themselves, bass fiddle and all into each other’s living rooms for laid-back, family style jam sessions.
“We are all amateurs,” said Robertson. “None of us are professionals but we do it because we enjoy it and for old folks looking for a good time on Saturday afternoon, it’s a lot of fun.”
Glory Group will be playing in honor of Damon Shirley, husband of bass-fiddler Barbara Shirley, and an inspiration to them all.
“He was the best fiddle player there ever was in this area,” said fiddler Bill Graves or Port Neches.
The Nederland Bluegrass Jam-O-Ree used to be held at Nederland heritage park until organizers moved it to the First United Methodist Church in Nederland in 2009, according to Robertson.
Each year organizers expect about 200 to 300 people, mostly elderly, show up to sing and pray, but not to dance, according to Robertson.
“We start out with a prayer and pledge and that pretty much knocks out any dancing we do,” said Dean Robertson.
The event is free and they serve coffee, tea, cold drinks and about 1,000 of Dean Robertson’s famous cookies.
“It is like a family reunion of people who aren’t related,” said Doris Roebuck, a vocalist in the group.
The festival is scheduled between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., with four bands at the First United Methodist Church, located at 104 North 13th Street in Nederland.
The stage will be opened to guest performers at the end.