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Pickin' & Grinnin' enlists peewee players | News

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Pickin' & Grinnin' enlists peewee players
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(WBIR) Every Thursday night, a group of musicians in Jefferson County hold an old-time jam session. Now, they are using their love of music to help kids, who cannot afford music lessons, pick up playing.

Pickin' & Grinnin' plays gospel, bluegrass and country music every Thursday night at Indian Creek Market & Deli in Dandridge. Jam sessions started about six months ago.

"People come through the week and eat with us, but every Thursday night we're packed," said Ray Jones, owner of Indian Creek Market & Deli.

Their performance on Oct. 30 included some special guests--the Peewee Pickers.

"The Peewee Pickers is an organization where all the musicians here also go up to White Pine on Tuesday nights and we give free lessons to kids who can't afford lessons and can't afford instruments," said Doug Ibbetson, with Pickin' & Grinnin'.

During Thursday night performances, the group takes donations. Ibbetson said they average about $90-$100 per jam session. Those donations are then used to help pay for instruments.

After the kids complete about eight free lessons, they are given the instrument they have been practicing on.

"This is good stuff. It's good American music and we're trying to keep it alive and we hope everyone will joins us in doing it," Ibbetson said.

McKenzie Lane is a sophomore at Jefferson County High School. She started taking guitar lessons about six weeks ago. Her favorite kind of music to play is bluegrass.

Thursday was her first time performing with the group at Indian Creek Market & Deli.

"It's kind of overwhelming. Kind of nerve-wracking," she said before the performance.

According to Ibbetson, out of about twelve Peewee Pickers, seven have earned their instruments.

About six of the kids taking lessons came out to play with Pickin' and Grinnin' this Thursday night.

Ibbetson encourages the public to come out and support the program; donations are accepted during the jam session.

Pickin' and Grinnin' plays every Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Indian Creek Market & Deli.

The Peewee Pickers will make another appearance with the group in three months.


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