Grayson: “Safety Jam II” Set For Saturday on Carol Malone Boulevard


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Encouraged by comments following a recent extra-loud, two-guitars-and-a-harmonica jam session in a parking lot along Grayson’s busiest stretch, a trio of small businesses will once again bring live music to anyone passing by or parked in a nearby lot.

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“I’m ready. I’ve got the Carvins by the front door,” said the owner of Broken Drum Records, who is working with the owner of Antiques N Uniques, Kathy Hockley, and community journalist Tim Preston of The Carter County Post, to present the event.

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The Carvins he speaks of are large, high-output P.A. speakers which he plans to aim strategically to get the best ambient reverb from nearby buildings and surfaces.

“We really miss our customers and can’t wait to get back open again,” Hockley said Friday while confirming an excellent weather forecast for Saturday (May 2, 2020) with Preston at the Carter County Post office, located inside the antiques and collectibles filled shop at 602 Carol Malone Boulevard.

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Hockley hopes to soon announce a re-opening date for Antiques N Uniques, although she advises she is awaiting official instruction and protocols and will make an announcement as soon as possible. Broken Drum Records also plans to re-open at the first possible opportunity and may welcome customers even earlier than the antiques store.

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Preston reports he is uncertain of exactly which area musicians will be joining him for the unrehearsed and entirely unplanned jam session.

“Jim invited a drummer named Art who I’m not sure I’ve ever met … He will be here half an hour early to set up, and I’ve invited incendiary guitarist Brad Green, who was awesome at the first jam, as well as vocalist Will Wilhoit and they may bring Mike Phillips. I’ve asked a few others including The Vindicated‘s Aaron Kitchen to come out, so we’ll just have to wait and see who is able to make it.”

“I expect we’ll again play some seriously extended blues tunes and three-chord rockers,” Preston said, chuckling as he added, “I have also threatened to play “Freebird,” so who knows what will happen?”

Preston is primarily a guitarist and harmonica player although he also enjoys playing several other instruments. He has pulled out a small arsenal of interesting instruments, for the jam.

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The collection includes a rare prototype bass guitar built by legendary luthier Rick Turner; a “One Off” Fender Stratocaster painted and modified by artist Dustin York; and a 1953 Oahu Tonemaster (a “Hawaiian” lap steel guitar played with a slide), in addition to archtop and solid-body guitars, to have his choice available for Saturday’s show.

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“I’m hoping Brad Green and Mike Phillips will bring a couple of their most interesting instruments as well,” Preston said.

The “stage” area will be the parking lot at Antiques N Uniques, with no gatherings allowed on site.

“I think we’re going to set up as close to the road as we can get away with,” Preston said.

Listeners are encouraged to honk in support of the effort as they pass, or asked to find a parking spot in an adjacent parking lot if they want to listen to more than just a passing moment.

Safety Jam II is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., Saturday, April 2, 2020.


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