While the majority of music pickin’s are dedicated to bluegrass in Scott County, the Duffield Thursday Night Jams celebrates “Classic Country” music, the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday nights, May through November at the Thomas Village Community Center in Duffield.
Formed in 2011 by the late Larry Prevatte, also fondly known as Harmonica Man, he wanted to bring music to his hometown. Prevatte had been traveling to Norton and Coeburn to hear jam sessions. He wanted something similar in the Scott County town.
With the permission of the minister of Three Bells Church and the help of friends, Jim Gates and Bill Kilgore, Prevatte approached the Scott County Board of Supervisors to allow the Duffield Jams to have a lease on the property for the Thursday night performances.
Unlike informal jams at the Lazy Time Pickin’ Parlor in Weber City, the Duffield Jams are more formalized. On the first Thursday, an open jam session happens. Musicians sit around the stage and each person is allowed two songs. Once the circle is completed, the process starts all over again until the three-hour time limit runs out.
At the second session, musicians perform sets. Each person that wants to sing signs up on a dry erase board, and they are allowed a limit of five songs. Participants are not limited to a particular music genre. While a few perform gospel or bluegrass, most of the music is devoted to classic country music.
Just like all the pickin’s in Scott County, the Duffield Thursday Night Jams has its regulars and they are like family, often hosting potluck dinners and looking after each other. They have built a community around their love of music.
Performances are free and open to the public, with music beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Thomas Village Community Center is located at 308 Fugate St., Duffield, VA 24244