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The Whoever Can Come Band played in one of their many jam sessions Saturday at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum. The band, as the name suggests, allows whoever can come to jam with them every other Saturday.
âItâs just a group of people that get together because they enjoy having jam sessions with each other, just jamming and playing music,â coordinator Mel Olstad said. âItâs been in existence for a number of years now, I would guess probably at least a dozen years.â
The group of musicians includes people from all around the area, including Valley City, Jamestown and Hannaford, who all come together for the love of playing music.
âWe just get together and enjoy playing,â Olstad said.
The group, which plays a lot of âolder-style music,â including country and polka, doesnât have a fixed membership, and anybody can show up and play.
He said itâs a funny story how the group got its name. According to Olstad, a reporter from the Times-Record had gone to the museum to take photos of the group and asked someone what the name of the band was. The gentleman replied, âWell, itâs whoever can come.â
âEver since that, weâve been called the Whoever Can Come Band,â Olstad said.
A jam session is different than an organized concert because âyou donât have any set lists of songs to play,â Olstad said. âWhen we show up to perform, we donât have any idea what to play until someone starts.â
âYou donât have a song that you have to learn. If you can join in, fine, if you canât, you can listen while the rest of them play,â he said, adding, âitâs the kind of music I enjoy the most personally.â
Olstad, who plays the guitar and banjo, said the group usually has an accordion player, sometimes a drummer and âguitars are probably the most common instruments.â
âOnce in a while someone will show up and play the mandolin,â he said.
The group tries to get together every other Saturday afternoon at the museum, and they periodically play other places as well.
âSometimes, weâll have a get together because itâs somebodyâs birthday or anniversary,â Olstad said. âAnd we play at the Senior Center about three times a year or so.â
Olstad said playing at the museum works out well for the group and museum curator Wes Anderson, who does not play in the band himself.
âHe likes to have us there to get people in the museum, and we enjoy it because itâs a place where we can go and jam without having to rent a facility.â