Back in the days when Shirley and I first moved from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, the late eighties, it was the practice of one specific musician who lived at Medlow Bath and owned what had been the 'Old Post Office Store' (Bill Boldiston) to stage a Saturday afternoon Jazz Concert in the format of a picnic in the hall that had been the 'Post Office Store' on a bi-monthly basis.
These were always run on a word-of-mouth basis and it was rare that the 'house' was not full.
As with a picnic, you could bring your own food and drink (no alcohol was sold on the premises) or you could buy a bowl of soup and a sandwich from the kitchen and both coffee and tea were readily available.
As you can imagine, Shirley and I attended many of these 'picnics' - above is a shot of one such gathering at Medlow Bath in 1992. Bill eventually sold the Medlow Bath premises and the sessions moved on to other venues throughout the mountains - sadly, none were as well attended as the Medlow sessions however. Eventually the end came in late 2002 when insurance costs, among many other things led to the demise of what had been a truly long-term institution up until then.
I sat in with many of the bands that played and we made many friends that are still with us in our thoughts today. Sadly, many (just like my darling Shirley) are no longer with us but there are still many who remember with great affection those wonderful Saturday afternoons and the camaraderie that grew out of them.
Here's a small piece of one of the latter sessions from 2001 with myself sitting in with the great Graeme Bell and his band at the Civic Hall in Warrimoo.
The Graeme Bell Band (Barbecue Blues: featuring Rod Jeffery - vocals)