There's No Time Like The Present

I guess I should begin at the beginning.  It was the summer of 2012.  I had just returned to the United States after a stint in the Peace Corp.  I was pretty beat up and trying to find my path.  It was a very introspective time, and I started writing a few songs - you know, just to get it off my chest.
A friend told me about a Bluegrass jam on Monday nights in Lagrange.  I almost didn't go because, well, I didn't play Bluegrass.  Some folks say I still don't but that's a topic for later.  So, I went.  It was there that I met Lea and Mark, and some other really nice folks. 

 Before long we had loosely formed a jam band called Coffee Jam, because we had all met at the Monday jam Lea hosts at her coffee shop, Lagrange Coffee Roasters.  It was a lot of fun!  Having never played with Bluegrass pickers, I was astounded at how talented, accepting, and humble everyone was. 

 I started writing a lot and Lea helped.  We played a few gigs as a trio, but something was missing - I didn't think it was a banjo! 

But, the first time I heard Robin play "Time Traveler" I was converted!  Robin brought the energy and musical discipline we needed, and Ida Clare was born! 

We like to play original tunes.  Not that we don't play other songs, everybody just seems happier and more focused when we work on our own stuff.  It's not easy - standards are high, and we are pretty hard on one another.  We have a lot of confidence and trust, so we listen to the criticism and get better.  But just imagine telling Lea "don't sing it that way!"  Sometimes one must be brave!  Somehow it all works.  
We have a ton of new songs, and have started working on our second album.  Studio work is a whole different thing - we'll discuss that in a future post.



  1. So glad to learn this cool history of how you all got started. "Time Traveler," by the way, is one of my favorites--and I do love the banjo on there! :) Looking forward to future blog installments!

    1. (This is Hannah Johnson, by the way ;) Have to create an account here yet. :)


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