Music store hosts free country sit-ins on first Saturdays

Ed Strange tries to encourage free outdoor country music for everyone at least one Saturday a month at his country music store in Atlanta.

Young or old, just show up at 6 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month and bring your instrument to play or your chair to sit on.

“The goal is to give musicians a place to play,” Strange said. “I don’t think there is another outside setting for music in the area. It’s important to give the older player a chance to maintain their skills and the younger musician to learn.”

Strange speaks from experience. It’s part of a family tradition that dates back to 1983, when the Strange Family Blue-Grass Festival was held on State Highway 59 just north of Atlanta.

Such music is just fun, he continues.

“And everyone gets along. It’s like being part of a family. That’s what makes music a universal language.”

The musical creation takes place on the back porch of the Country Music Store on US Highway 59 near the western city limit of Atlanta. Sound equipment is provided for performers and grass to sit on is provided for listeners. Applause at the end of each song is usually expected.

Strange opened the first program last week. Some 25 to 30 showed up. The gathering does not yet have a name. Strange just said to call it “The Pickin’ Place”.

The back porch of the Country Music Store on US Highway 59 is heavily decorated for the area’s first free outdoor music festival on Saturdays. The music will start around 6 p.m. every first Saturday of the month. (Photo by Neil Abeles)
Photo With guitars in hand, Bugs and Linda Vaughan wait their turn to join the musical creation at Saturday’s first outdoor pickin’ place event at Atlanta’s County Music Store. (Photo by Neil Abeles)

Alice P. Darby