If you want to hear music in the Pinelands of New Jersey, go to Albert Music Hall.
There's nothing like it anywhere. Every Saturday night, musicians gather to perform oldies, folk music, country, bluegrass and songs that celebrate the Pinelands' unique culture. It's not only locals who enjoy the music. People from all over visit Albert Hall. Folk music legend Pete Seeger performed there twice.
The musical tradition started way back in the 1950s when two brothers, Joe and George, held gatherings at their deer farm. Joe played a washtub bass and George played the violin. The gatherings got so popular, they moved to a building in Waretown. When that building burned down, the music continued in a parking lot. Since the 1990's Albert Hall has been located right next to the Frederic Priff Elementary school.
In Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace, the musically-gifted boy, Elvis Ruby and his musically-challenged friend, Cecilia find their way to Albert Hall.
Since this is one of the places that the book characters go, I thought the book should take a tour too.
Last night, Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace visited Albert Music Hall.
Below are some pics:
Here's the book hanging out in the parking lot outside of the Hall. The violin is borrowed from one of the performers.
When you first go into Albert Hall, you're greeted by the volunteers at the gift stand (everyone who works there is a volunteer. The place is filled with people who care about music and about preserving the folklore and culture of the Pinelands. You can feel their dedication as soon as you step inside)
On the other side is the snack bar. One of the characters in Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace raves about their pies (featured in the picture below). There are cakes, coffee, and hot dogs too. You can sit in the back of the auditorium, listen to the performers on stage and enjoy some great food.
Forgive the quality of the picture below. But this is the stage and auditorium at Albert Music Hall.
One of the most unique features of Albert Music Hall is the Pickin' Shed. This is a separate building where anyone can bring in their instruments and play.
Normally this place is packed with people. Last night, the music was great.
webpage. By the way, if you ever do decide to visit, admission for adults is only five dollars.
Thank you to all the volunteers last night who were kind enough to pose with my book.