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After Pandemic Hiatus, Old-time Musicians Return To McClurg Jam

Jennifer Moore

On Monday night, boots tapped in rhythm on a barn floor as old-time music returned to McClurg, Missouri after a haitus of several months. The break was an effort to protect elderly musicians from the coronavirus. 

The musicians gathered again near the old McClurg general store and played in front of about two dozen friends and family members as the sun set.

The small, familiar audience clapped when they saw two musicians in particular return to the circle and tune up their guitars:  Gordon McCann of Springfield and Alvie Dooms of Ava, both of whom are seen as treasures in the old-time music community.

Dooms, who is in his 90s and now vaccinated against COVID-19, said the group will probably continue to play in the barn for now—but he’s looking forward to getting back inside the old general store, where there was a weekly potluck.

McClurg sits at a crossroads near the border of Taney and Douglas Counties. 

Missouri’s old-time music is centered around the fiddle and was traditionally used as dance music for house parties in the pioneer days of the Ozarks region. It blends Scots-Irish, Native American, African and European themes to create a folk music unique to each region.