By Dianne Lively Yost
The Flea Market Musicians (also known as the Flea Pickers), a bluegrass band comprised of local musicians, are now playing every Saturday afternoon from noon until 2 p.m. in downtown Madison in the covered outdoor space across from the Morgan County Courthouse at the corner of Hancock and Jefferson Streets.
While the band’s original afternoon stage was located inside the Madison Flea Market, the band and its fans are better able to social distance in an outdoor setting.
Band member Jim Winkler said the informal outdoor concerts are great fun for musicians and all lovers of bluegrass music. “We will play every Saturday from noon until about 2 p.m. It’s open to all.
Anyone who wants to play, just show up around noon and bring your own chair or stool. No one is in charge. Just come and play or listen!”
The Flea Market Musicians are from Morgan County and nearby counties:
*L.A. Hensley of Morgan County plays guitar. “He’s the 95 year-old that started it all 35 or 40 years ago and is the last surviving original player,” said Winkler.
*Bill Ashley of Colbert, plays guitar. “He used to be the Georgia Power rep here when they were located in their building across the street from United Bank,” said Winkler.
*Lamar and Janet Moss of Rutledge play guitar and bass fiddle.
*Lee Moss, a local Morgan County attorney, plays mandolin.
*Ron Hill of Conyers plays banjo.
*Larry McElroy of Putnam County plays guitar.
*Bob Hauth of Winterview plays fiddle.
*Allan Hixon of Athens plays dobro.
*Don Winebarger of Stockbridge plays the banjo and fiddle.
*Roy Arbogast of Lake Sinclair in Baldwin County plays guitar.
*Jim Winkler of Madison plays double bass.
“There’s plenty of room for social distancing among the pickers, and if folks want to stop by to listen, there’s lots of open space for them too,” he said.
Winkler said the group of bluegrass players changes a little from week to week. “It’s kind of like Forrest Gump said about life being like a box of chocolates: ”You never know what you’re going to get.”
Now that word is getting out about the band’s concerts in downtown Madison, Winkler expects more pickers will show up each Saturday!