Bones Fest 1 was held on a beautiful autumn Saturday afternoon, September 20, 1997, at the home of Ev and Val Cowett in Greensboro, NC. Eleven bones players arrived Friday evening. On Saturday afternoon we gathered around Ev and Val’s backyard deck. The attendees were from four states: NC – Ev, Al, Dan, and Martha Cowett, and Jim Hobbs; VA – Russ Myers; KY – Dr. Fred Edmunds, Carl Hedrick and grandson, and Tom Rice; TX – Mel Bryant; and ME – Parker Waite.
After gathering in the backyard, we talked “a mile a minute” while intermittently rattling our bones. Ev showed us his workshop, where he had made many sets of bones. Then, Dan brought the sound system to life. Each of us had the opportunity to play our music, or music provided by Dan. Russ Myers gave us lessons on chromatic glissandos, accompanied my Dixieland Jazz. Martha played rhythmic support to OMC’s, “How Bizarre”. And, Ev played his classic two-handed rolls. Dr. Edmunds led us through chapters form his “handbook”, played to rock music. The rest of us unleashed whatever rhythms the music drove us to.
About 4 PM Dr. Edmunds announced that he was grateful he’d been able to make it to the Cowetts and hoped the jamming would continue. He was not feeling well and had to lay down. Later we were treated to an incredibly delicious barbecue feast prepared by the Cowetts. Then it was business meeting time where decisions were not made. The now ten players were all back up jamming until dark to the music Dan provided. Al Cowett video taped the events of this day, and later sent a copy to each of us attendees.