Pickin and Grinin Group

New Bern, Eastern North Carolina

Turn up volume for music

The amateur Pickin & Grinin group was formed in June, 2000 by Jim Bryant* who once played with Bill a_4racoon.gif (19386 bytes)Monroe's bluegrass group. As shown in the photos below, Friday night jams began at the River Bend Baptist Church and were later moved to Twin Rivers mall in New Bern in 2003 where the group played for several years until mall management evicted the group because the mall was to be sold or renovated. The current management doesn't want any entertainment.

The Pickin group moved to the West New Bern Recreational Center until events at the Center preempted playing there. The group then moved to the Howell Care Center's Gymnasium stage in River Bend until it was to be renovated, after which the group played at the Spring Garden Baptist Church between New Bern and Vanceboro. In April 2010, in an attempt to get back to New Bern, the group began playing at the IHOP restaurant on Fridays from 7-9 PM. When corporate management canceled live entertainment in August 2010 we moved to the Rhems Fire Department, 1.6 miles south of River Bend on US-17 where we now play on Fridays 7-9 PM unless preempted by firehouse activity. When that happens players generally play at the Jasper firehouse on NC 55, 10 miles West of New Bern, if available.

The Pickin group is very unique. Everyone is welcome to join in singing or playing a compatible instrument. An audience gathers and many spend an evening of free entertainment. The group usually has 12-20 players that play country, bluegrass, gospel and oldies. There are several singers, including some that occasionally join in from the audience. The group never knows who will show up and there is no set performance. Several splinter groups developed over the years from members of the group, including Breck Jarman's "Opry Theater" which later became "Bear City Opry",  and Bobby King's "King's Court" but some of the players continue to play with the amateur Pickin group.  

As of January 2018 the group had an e-mail list of 167 managed by Dave Wallace. Anyone who plays with the group or is in the audience may be listed as a member and join the e-mail list where mail can be sent to all members by addressing a message to pickin@googlegroups.com. The list is accessible only to members and cannot be spammed. 

* Jim Bryant passed away on July 16, 2013 at age 89. 

This web page updated 1/13/2018 by Dave Wallace - Fiddle  davewallace@XXXsuddenlink.net (remove XXX)

Turn up your volume for "Mama Tried" often sung by Pickin player Vencen Locklear


Photos by Henry Harms, Vencen Locklear and Dave Wallace

The Rhems firehouse

The audience



Alden Harris & Debra Tyndall Vincen Locklear singing 'Shakin' while brother-in-law AC and Violet Adams dance Dave Wallace & Ed Clayton


Kent Davis accompanied by Sondra Harris & Ann Miller Methodist Church sells hot dogs and goodies Jerry Scott Chad Delph

Click HERE to hear Vince Locklear singing "Five Pounds of Possum in my Headlights Tonight" at the Pickin Group in the Methodist Church in Trenton. NC in 2011. 

Bluegrassers Kelly Gurganus, Wilbur Gurganus, Sondra Harris, Roger Alvis & Jane Gurganus

Sometimes the meeting room is not available so we play in the back with the fire engines...

The setup in the firehouse The audience Frank Murphy, Alden Harris, Jim Cason, Debra Tyndall, Dave Wallace, Bill Montgomery Clem Daugherty, Roger Johnson, Vencen (Vince) Locklear


Playing at the 2011 MUMFEST Oriental's Harbour Sounds group (Pickin members Dixie & Asa Gatlin - fiddle & bass)




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IHOP Audience Dori Oney Dave Wallace & Mike Cicirelli Wes Robinson singing next to Jim Cason on keyboard Evelyn and Alton Harris Seth Brinson
John Montero & Vince Locklear Roger Johnson, Sean MacMahon & Dave Wallace Malcolm Swain Vince Locklear, Simon Spalding & Dave Wallace Pete Swain & Herb Rawls Clem Daugherty, Howard Rawls & Vince Locklear

The Pickin group played at Fairfield Harbour's annual Marine Appreciation Day picnic on June 27, 2010. See http://pages.suddenlink.net/davew/Marine.htm



Playing at special DSP Appreciation Day at Howell Center on 9/12/08

Playing on 2nd day of New Bern's MumFest on 10/12/08

Click on Thumbnail Photos below to enlarge

Bobbi Waters, Vince Locklear, Harold Sanders Pete Swain, Herb Rawls, Roger Johnston, Bobbi Waters, Sean McMahon, Sid Bateman Roger Johnston, Tina Brown, Herb Rawls, Bobby Hunnings Tina Brown & Debra Tyndall dancing with Howell residents The Howell Center audience
Debra Tyndall Vince Locklear, Roger Johnston, Harold Sanders Vince Locklear, Roger Johnston, Bobby Hunnings, Bobbie Waters George Spang, Clem Daugherty. Howard Rawls, Wes Robinson Herb Rawls, Roger Johnston, Dave Wallace, Bobbi Waters
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Bobby Hunnings, Dustan Brown Jim Cason Wes Robinson Pete Swain Photo sent by Pete Swain 


Pickin at the West New Bern Recreation Center in 2008

New Bern's Union Point Park Gazebo 8/15/08 "Music in the Park" series


Playing in the former Brody's men store in Twin Rivers Mall

Click on thumbnail photos to enlarge

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The audience (L to R) Vince Locklear, Roger Johnston, Dave Wallace, Pete Swain, Harold Sanders Wes Robinson (foreground), Eddie Ipock, Jimmy Patterson (white shirt) Josh Lewis, Dave Wallace, Vince Locklear Roger Johnston, Breck Jarman
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Asa and Dixie Gatlin Dan Stevens, Bobby King Dori Oney, Herb Rawls Dalton Ipock William Stewart


Photos below are when we played at the Belk Circle or the mall's Center Court until 2007. 


Asa Gatlin, Bobby King, Debra Tyndall

click on thumbnails below to enlarge

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Dixie & Asa Gatlin Clem Daugherty & Seth Brinson Dave Wallace & Banjolin Breck Jarman & Debra Tyndall Wes Robinson & Harold Sanders Debra Tyndall & daughter "BJ"
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Lenwood Toler & Clem Daugherty Richard Parker, Howard Rawls & Sid Bateman Josh Lewis, Jack Lewis, Debra Tyndall, Roger Johnston & Seth Brinson Debra Tyndall & Richard Parker Roger Johnston & Seth Brinson Eddie Ipock
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Breck Jarman, Bobby King & Vince Locklear Herb Rawls Jane Hinckley Louise & Harold Sanders Jerry Boswell Wade Bender

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Marvin Walker and his handmade banjos.

On July 13, 2008 Marvin informed me he had put up a web page. Click HERE to see it. I retired the webpage I had created earlier for him

Some of our regulars in the audience

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George Spang Elizabeth & Ken Brinson Buster Bell (Elizabeth Brinson's father)- age 93 in '06. Buster passed away on 1/28/07

Click here for photos of the Gazebo Gig at the Multiple Sclerosis MS-150 Bike Tour on 9/9/06

Click here for Music and Lyrics the Pickin and Grinin Group plays 

Click here for an interesting article on an Introduction to Bluegrass Jamming

Photos below are when we met at the River Bend Baptist Church from year 2000 thru 2003

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Left to Right: Louise Sanders (mandolin), Jim Bryant (guitar), Randy Downing (banjo), Tommy Jacobs (guitar), Mitch Harriett (guitar), Brandi Falcon (singer), Levi Harrison (guitar), Dave Wallace (mandolin), Harold Sanders (banjo), Bryan Batten (dobro)






Left to right: Marvin Walker, Tim Coates (seated), Breck Jarman, Randy Downing, Dan Stevens, Jim Bryant, Richard Parker, Gary Richardson, George Jennings (seated), Dave Wallace, Fred (shorty) Riggs, Eddie Ipock, Bob Thompson, Dan Jenkins, Ron Wind, Barbara Walstron.

On May 9, 2003 we had the largest jam session ever held with close to 30 players showing up before the evening was over. We also had close to 50 folks in the audience. The occasion was due to Ron Wind, our accordion player, inviting 6 of his musician friends from the Annandale Strings Group that were visiting from Virginia. It was a great evening especially with such a variety of new songs being played. One of the visiting musicians was 85-year-old fiddler Roy "Speedy" Tolliver (shown standing) who made a hit playing "Orange Blossom Special" and "Listen to the Mocking Bird,"                      <Photo submitted by Ron Wind>

Last Modified on 01/13/2018 08:19 AM