Bluegrass draws people with day jobs to music

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Many you see performing around the Triangle are musicians by night (WTVD)

Monday nights mean music for bluegrass musicians. Many of them swarm to a hive in downtown Raleigh above the Busy Bee Cafe on Wilmington Street to jam. But the people you see on stage are not part of one group, but instead strangers with day jobs looking to test their talent in front of a crowd.

Singing is something Jamie Schwedler did with her family growing up, but these days she spends most of her time using her voice to win court cases.

"I've never broken into song in the middle of an oral argument but that is something I should probably keep in my back pocket," she said.

She can usually be found in her Fayetteville Street office flipping through files trying to find the right words to win cases. But on the second and forth Monday of every month, she puts herself on stage where there is no judge, no jury, just people sharing the same passion: bluegrass.

"Practicing law, you don't get too many chances to be creative in that way so it's a nice little outlet," she said.

The litigation attorney with Parker Poe says it's very different speaking out in the courtroom and singing under the bright lights.

"Nothing is nearly as rehearsed as what I do for a living day by day, so it is just kind of nice to let it out there and let it fly," she said.

But her partner at the office and onstage some nights says law has helped him ease into these jam sessions and have the proper on-stage etiquette.

"I learned as a young lawyer when it was good to talk and a lot of times it is good not to talk and it is the same thing when you are playing on stage here. I mean there are times when it's great to step up to the mic but there are other times when maybe you win sitting back and playing a little quietly," explained Bruce Thompson.

The pair are proof you don't need a music degree to get your chance on stage. It's just about having courage and you're bound to learn something along the way.

If you're interested in these jams, Pinecone puts them on bi-monthly at the Busy Bee Cafe. They run from 7-10pm, but often go later into the night.

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