Acoustic group forms for traditional music

Acoustic instruments are native to Joplin and the Ozark region, but Nathan McCallister, studio art major, noticed there isn’t a lot of that scene in the Joplin area.

Upon this realization, McCallister started a group with the hope of bringing together people in the area to play acoustic instruments.

“We’d like to play not only here on campus but at certain events outside, informally or formally, but there’s not really a large group of unified people here in this area that are into roots music or traditional music,” he said. “Yeah, it’s here, there, it’s spotty but it’s never really kind of filtered down and brought into one area. There are a lot of acoustic festivals around here-maybe not necessarily in Joplin but in the greater area.

“We hope that as people start building skills and building relationships together that we can take that out into the community and share.”

The group is not solely focused on music from the region.

“We all have varied musical taste,” McCallister said. “I’m a huge Tool fan. It’s the total opposite of what this is. It would be hard to even find the parallels until you learn how Tool is influenced by a lot of Eastern music and world music. There’s just a common thread that goes through it all. Hopefully we can bring all that together.

“I think most of us here would be very open-minded to have a set of varied styles and interest because that’s how you grow. That’s how music evolves and changes. It’s a living, breathing thing and it’s the interactions between musicians that cause it to change. Hopefully that’s what we can do here.”

Justin Camerer, sophomore studio arts major, attended the group’s first meeting. He said several musicians from varied genres had roots in acoustic music.

“I have friends with basements where you can go see death metal three times a week and most folks won’t believe that, but this is the roots of metal,” Camerer said. “The most fireball musicians I’ve ever met in my life who play faster than everybody are bluegrass players. Nobody really understands that Jerry Garcia is part of the largest-grossing bluegrass bands ever made.”

Weekly meetings will occur on Thursdays at noon in the art building, room 105.