Bluegrass music has always been popular in South Carolina, but Willie Wells thinks it’s about to break out to a new, mass popularity. Every Friday night, Wells holds a bluegrass jam at his store, Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor. Fans and musicians enjoy a performance before getting out their guitars, banjos and fiddles to play country, gospel and bluegrass tunes with each other.
Bluegrass scholar and author Pat Ahrens says she’s impressed by the number of young people coming into the music, and Wells agrees. He relates a situation that periodically occurs at the Friday jams in which a frustrated older musician laments about a 13-year-old who is “tearin’ me up down the table!” Wells and Ahrens look forward to the day these young “pickers” will take the music to another level.