February 5, 2015 at 1:14 p.m.

Jammin' helps keep winter blues at-bay

Jammin' helps keep winter blues at-bay
Jammin' helps keep winter blues at-bay

The winter fun in Center City did not end with the Celebration of the Lakes festivities. The Swedish Village restaurant is featuring live music 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays through February and March. Dinner patrons on those evenings may hear bluegrass, gospel and country classics such as “Midnight Special,” “One Day at a Time” and “Last Train to Clarksville” coming from the west dining room. Each nightly performance ends with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

If patrons recognize those songs and others, they may feel free to do more than sing along with the group. Any Swedish Village guest could actually lead a song on stage on a Saturday night. If, by chance, they have a guitar, banjo, harmonica or string bass that’s even better

Scott and Kim Glenna act as hosts for these weekly acoustic jam sessions. The Glennas started this winter tradition with other musical friends several years ago in a barn at their rural house, near Spider Lake south of Lindstrom. The couple later moved their household to Shafer, near the downtown Creamery building and performance hall. They credit Creamery owner Richard Berget for opening the doors there so the group could continue its jams, but then regional professional musicians started using the Creamery for Saturday concerts.

The Glennas have been regular patrons at the Swedish Village, and they thank restaurant owner Myron “Pinky” Morrison  a new regular jam session venue.

Scott Glenna is a native, while Kim grew up in Eau Claire, Wis., where she played piano and trumpet in her youth and was active in marching band, jazz band and concert band.

Kim credits Scott’s father, Gene Glenna, with inspiring her to get back into music as an adult. Gene got back to playing and collecting guitars in his retirement, Scott and Kim said. Family members have stepped up and they formed a Glenna Family Band.

The group has played at several area festivals, including an annual afternoon stop at the Pleasant Valley Orchard in the fall during apple harvest.

Gene misses much of the winter bluegrass season, as  retirement allows him to move south for the colder months, but often he returns in time to join a jam or two in March.

The Glenna family’s other friends come from all over Chisago County for Saturday fun at the Swedish Village, and they are also joined by guitar players and other musicians from Forest Lake and St. Croix Falls and even  Amery, Stillwater, Roseville and Robbinsdale.

Some of them share their music in other locations, including evening jams Sunday at the Forest Lake American Legion hall, Monday at the Taylors Falls Community Center and Friday at Wyoming’s Nesting Grounds coffee house. They aim to be welcoming to all guests and newcomers.

The Glennas have welcomed a lot of them through their years of musical jams. “One thing that has been fun is seeing all of the beginners,” Scott said.

“We don’t do fancy music,” said Kim.

“Simple, three-chord songs, pretty much,” Scott added.

“It’s an excellent way to learn to play (guitar), because you’re sitting with a group and you try to keep up,” said Kim. “We’re thankful for ten years (of jams) and our musical friends. It’s been a lot of fun.”

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