Vance Bonner and fellow CABOMA members play together on a summer afternoon.
Mike Mears, former CABOMA president, has been a member for 23 years.
CABOMA members play guitar and mandolin.
Bruce Day, the president of CABOMA, plays his acoustic guitar.
CABOMA member Tara Linhart plays her mandolin.
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Hear The Music
Listen to a live outdoor performance by the members of CABOMA.
In many places across the country, summer officially blasted in this week, which means that musicians who've wintered in dark rehearsal studios — and the street players who've been toiling away in cold and damp subway corridors — can now enjoy playing alfresco.
This summer, Weekend Edition is presenting audio postcards from musicians out-of-doors.
This installment comes from a group of bluegrass players who gather every couple of weeks at Lyon Park in Arlington, Va. They're members of the Capitol Area Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association, or CABOMA.
"CABOMA was formed probably 30, 35 years ago by folks in the community who wanted to keep this music alive," says Bruce Day, the group's current president. "Some of these guys are pros, some of them aren't, but we show up pretty much every meeting and hang out together. And there's a canon of music we all know, and then there are some new ones that people bring every week, and we try some new stuff. So it's a great adventure."
Day says CABOMA's members appreciate the musical opportunities that summer offers them.
"Playing outdoors seems to be a very important part of this kind of music," he says. "Sharing it in the open air is very different from being canned in the building. In the winter, we play inside, and it's not as much fun. It's nice to have the fresh air and the bugs biting and the birds tweeting. It's all part of it."