Imagine a room full of musicians playing all sorts of old-timey, bluegrass and folk melodies. Yet amidst the expected mass of mandolins, gaggle of guitars, bunch of banjos and fistful of fiddles there are—not one, but—two ukuleles! Yep, I was invited to an informal folk jam session frequented by local players at Augie’s Coffee down in Chico. Michael (whom I’d bought my fiddle from) told me about the monthly gathering on Friday afternoon and I decided to give it a try. I’d read from others on various forums that some folk musicians are open to ukuleles—and some aren’t. Thankfully this group was of the welcoming type!I arrived with my little soprano LoPrinzi and within 30 minutes was sandwiched between mandolins, with a stand-up bass behind me. Mark came along—he spent the time working on his computer, taking some photos for me and enjoying the music with the other patrons at the shop. We played a range of songs which I’d never head of (that’s just not been my repertoire—at least up until now!); most were in the keys of D, A and even E (arghh! I hate the E chord in first position; I ended up doing the 4-4-4-7 version) but there were a few tunes in G and even C. No chord charts, for the most part (although Bernie, from the Butte Folk Music Society, who played mandolin beside me, was generous in sharing those songs that had them). I discovered that my ability to “hear” chord changes and anticipate the chord progressions improved almost magically as the afternoon went on.