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Needham Board of Selectmen Chair's band, Jerry and the Great Experiment, to play Farmers Market Sunday

Posted by Evan Allen  July 26, 2012 11:44 AM

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Photo by Dan Tappen
A few members of Jerry and the Great Experiment. From left to right: Faith Senie, Jerry Wasserman, Robert Jones and Dan Senie.

The musical guest at the Needham Farmers Market this Sunday will be none other than Chair of the Board of Selectmen Jerry Wasserman, with his band, Jerry and the Great Experiment.

The band is an acoustic folksy-blues outfit, said Wasserman. He writes many of the songs, which, he says, cover topics from politics to life to quotes by Ghandi. Many are satirical, some are more serious.

Wasserman sings and plays guitar, a little mandolin, and an instrument called a “banjitar” – a banjo with six strings that is played with guitar chords (a cross between a banjo and a guitar, hence its name). The band is a five-person group, including two members from Needham - Bill Okerman and Bo Veaner - plus a couple from Bolton, Faith and Dan Senie. Guests frequently join in: on Sunday, blues singer Carolyn Waters will lend her voice to the show.

Jerry and the Great Experiment performs at charity events, New Year’s Needham and open mic nights in the area. On Aug. 10, Wasserman said that the band is hoping to do a live CD recording at the Unitarian Church in Needham. Anyone who wants to attend is welcome, he said, as long as they let him know beforehand so he can make sure that enough food will be available.

Wasserman said that sometimes, people are surprised that the chair of the board of selectmen is in a band. But he majored in music in college before switching to psychology and later getting his MBA. He later took up music again.

“We all have different sides to ourselves,” he said. “Music basically feeds my right brain. Politics feeds my left brain.”

The Needham Farmers Market will be held this Sunday at the Unitarian Church on Dedham Avenue from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jerry and the Great Experiment will perform from about 2 to 4 p.m.

Anyone who wishes to come to the CD recording party should contact Wasserman at jwass@aol.com or 781-444-3771.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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