Among the signs on the door of Anthony Instrument Repair at 4 Mellor Ave. is one that directs wayward customers to the Peace of Sunshine next door.
The need for the sign is understandable, since both businesses occupy the lower level of same building near the intersection of Mellor and Frederick Road.
On the evening of July 18, though, each time the door opened, the person on the other side had found exactly what they were looking for: a place to jam.
The music instrument repair shop, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, also hosts monthly jam sessions where musicians of all skill levels are welcome.
"It started out as just a promotional thing, just spread the word that the shop was open," said Nick Anthony, owner of the shop and organizer of the sessions on the third Wednesday of the month.
Anthony, who plays guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo and keyboards, opened his instrument repair shop two years ago this month and started hosting the jam sessions that fall.
"I just get a kick out of it," he said. "It's a lot of fun."
By 8 p.m., about an hour after last week's jam started, the cramped shop had six acoustic guitarists, a bassist, mandolin player and harmonica player.
"Come on in. We'll squeeze you in," Anthony, 28, said to the late arrivals.
The players sat in a circle playing songs primarily from the 1960s and 1970s, such as "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding and "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones.
The musicians commute from all over Baltimore County, from Dundalk to Phoenix.
A lead guitarist in two bands, Anthony said the pitch-imperfect performances make it all the more inviting for people just dipping their toes into the waters of playing.
"A lot of these guys are older folks who are just getting into the open mic scene," Anthony said. "The open jam scene is a little less intimidating."
"It's different than open mic," Lynch said. "If you screw up, who cares?"
Chuck Joseph, a 54-year-old Catonsville resident, has played the guitar since he was a teenager and started showing up to Anthony Instrument Repair in spring 2011.
Joseph, who played bass and mandolin during the jam, said he enjoys the jam because of the "eclectic mix of people" who bring a wide-range of music.
"For me, the larger value is getting exposed to other people's repertoires," Joseph said.
Anthony, who lived in Catonsville from 2004 to 2009 before moving to his hometown of Pasadena, said he usually averages about 10 players each week.
When the number has swelled to more than 20, the group splits, with some playing outside as the others jam inside.