Artist Q&A

Q&A with Christian Lopez

christian lopez

What was the first concert you attended?Van Halen

Where and when was the first show you played?  My McDonald's Grand Opening in Martinsburg, WV.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? Having to play half a show with 5 strings cause I ran out of extras.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? My favorite song off "Pilot" is "The Man I Was Before" because I love the groove in this song, the lyrics, and I love how the overall production turned out.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? The Avett Brothers

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Crowded House

What did you want to be when you were growing up? A rockstar like Angus Young.

What is your most embarrassing moment? Having to do pull-ups in Gym class in front of all the kids. I could never do any.

What is your favorite phrase? Keep on Keeping On

Cat person, dog person, or both?  20 percent cat person. 80 percent dog person.

Books or movies? Movies

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? I know every lyric to every song in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ7FPg4-Q4I[/embed]

Check out Christian Lopez TONIGHT at the Cancer Can Rock Benefit Concert at Jammin' Java!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Bari Koral

bari koral

What was the first concert you attended?Pink Floyd at Syracuse University (where I was going to school). It was in the carrier dome! I was blown away by the music but I was REALLY blown away by the lights & the fog. I still remember the production from that show.

Where and when was the first show you played? I played a show at the Right Track Inn in Freeport, Long Island- that was when I was an “adult” singer-songwriter. The Right Track Inn meant the world to me because that is where the Zen Tricksters packed the house every Saturday Night. They were the best Grateful Dead cover band in the world- really and how I wanted to meet them. Well, I sure did meet them, and then some! I wound up dating the lead guitar player for many years and many of the Zen Tricksters became part of my original songwriting band. They have gone to play very big venues now with folks like the Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh & Dark Star Orchestra but we all knew each other back in the day.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? Having my first show sell out- in Fargo, North Dakota! And getting stuck outside a snow bank the next day after being on the radio in South Dakota. And hanging with Wilco and the Jayhawks in Minnesota.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? I have favorites come and go, but one that has stayed around a really long time is “Nothing I Wouldn’t Do”, off my first kids/family album (Bari Koral Family Rock Band).

“If you wanted the moon, I’d build you a rocket and fly you there too. Or If you just wanted to rest I’d build you a pillow from my shoulder and chest. Whenever it comes down to you, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do”

I wrote that song for my little niece and when we started playing our family shows parents would dance with their children while we played it and sometimes moms would cry a bit but in the best ways.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? Tom Petty, Dawes, Tom Petty

What did you want to be when you were growing up? A singer!

What is your most embarrassing moment? Falling off a stool and knocking over my microphone stand in the middle of college show!

What is your favorite phrase? When would now be a good time to start

Books or movies? BOTH

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? I used to work at Court TV and I was the head researcher on the Jeffery Dahmer trail. That pretty much summed up all the reasons I didn’t want to work in television anymore! (Even though I’m on TV now for Yogapalooza but that is very different!)

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf2JZthKoNU[/embed]

Check out the Bari Koral Family Rock Band at Jammin' Java on March 14th and at the Smithsonian March 13th!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Wayne Krantz

wayne

What was the first concert you attended?That would have been Jethro Tull. They played a little sports coliseum in my home town when I was in Junior High. I'd never been to a rock show before. After that concert, I became a hippie.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? Probably something that happened in Italy. Many of my most memorable and off-the-wall experiences have occurred there.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? Hendrix and The Beatles. What else is there?

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Older

Books or movies? I have a theory that film and photography are secondary art forms because they rely on technology not found in nature. My film maker and photographer friends hate me for it.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RktgVhnqxh0[/embed]

Check out Wayne Krantz at Jammin' Java this Saturday, February 21st!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Cereus Bright

cereus bright

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience?We had a flat tire going down I-75 and our friends from the band "The Collection" stopped and helped us. Crazy odds.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Lucius

What 6 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? The War on Drugs, Jackson Browne, the Band, the Last Bison

What is your most embarrassing moment? I would say the most embarrassing moment was when our drummer Luke accidentally spit on someone. Instead of breathing out, he spat. That person went home with a lot of free stuff that night.

What is your favorite phrase? "Now that I can get into..."

Cat person, dog person, or both? Both! We don't discriminate against animals. We love them all!

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? We love Reese's Spread

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE_S4evWdMk&list=PLpKHiQZYjltczKQ1WLwWZ-GHhuQW1Fv4A[/embed]

Check out Cereus Bright tomorrow night, 2/13 at Jammin' Java with Elenowen!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Atoka Chase

atoka

What was the first concert you attended?As the two of us, the first show we saw together was CocoRosie at the 9:30 Club. It's actually how our whole relationship began.

Where and when was the first show you played? The last show we played was at the incredible Cristina's Cafe in Strasburg, VA

atoka chase

 

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? It was probably inviting the guys in Shawn James and the Shapeshifters back to our place after a show at the Velvet Lounge and then spending two days making food and getting weird before they hit the road back to Arkansas.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? We're thinking "Lessons in Blue" when all of a sudden things change in the middle and at the end, because people start to freak out a little.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? If somehow we could land in front of The Devil Makes Three or Little Dragon, we'd probably lose our minds...

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? Tinariwen, Fläskkvartetten, and Sparklehorse

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Maya wanted to be a marine biologist and Jared thought he'd be playing professional baseball until a motivational speaker told him to not set his sights so high.

What is your most embarrassing moment? The loss of all bowel control when it is least expected. Ask us in person if you want more details...

What is your favorite phrase? Jared - "Let it go." Maya - "Copacetic. And yes, I'm aware it's just one word."

Cat person, dog person, or both? Definitely dog people. Ellie the Poot is our small furry child.

atoka chase dog

Books or movies? Books. Preferably anything by Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? We don't worship Satan and we like dark beer way more than we like whiskey despite the obvious hypocrisy...

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ9_HOcy9oY[/embed]

Check out Atoka Chase as they compete in the 12th Mid-Atlantic Band Battle FINALS on February 27th at Jammin’ Java!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Current Swell

current swell

Answered by Scott Stanton (vocals/guitar): What was the first concert you attended? Neil Young and Crazy Horse. My Dad took me when I was in grade 6.

Where and when was the first show you played?  I want to say Riverdale Hall in Edmonton. I was in a punk band in grade 7 and 8 called, Screwy Louie and the funky bunch.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? Brazil is always off the wall and full on. So much love.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? I want a bird is still a lot of fun and we have been playing it for a long time. I love singing harmonies with the guys on that tune and Dave's Harmonica solo wails!

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Full circle to Neil Young I guess. I'm still a huge fan.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? For the past year I have really been in to bands like Tame impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Foxygen but lately I have come back to old and new soul and funk like Ottis Redding, Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones. It's been on the turn table non-stop.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I don't remember. Haha. Is that bad?

What is your most embarrassing moment? Still don't want to talk about that one publicly:)

Cat person, dog person, or both?  Defiantly a dog lover but I like all animals.

Books or movies? Both. Usually books on tour and traveling and the occasional movie at home when I have time. Or on planes...

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? I was put into dance classes as a kid. I quit when I started skate boarding.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiOTGhPul8g[/embed]

Catch Current Swell at Jammin' Java on February 16th!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Lindsey Buckingham Palace

Lindsey Buckingham Palace (LBP) at the Rock and Roll Hotel

Answered by Mike Hill (vocals, guitar): What was the first concert you attended? Our lead guitarist Mark Minicucci and I attended Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh of the Eagles when we were 12 years old

Where and when was the first show you played? The first gig I played as Lindsey Buckingham Palace was Club IOTA in Feb 2013 Lindsey Buckingham Palace at the Iota

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? When we sold out the Velvet Lounge and felt like Rock Stars

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? Right now, my favorite song is our new track, Hot Rod - It brings back a classic rock n' roll feel that I feel is sort of missing today

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Guns N' F'n Roses

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? I have been listening to Death From Above 1979, Gary Clark Jr. Live and some Waylon Jennings

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Always dreamed of performing live in a rock n' roll band

What is your most embarrassing moment? Running face first into a glass door in 5th grade that I thought was wide open.

What is your favorite phrase? ...to live the greatest number of hours is wisdom... - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cat person, dog person, or both? Dog of course IMAG4965

Books or movies? Huge Star Wars nerd..Can't wait until Episode VII next year

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? My day job is keeping kids safer online as the voice of Clicky, the NetSmartz Internet Safety Robot for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children - www.netsmartzkids.org

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plJFQ_-M4zo[/embed]

Check out Lindsey Buckingham Palace as they compete in the 12th Mid-Atlantic Band Battle FINALS on February 27th at Jammin' Java!

Music Makes Life Better

Tara Sankner: Warrior Princess

mmlb tara & stillbrave

Tara Sankner is celebrating her 10th birthday with a Music Makes Life Better show on February 3rd at Jammin' Java. She plays softball in Vienna for The Galaxy, loves Taylor Swift, and reads comic books.  She likes to draw, but is better at cartoons and Minecraft than faces.  At eight years old she was diagnosed with astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer. In March 2013, shtaraortly after her diagnosis, she began chemotherapy treatments. "I was very sick," says Tara, "I would just come home and get sick."  Her mother, Tammy, tells me how tired she was the day of and days following treatment.

"Her teachers and school were really good about it. She would bring a pillow and blanket to school, and would go down to the clinic if she needed to take a nap." If she slept longer than an hour and a half, the nurse would call Tammy to let her know that Tara might need to go home for the day. Tara has been in remission since her last treatment in July 2014, but she still makes plenty of trips to the doctor for check ups and evaluations.  February 4th, the day after her birthday event, she will get the MRI results that will tell her if she needs another round of chemotherapy treatment.

When I ask Tara why she wanted to host a benefit concert for her birthday she tells me, "I don't really want anything for my birthday. I don't need anything, so I wanted to give something back."  The show, featuring Boogiehawg's 10 year reunion + Todd Wright + Cassidy Ford, will benefit Stillbrave childhood cancer foundation and the Sankner family to help with medical bills.

The Sankners were introduced to Stillbrave shortly after Tara was diagnosed.  Just before Christmas, one of their faucets broke and Tammy couldn't get anyone out to fix it in time.  "One of the social worker's at the hospital told me I needed to talk to Tom," says Tammy.  "The next night, he and Mike came out and replaced not one but two faucets. Tara was handing them tools while they worked."

'Tattoo' Tom Mitchell founded Stillbrave in 2009 after losing his daughter Shayla to her own battle with cancer.  Stillbrave provides "Strength for the Strong," including fundraising, advocating for awareness, educational support, babysitting/respite services, handyman services, financial support, and anything else to help "fight shoulder to shoulder alongside children with cancer and their families and to one day see an end childhood cancer."

"There is nothing Tom wouldn't do to help any kid," says Tammy.  After their introduction, Tom became a friend and support system for Tara and the Sankners. When things got bad for Tara and she came close to being put on a feeding tube, Tom called and asked her what she wanted to eat.  Tom came to the hospital and ate fried rice with Tara while Tammy met with the doctors. "I think I'd like to be a princess for a day," Tara told him as they ate and watched Disney's Tangled.

 

tara pic 2Tammy then got a fervent phone call from Tom. "It's all lined up already," he told her.  he had arranged for a horse-drawn carriage and wanted Tara to have some friends over to go for a ride-- they were going to make her a princess for a day. But it wasn't in Tom's nature to stop there. Through Stillbrave they put the word out about Tara, the Warrior Princess, and were quickly gather a crowd to line her parade.

On the day of her surprise parade, Tara says she was getting suspicious. Why am I putting on a dress?" she wondered. Tom came to her door as a King with a glass slipper, a real-life Prince Charming.  Dressed in princess gowns, Tara and six of her friends ascended their carriage and began the parade.

"I was dumbfounded," says Tammy.  Stillbrave volunteers were trying to keep everyone down the street for the surprise, and Tammy was called down to talk to the reporters trying to cross the crowd line.  "When I crested the hill at the end of our street, I just stopped and started crying."  Waiting on the other side of the hill were more than one thousand loyal "subjects" waiving colorful posters and awaiting their princess.  "There were four different fire stations represented and police doing crowd control," Tammy tells me. "We shut down Stringfellow Road on a Friday night."

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF8y5Cl_Un4[/embed]

Tara's Princess Parade was covered by all the major news stations in the area, and even ended up on the Today Show the next morning.  Craig Sankner, Tara's father, was stopped at a Walmart in Haymarket in the weeks after the parade. "Aren't you Princess Tara's dad?" a woman asked him.  "I was there, I was in the crowd at her parade!"

Like a true princess, Tara wants to give back to those that have helped her along the way and to those in need.  Her birthday, which is on February 17th, will be a two part event.  Music Makes Life Better for Stillbrave & the Sankner Family will be followed by a second event for Special Love, another of Tara's favorite organizations.

I asked Tara if there was anything she would want other kids entering the fight against cancer to know. "The chemo is going to be hard. Don't expect it to be easy, like a piece of cake, it's not. There are going to be hard moments and easy moments, but you know it's okay to cry. It's okay to scream. It's okay to be a kid. I had that problem, I had to be tough my whole life-- well, my whole cancer life. But you can be a kid and let loose, you know? It's okay to be a kid, you don't always have to be a grown up. (Pause) And cancer does suck."

Tammy gave similar advice to other parents beginning the terrifying road she's been down. "Besides the fact that it sucks, I would say that there is a lot of help out there. Don't feel like you have to do it alone.  You know, they say it takes a village, and it does. Reach out to friends and to family, use the resources that are out there; it's what they're there for. Don't be afraid to ask."

You can follow Tara's fight on her facebook page, Pray for Tara, or come out to celebrate her birthday at Jammin' Java on February 3rd.

Artist Q&A

Q&A with The Tragic Thrills

Tragic Thrills

Answered by Zach Porter (guitar and vocals): What was the first concert you attended? Peter, Paul and Mary at Wolf Trap… isn't that close to you guys? I was 4 or 5 and I don't think I was that interested at the time. I wish I had been old enough to really experience it. I remember playing with hockey cards.

Where and when was the first show you played?  My first show was a 9th grade house party, probably in 2005 in the town I grew up in outside of San Diego. I'm pretty sure I made out with a girl on a swing. I definitely peaked in high school.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? Not to be a bummer but probably when my old band's van got totaled outside Charlotte, NC by an semi. I realize, because of said incident, my opinion of truckers is biased, but it is still my assertion is that all truckers are bad. Every time I see one roaring down a highway going 90 mph, my blood boils.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? I think my favorite from our first album is called, "Everyday", mostly because it's fun to sing live. It's hard to listen to your own album after it's released. Usually from the point of it's release on, my favorites are the ones I enjoy playing live.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? I'd open for the damn Wiggles if they'd take us out. Why is it so hard to get cool band a, b, c, d, f, or even g to take you out on tour? Haha we're working on it. Maybe we are horrible at branding ourselves or something and that's why bands a-g take out "Horse Capturer" and "Stetson Hat and Plaid Shirts" instead of us haha.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? I've been listening to a lot of Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson. I think there's a theme going on there... haha

What did you want to be when you were growing up? A corporate lawyer first. Then a rockstar. I like to be on the far end of any extreme. What's in the middle of corporate lawyer and rockstar? Accountant? I suck at math.

What is your most embarrassing moment? Pretty much everything I've said: 2004 - January 2015. More than a decade...

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WQafOJbDrg[/embed]

Check out The Tragic Thrills at Jammin' Java February 7th with the New Valleys!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with THE SEA THE SEA

e21f1b86237288ea-4R6A0691

From Mira:

Where and when was the first show you played?  I spent a lot of time on stage growing up. My dad is a musician. I was also really into dance and theatre. But the first show I ever fronted was a holiday special for NPR in 2006 - as a guest vocalist for Bob Thompson's Joy to the World. I was still in college. It was a huge opportunity. I was definitely nervous, but it proved to be one of those moments that really opened me up and made me grow. It wasn't until Chuck and I started playing together in 2011 that I really started playing shows, though. Before we became THE SEA THE SEA late in that year, I'd sing harmonies for some of Chuck's shows. We dove right in with 100+ the next year! ha.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? I love when we run into people on the road in totally unexpected places -- once another band of friends at a random gas station in Pennsylvania, and multiple times in the airport waiting for connecting flights. But perhaps the most memorable was opening night at Plymouth Performing Arts Center (Plymouth, MA) when the fire alarm went off. Firefighters showed up. The whole shebang. It was a hilarious way to start the show. But everything turned out well, it was a great night, and we made some new friends at the fire department too!

fireman

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? It's really difficult to pick a favorite. Often times it's the newest song we're working on - and we have a lot of those right now. From our first album, probably Love We Are We Love. That was our first real co-write as a band, and the way the arrangement emerged gave us the thing that felt like "us" for the first time.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Spain :) Can't wait to play with them at Jammin' Java! Hozier, Wilco, Lucius, Bahamas.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? James Blake, Wilco, Sylvan Esso.

From Chuck:

What did you want to be when you were growing up? My Dad and grandfather were both musicians, mostly part-timers. Music was a big part of my daily life growing up. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a musician too. Playing for a job always sounded like a life for me. It's sounds a bit corny, but it was the only wish I made on birthday candles and fountain coins all the way through my childhood.

What is your most embarrassing moment? We played a gig on the Boston Harbor Islands on the 4th of July. It's a state park situation we had to take a ferry to get to. Upon loading our gear off of the boat I tore a six inch hole in my pants…right in the crotch area. (More in the back than the front) SO, since we were in the middle of nowhere a replacement pair was out of the question. I had to play the whole show very mindful not to turn my back to the audience.. Luckily I wasn't wearing my most colorful boxers that day!

bostonharbor

What is your favorite phrase? One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

Cat person, dog person, or both? BOTH, for sure. We can't have any pets right now because we spend too much time on the road but we get our fix with peoples cats and dogs who we stay with while on tour.

Books or movies? Both. We do more audiobooking than reading these days with all of our hours in the car.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? When I was in high school, my two favorite bands were the Indigo Girls and Metallica. In hindsight, it's hard to imagine that I actually loved both equally but it's true and I think that I can see both influences in our music now.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdPqnvpLP0#t=22[/embed]

Check out THE SEA THE SEA at Jammin' Java with Spain on February 2nd!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Karen K & the Jitterbugs

band shot

What was the first concert you attended?The first house concert I ever attended was my big sister performing Burl Ives’ “Pearly Shells” in our living room, playing a tennis racket as a guitar and using a jump rope for a mic. It. Was. Awesome. And the first of many just like it.

Where and when was the first show you played?  Well, my first solo show was in first grade at the First Grade Talent Show. I sang “Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow. I sang along to a record. I did not know the words. I did not smile. And I did not win. First prize went to a girl named Renee Sylvester who dressed in a penguin suit and did back handsprings. I was devastated. Curse you, Penguin.

But the first JITTERBUGS show was at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, NY in 2011 for the CD release of my first album, “Pancakes for Dinner.” My daughter, Love Bug, (the original Jitterbug) was only 3 years old, and she came up and sang a song I had written for her and my husband. We played there again a few weeks ago and it was so special to be back – and so wonderful to have some of the same families in the audience, this time with older (and more) children.

LoveBug and Karen K sweet

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? We went to North Carolina this summer, where I was born, went to college, and have many family members. Little known fact: High Point, NC is The Furniture Capital of the World. While in High Point, we went to visit a special destination sought by 10s of people each year: THE BIGGEST CHEST OF DRAWERS IN THE WORLD.

After that we went shopping for REALLY BIG socks.

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Which of your songs is your favorite and why? All of my songs have a place in my heart because so many of them are a reflection of my life as a mom and the lives of children I love – my daughter, my students, nieces and nephews. So every album is indicative of that time in my life, like a journal.

But my most recent favorite is called “Rainbow.” I wrote it with Mista Cookie Jar, a fellow kindie artist who lives in Los Angeles. It’s a pro-LGBTQ anthem. We wrote it to encourage families of all backgrounds to engage in honest and meaningful dialogue about what it means to identify as LGBTQ in our country, and the growing pains of civil progress. I wrote the hook (or the chorus) first, and then Mista Cookie and I engaged in a weeks-long email exchange fleshing out the many things we felt we had to say and wanted to say. It really challenged me to think and take risks and stand firmly for what I believe in. This is not a new concept to me, but I’d never stood for something so strongly through music before.

It was a beautiful experience, and we hope the song itself will make a difference or move the needle towards social justice in some small way.

The video is here: http://iwillbearainbow.org

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I wanted to be a singer and a teacher. And look what happened! I am both.

solo shot

What is your most embarrassing moment? In 10th grade I worked at Chuck E Cheese in Burke, VA, right here in Fairfax County, where I grew up. I started out as Chuck E himself and had to wear a mouse costume and greet kids and their grown-ups at birthday parties, and throughout the restaurant. One day, a kid came running up to me from across the room – he was so excited to see Chuck E! – and he pushed me so hard that I fell over. The feet on the costume were so big I couldn’t get up. I had literally fallen and could not get up.

In the chaos and my own frustration, I made some poor language choices. Kids were confused, grown-ups horrifed, and my manager, um, let’s just say he was very disappointed.

The next day I was demoted to Birthday Bear. It was devastating. I mean, from then on I had to sit in a dark booth and sing into a microphone. Like a bear. But I’m okay now. Really. I’m okay.

What is your favorite phrase? I had a pretty long day today, so I’m going to go with “Good night.”

Books or movies? Yes. But books first. Always books first.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? I've visited 48 of the 50 states and lived in 6 different places (including Europe) before I was 7.

What is your favorite noise, and what is your least favorite noise? (Wait, is that two questions?) Favorite: The sound of kids singing (including my own). Least favorite: The sound of candy wrappers being opened in a theater (unless it’s my own).

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNHkGVfRqjo[/embed]

Check out Karen K & the Jitterbugs at Jammin' Java January 24th!

Music Makes Life Better

Now I Play Along Too and MELODIME Deliver Instruments to Haiti

now i play along

Now I Play Along Too is a not for profit foundation (based in Virginia) that focuses on improving the lives of disadvantaged kids through the gift of music. Inspired by the gift of an anonymous person, the alternative rock band MELODIME started the foundation to continue the story and provide opportunities to others that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford them. Check out this video from their trip to Haiti last year to bring instruments to an orphanage, many of which were collected here at Jammin' Java.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAfzzv0TLvk[/embed]

Visit NowIPlayAlongToo.org to find out how you can get involved or help support their return trip to Haiti, and stay tuned for a Music Makes Life Better and Now I Play Along Too collaboration!

Artist Q&A

Q&A With Rhett Walker

rhett-blog

Rhett Walker is an Americana artist from Nashville making his JJ debut with his band January 15! Here's a fun Q&A we just did: What was the first concert you attended?

Marshall Tucker Band. I also got to see them this summer when they stopped through Nashville.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience?

We played in Phoenix at the US Airways Center and the Diamondbacks stadium was across the street and before the show we got to meet the players and see the stadium.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be?

Eric Church. I think he is an artist that says what he wants to say and consistently puts out great records. He's just an all around great artist.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month?

Eric Church

The Wildfeathers

Will Hoge

Which of your songs is your favorite and why?

"Here's to the Ones" It's the title track off of our new record. It's one of the last songs we wrote for the record and I think it sums up who we are. We got to debut it at the Grand Ol Opry and tell it's story about being a man or woman who always stands their ground and ain't afraid to chase down a dream.

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Cinema Hearts

CH2

Which of your songs is your favorite and why?My favorite is "I'll Always Be Around." I'm really proud of all the harmonies. I still live in my hometown while nearly all my friends are at colleges in other places. Sometimes I wonder if they think about me as often as I think about them. I wrote this song about that feeling of loneliness and longing.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? La Sera. She's my number one favorite artist.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? In the last month, probably Blouse, La Sera, and my playlist of 60s girl groups that I love so much.

What is your favorite phrase? "The play is never done until we've all of us been burned a bit and burnished by the sun." It's from a musical called The Fantasticks. It means that, in life, obstacles may be painful but in the end you'll learn and mature from them.

Books or movies? My favorite book and movie is The Virgin Suicides.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? I once was a contestant in the Miss Northern Virginia pageant, which is a preliminary for Miss America. I lost because I stopped smiling onstage.

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Check out Cinema Hearts at Jammin' Java's 12th Mid-Atlantic Band Battle on January 6th!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with WASH

WASH

Where and when was the first show you played? Open mic at Epicure Cafe, Fairfax, VA. 2012.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Paul McCartney

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? Dave Matthews Coldplay The Beatles

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Theo wanted to be a penguin. The rest of us agree, for Theo that is.

What is your most embarrassing moment? When our bassist forgot to bring his bass for our first open mic.

What is your favorite phrase? Sexual Chocolate! It’s how we greet each other.

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Check out WASH at Jammin' Java's 12th Mid-Atlantic Band Battle on January 6th!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Brian Dunne

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Where and when was your first show?I believe my first public performance was at an open mic night in my home town when I was eleven years old. I thought it'd be a good idea to play Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead Or Alive (it wasn't)

What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence? These days it's Dylan and The Band. Bruce Springsteen will always have my heart though.

What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences? I don't wanna name names or places, but I played a very strange house concert once in a very strange place for a very strange gentleman and maybe 4 other people. It was strange.

Favorite Food: Pizza (duh the best food)

Favorite Drink: Whiskey!

If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself? Jack Nicholson in heavy heavy prosthetics.

Cat-Person, Dog-Person, or both? Love em both, but currently sharing my home with a cat.

What two words would best describe your music? Folk anarchy

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Check out Brian Dunne at Jammin' Java on December 17th!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with MaryLeigh Roohan

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What was the first concert you attended?There was a huge scene for ska in my hometown when I was growing up and I thought it was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me. At the time, it probably was. Every so often, our local temple would let high schoolers use their basement for shows on Friday nights and I would always go to them to kick and scream. It was awesome. I suppose my first "real concert" at a proper venue was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Obviously, he was great but those basement shows were far more formative for me.

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? This past March my friend Anna and I went on a mini-tour of Western New York. After a long drive, we plopped ourselves down at a coffee shop in Buffalo some afternoon and started chatting with the barista there who turned out to be a musician (Mike from The Tins!). He offered to show us around town after my show, which many people have offered to do in the past but usually nothing ever comes of it. I didn't really think we'd do anything except go to a bar. We went to ALL the bars. We saw a bunch of awesome local bands. We went to Niagara Falls at 2:30 in the morning - it was a ghost town - and then went back to Buffalo's best kept secret, which I can't tell you about because I am sworn to secrecy. It was just a lot of fun on a night when we expected to stay in and watch netflix. Hopefully I can show someone that good a time in the future.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? Lucius. See Through Dresses. Sharon Van Etten

Cat person, dog person, or both? I would have to say dog person. I daydream about having a dog all the time. I love cats too, but I'm way too needy for them. I think most cats think I'm an idiot.

Books or movies? It depends. Horror movies are my jam. I would love to get together with my friends and make one at some day just for fun. I also watch movies as a way to relax. If I'm in need of a good brain massage though, books are my go to.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you? I am certified to teach archery.

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Check out MaryLeigh Roohan at Jammin' Java on December 13th with Chris Pureka!

Artist Q&A

Q&A with Jon McLaughlin

jon mclaughlin

What was the first concert you attended?Michael Bolton. It was at Klipsch Music Center (called Deer Creek back then) and my dad and I went. I remember it being amazingly loud, Michael Bolton wore a silver suit and came up from a trap door in the floor at the beginning of the show and the guy next to us (who was by himself) knew every single word to every single song and wore Eastlands with no socks.

Where and when was the first show you played? (Have a picture?) It was 2001. Summer before my freshman year of college and I was opening for my friend Jeff Owen (guitar player for Tenth Avenue North). I don't have a picture but if I did it would be of me wearing a tight t shirt that I got from Goodwill, horrible baggy jeans and playing a purple Kirzweil piano. That's right. Purple. My first song was a cover of Counting Crows "Raining in Baltimore".

What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? My band and I were playing a show at Auburn University and we had just played the last note of the last song, I said "goodnight!" And walked off stage and immediately heard this loud bang. Turn out the huge lighting truss that was hanging directly above my guitar player, bass player and me crashed down to the stage literally a few seconds after we got off stage. Thank God no one was hurt but it was definitely a crazy experience I'll never forget.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why? It's really hard to pick a favorite song. I like different songs at different times for different reasons but if I had to pick one I'd pick the song "Indiana". I wrote it at the beginning of my career about the idea of going back home and not giving the whole music thing a shot. It's definitely a lyric that I'm really proud of and I love the moment that it creates in the middle of a show.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I've always wanted to be an artist. Ever since I first saw Billy Joel.

What is your most embarrassing moment? One time I was playing a show with in-ear monitors in and I was talking about how much I loved that city (Boulder Colorado) and telling a story about what I had done in Boulder the last time I was there. The whole time I was telling the story people in the crowd were yelling things at me like "YOURE NOT IN BOULDER!" "YOURE IN FORT COLLINS!" But I couldn't hear them because we didn't have crowd mics at that show so I just kept rambling on like an idiot! It was pretty embarrassing!

Cat person, dog person, or both?  Dog!

Books or movies? Books based on movies.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Well, my answer to this question has always been Billy Joel but earlier this year my dream actually came true and got to play a few shows with the man himself. It was completely surreal. So I guess my new answer would be Ben Folds.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? My newest is Johnnyswim. Those voices are killing me right now! I've been loving Ingrid Michaelson's new record and I have (as I always do) had a steady flow of Harry Connick Jr going on as well.

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Check on Jon McLaughlin's Christmas Tour at Jammin' Java on Dec. 15th!