Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hey There BLUES Lovers!

Hey there blues lovers, hope all is well and you are enjoying this warm spring weather. I am excited about the music buzz in the area for the upcoming year, this summer should be a "HOT" one.

I would like to thank all the great CVBS members that did such a great job at the last Batesville store meeting, I was told it was a great night. I wish I could have attended, but due to a family obligation I was unable to make. I think that is the first meeting I have missed since Jack roy started this great idea 2 years ago.

I am really glad that we have people that care about local music as much as our members do, and I would especially like to thank Mark Jackson for running the meeting, and Robert Ballard, Chris Yung, Dave Connelly, and the other members that voluteered their time and equipment.

Our next Batesville Store CVBS meeting will be held on June 25th, I will be sending an email out in the next couple of weeks to fill the slots for playing time, and equipment. I hope all the meetings can go as smoothly as the last, as all the musicians were very efficient and unselfish.

I am off to New Orleans now for the Jazz and Heritage festival, and will be sending an email out when I return.

Here are a few up coming shows from a few CVBS members, I hope you all will go out and support these great musicians.

Andy Burdetsky

I received this email from one of our most loyal members, Dan Dorsey, his talented son Garen,is playing at Fridays after Five at the Charlottesville Pavillion, please come out and support this young musician.

Just wanted to let you know that some cool AHS kids (and one cool Sutherland Middle School kid) have been tapped to open the show at Fridays After Five on May 6. The show starts promptly at 5:30 pm.  OUT OF FOCUS, a jazz quartet featuring Garrett Moore on drums, Matthew Smith on saxophones, Garen Dorsey on piano, and Allison Moore on bass, will be the lead-off act for Secret Sauce, Bobby Read's latest jazz/funk project.  We hope you will let others in the AHS/SMS communities know about this great jazz combo. It will be a great chance to showcase the talented kids that our public schools are producing these days.

Please come join us for all the fun and great music. Bring the family…bring your friends.

Kat and the Travelers
Friday, May 6 "kat & the traveler/s" at First Fridays Downtown Harrisonburg 5-7pm

Saturday, May 14 "kat & the traveler/s" at Ashland Coffee & Tea, Ashland VA 8pm

Saturday May 28 "kat & the traveler/s" at Shenandoah Pizza, Historic Downtown Staunton VA 7:30pm

Friday, July 8 "kat & the traveler/s" at Fridays on the Square, Court Square Harrisonburg 7pm

Lisa Miller
Lisa’s CD can now be purchased on CD Baby

Also, mark your calendars for June 10th and 11th. Jack, Kevin and Lisa will be playing at Shenandoah Pizza on Friday June 10th and at the new Pippin Hill Winery on Saturday afternoon June 11th. We will send more details as those dates get closer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Great Batesville Store Jam for the Central Virginia Blues Society!

In spite of a rainy evening, last night the Central Virginia Blues Society raised the roof with its April jam at the Batesville Store. Another 5 hour extravaganza of cookin' blues and great food and drink. We kicked off the evening with the house band consisting of Chris Yung on guitar, David Connolly on harp, Robert Ballard on drums, Mark Jackson on bass, with Susan Viemeister helping on vocals, jamming on Jumping At Shadows, Hush Hush, and Fever to get things heated up. Next up came a smokin' set from Bluzonia with Doug and Blind Dave dueling on guitar and harp, and John and Arin laying down the rhythm groove. Kathleen Kraft, of Kat and the Travelers fame, traveled all the way from Harrisonburg to bring her blues stylings for everyone to enjoy. The Travelers couldn't make it, so the house band backed her up, starting off with The Sky Is Cryin', which seemed appropriate for the weather outside, but then Come On In My Kitchen got everyone firmly ensconced in the culinary happenings of the Batesville Store.

Speaking of which, The Batesville Store lived up to its reputation of great food with an amazing Mexican buffet, with Cid and Liza pulling out all the stops - all kinds of enchiladas, tamales, chimichangas, burritos, name it, they had it, not to mention their fantastic desserts.

Bernie Schneider continued the pace with a solo set that included several sing-alongs for the crowd to join in on. Then we opened up a jam to get musicians from the audience to join the house band, and sub for members of the band. The CVBS jam nights have gotten so popular, with so many bands wanting to play, that we decided to reserve some extra jam time to help ensure lots of folks got to play. Clearly it was a hit with both the audience and the musicians, and we'll do more of it.

Barbara Martin did a solo set, bringing up various folks to join her, including Ray Cohen on harp, Lopez on drums, Jack Roy on guitar, and Mark Jackson on bass. Barbara brought Lisa Miller up and they did a soaring version of Summertime. Next up was the power trio of Kore for their debut on the CVBS stage, and they brought the house down. Lisa Miller followed with her wonderful blues stylings, joined by Kevin Chisnell on harp, Jack Roy on guitar, Lopez on drums, and Mark Jackson on bass. Lisa delivered a rousing set of music that had the audience cheering and on their feet. Next up was Mountain Hollow Swingers - great musicians and great vocals. Everyone loved hearing the acoustic bass, acoustic guitar and saxophone presentations of an eclectic mix of music. The night closed with an over the top uber jam with an incredible host of musicians - Chris, Mike and Doug on guitars; Arin and Mark on bass; Barry and Robert on drums; Blind Dave, Kevin, and Bob on harps; and Susan and Kat with a dynamite jam at the end on After Midnight. Apologies for any missed names.

Once again, many thanks to Dave, Chris, Robert, Doug and Mark for providing their equipment for all the acts to use last night. Your willingness to share your gear, and your supportiveness of all the other musicians is greatly appreciated.

Check out some youtube videos from the night!

The Last Note - Lastly, with the increasing interest in playing at the Central Virginia Blues Society jams it has consequently become increasingly difficult to accommodate all of the acts that want to play. Every effort is made to accommodate everyone, but it's not guaranteed, or even possible, that everyone who asks will be able to have a set. It has become a real challenge to accommodate 10 acts in an evening, especially when some take a long time to setup and tear down. We'll always strive to be as fair as possible, and to give as many people as possible a chance to play, but unfortunately there's likely to be someone who is disappointed. Please be aware that neither the Batesville Store, nor any other venue who might host us, has a role in our scheduling. That is solely determined between the artist and the Central Virginia Blues Society. It's hoped that all acts will respect that relationship as we work with artists to be as inclusive as possible. To that end, last night we circulated musicians through two jam sets that were intended specifically to give more folks a chance to play, and it was very successful. The audience roared its approval, and the musicians were very appreciative and supportive of each other as they rotated in and out. In actuality, some of the very people who volunteered their equipment ended up playing the least, so they really deserve all of our appreciation. 

Peace, and Blues On!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hello friends of the Central Virginia Blues Society

Hello friends of the Central Virginia Blues Society, I hope you are having a great bluesy 2011 so far - I know I am!

Well we have kicked off the year with a bang. After the fabulous Batesville blues jam that we had on February 26th, we followed it up with a spectacular fund raiser last Saturday night. We held the first of hopefully many “Dance Your Winter Blues Away” events to benefit Nelson County SPCA Almost Home pet adoption. It was incredible to say the least. It was at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Afton, featuring 4 stellar bands - Lisa Miller and Friends, Bluzonia, Mississippi Conjure, and Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs, who so generously donated their time and hard work to make this a great success. This event raised over $3500 for the cats and dogs of the Almost Home “no kill” shelter in Lovingston.

To start the evening, Lisa Miller played a super set of wonderful acoustic blues, and I’m sure you all have heard this woman sing before. If you haven’t, she can flat out sing. Along with her on the set was Jack Roy on guitar, and Kevin Chisnell on the harmonica. Both those guys can play the blues like no one’s business. Kevin’s vocals ain’t too shabby either, and Jack’s slide and leads were the perfect start to some great music.

We then had the boys from Bluzonia come out and kick out some bluesy/swing tunes. With Doug Hedstrum doing the leads and slide and Dave Connelly blowing the harp, we knew we were in for a great treat. I must say that with Arin Bennett and John Stubblefield playing rhythm it sure complimented this band to a tee.

I was fortunate enough to be able to play with the next two bands on this glorious night, with the next band being Mississippi Conjure, featuring Waverly Milor on harp and vocals. If there is a better front man that can really rev up a crowd, I surely haven’t played with him. Jack Roy wailed out some super leads and you know Jack’s slide playing - it is quite enjoyable to listen to. Jason Ward was banging on the skins, and I think it fell right into what I wanted to hear as I tried to keep up with the Mississippi soulful sound. I think at this point we got some of the audience off their seats and onto the dance floor.

The last band of the night was Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs, a band that has been around for a long time from the Lexington area. I was fortunate enough to be asked to play with them when their bass player left a few years back, and I so much appreciate the opportunity to do so.

Fatty played a dancing, boogie set that got the room dancing their winter blues away. Michael George, the lead vocalist is an incredible singer, the man is truly gifted, what a voice. John Vita played some smoking leads, as David Bernard was tickling the ivory on the piano. Ray Cohen was blowing a mean harp and smacking the skins of his congas. The man who really brought me into Fatty, Lance Foster was rolling all over his drum kit, and it made my life very easy on the bass.

That ended the 4 sets from the 4 bands, but there was more music to come. We had an incredible Jam at the end of the night featuring members from all the groups, and some other members from CVBS. We had Mark Jackson on the bass, and Mark is a super player. We had Robert Ballard playing double drums with Lance, and we had Chris Yung join in on guitar, along with Karl Stoll, and both those guys can wail. They did 5 great blues tunes, and with 4 harp players, 3 guitar players and 2 drummers, it was an awesome sound, I loved it.

I have to say, that I have never shared the stage with a more unselfish and talented group of musicians in my 35 years of playing. It was a real privilege, and I thank everyone with all my heart.

This event could not have been done without the help of many people, especially Robert Ballard, who so generously supplied the PA system. It was great Robert, you are tops. I also want to thank Waverly Milor and Mark Jackson, who manned the sound board all night. And putting the icing on the cake, snapping literally hundreds of photos, were Jason and Wendy Ward and Alan Grossman. These folks have incredible eyes for the rights shot – And adding just the right mood, we had stage lighting courtesy of Stuart Berr. Many thanks to all of our volunteers - you gave us one incredible evening!

I know there were people who missed this great fundraiser, but we plan to have many more coming up in the future, and we will get the word out to as many as possible when we know about the next one.

Coming up! Next for Central Virginia Blues Society is the Batesville Store Jam on April 9th. This will be another 5 hour night, and those who’ve been before know there’s no better place to be on a Saturday night. The Batesville Store always puts on a sumptuous spread, so bring your appetite too. We’re signing up players and bands, so get your requests in as soon as possible. As a common courtesy to our fellow players, please “leave all egos at the door” and stick around and support your fellow blues players. Don’t just get your 30 minutes in and leave, we all share a common bond, and that’s the blues.

Each group will get 30 minutes to play, including setup time, so efficient change-out is important. When it’s your time to get up on stage, be tuned up and ready to go. It’s a real good idea to share equipment with other players, as it just takes too long for everyone to bring their own amp and equipment and then have to tear down and the next act do the same. We always solicit volunteers for some shared equipment to simplify change-out between bands

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Here are some YouTube video’s that Robert Ballard was so nice to record!

Here are a few photos!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Central Virginia Blues Society Upcoming Gigs

Hi folks,  This is a new blog for the Central Virginia Blues Society. We'll post blues happenings in the Central Virginia area. Come on out and support local live blues music. Blues on!!  For questions email us at -

There's lots of great music in the area.

4/7 - Pure Blind Luck, at Mockingbird in Staunton, Virginia, 8-10pm

4/8 - Lisa Miller at Shenandoah Pizza in Staunton, 7:30-9:30

4/8 - Long Train Home, at Fellini's in Charlottesville, 10-1

4/9 - CVBS Meeting/Jam at Batesville Store, in Batesville, Virginia, 5pm

4/14 - The Nighthawks, at Mockingbird in Staunton, 8pm

4/14 - Kat and the Travelers, History of the Blues, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia 7pm

4/15 - Blues and Swing with Barbara Martin, Bob Driver & T J Johnson, at Shenandoah Pizza in Staunton 7:30-9:30

4/16, 8-12 pm, JP3 - James Painter Trio, John O'Grady on bass, Jason Ward on drums, Sidelines Cafe, Waynesboro, VA

4/19, 6-7:45 pm, Barbara Martin Trio with Bob Bowen and Michael Elswick, at Roanoke Library, 706 South Jefferson Street, Roanoke, VA

4/22 - Kat and the Travelers, at OASIS Gallery, Downtown Harrisonburg, VA 6pm

4/22 - Corey Harris, at Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, 7:30

4/23 - Karl Stoll and friends at Shenandoah Pizza in Staunton