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, tacos...you 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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