Photo Courtesy of The Jewbadours
It can be tough being Jewish around Christmas time, especially when Hannukah ends shortly after Thanksgiving like it did this year. And while some of my fellow members of the tribe may or may not agree with that sentiment, I still choose to offer up a suitable celebration option for the end of 2013.
Upon scouring the internet for a fitting night of entertainment to combat my craving for an epic holiday season, I stumbled upon a listing for The Jewbadours on Jammin’ Java‘s website. The name reeled me in at first sight so I took to YouTube to find some of their performance footage.
The end result is a soulful albeit entertaining routine executed by a couple of fun-loving Jewish jokesters from New York… who also opted to do a Q&A with We Love DC so all of us can get to know each other a little bit better before they come to town this weekend. You can check out The Jewbadours on their first tour this Saturday night — December 21 — at Jammin’ Java (tickets are still available) in Vienna, VA.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t ask this right off the bat — The Jewbadours is a unique name for a band. Where did it come from, why did you end up making that choice, and how did the two of you end up making music together?
It was one of those glorious moments when an idea crystallizes in a couple of words. We’d love to take credit, but we were named by our manager, Stew Jackson. The three of us were sitting around eating pizza and watching the Knicks, talking about the kind of cover band we would be in. And then Stew said, “you guys should be called The Jewbadours.” We knew right then we had to make this band a reality.
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Photo Courtesy of Missing Piece Group
Amid the adversity of life, Americana Rock singer-songwriter Stephen Kellogg found himself at a crossroads. His band, The Sixers, went on hiatus after nine years of playing together at the end of November 2012. And for the first time since 2002, Kellogg was in a place where he could release a solo album.
“Blunderstone Rookery,” which is scheduled for a June 18 release, comes after the loss of Kellogg’s mother-in-law, grandmother, and the roof of his house. The album features a collection of honest songs written with the hope of leaving behind a positive legacy for his family — a feat that Kellogg encourages all people to strive for in their own lives.
Rachel: “Blunderstone Rookery” is being released at a unique time in your life and you’ve drawn inspiration for these songs from personal stories. What would you say are the biggest challenges you’ve faced while writing and releasing this album?
Stephen Kellogg: The amazing thing about life is that it’s always a unique time in one’s life, because it’s the only time you’ll ever be where you are. We can look back with hindsight and kind of understand or make sense of what was going in a given moment, but often it’s tough to fully appreciate where we’re at while it’s happening. While writing and releasing this album I was very aware that I was in a challenging place because I had lost my mother-in-law, my grandmother, the roof of my house, and my band in the course of about five weeks. Not surprisingly I got kinda sick, and found myself knowing that was going to be something I was going to have to “go” through and “grow” through.
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Photo Courtesy of Norman Rockwell
It was a rainy Saturday night in September and I almost stayed home but I couldn’t. It was the night of Derek Evry‘s CD release show and I knew I’d regret missing it if I didn’t go. So instead of a boring night home alone, I braved the eerily dark storm and headed on over to Iota in Arlington. Long story short – it was the best live show featuring local music that I’ve seen in 2012.
I got to the venue early and caught the other acts’ soundchecks. This included brief bursts of tunage from local folk-rockers The WeatherVanes and Americana folk-rockers Norman Rockwell. My interest was piqued since I’d never heard Norman Rockwell live before. They were a new blip on my local music radar at the time. I had listened to The WeatherVanes before but I’d only heard of Norman Rockwell recently after they shared the stage with some of my favorite local musicians, including the incomparable Ben Tufts.
Needless to say, it was love at first strum. Norman Rockwell is a Northern Virginia-based band and a name to know if you’re keeping an eye out for up-and-coming talent in the DC area. Not only can Joshua Johnston (Guitar/Harmonica/Vocals), Ben Hirsch (Guitar/Banjo/Mandolin/Violin/Vocals), Sean Meyers (Bass/Guitar/Vocals), and Nathan Read (Drums/Percussion/Vocals) all sing in beautiful four-part harmony with each other but they’re sound is refreshing in an almost nostalgic way. Norman Rockwell sounds as if Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and The Band all got together and said, “Let’s combine our powers for the greater musical good!”
The guys of Norman Rockwell took some time to do a Q&A with We Love DC in anticipation of their CD release show this Saturday at Jammin’ Java. Tickets are available online for $15 and the show starts at 8:00 p.m. Here’s what they had to say:
Rachel: How did you all meet and decide to form the band now known as Norman Rockwell?
Norman Rockwell: Josh and Ben met at various open mics in the greater Washington, DC area. Sean and Nathan have previously played in other bands together. We all met at The Soundry, an arts space/music venue where Sean ran his first open mic. The atmosphere was incredibly open and catered to any and all types of music. We then decided to join together to form Norman Rockwell.
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Saturday night marks the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Jammin Java, one of Northern Virginia’s best kept secrets, and to celebrate they are throwing an anniversary bash. Whether you’re a longtime fan of this coffee shop turned initmate concert hall or have never been exposed to their funky blend of caffeine and live tunes, Saturday’s party promises to be an excellent way to celebrate this unique venue or to check it out for the first time.
The entertaiment for the night centers on local music hero Luke Brindley; who will be performing solo, as part of The Brindley Brothers reunion, and headlining with his group Deep River. After the Brindley-palooza, DJs will be dropping some science with a dance party into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Jammin Java 10th Anniversary Bash!
w/ The Brindley Brothers (reunion) & Luke Brindley (solo)
@ Jammin Java
227 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA 22180
8pm – $15
Photo by Rachel Levitin
Wednesday night’s performance by Tony Lucca, Jay Nash, and Matt Duke on the Virginia stop of their TFDI Tour at Jammin’ Java was an example of the theory that less is more. The stage was set with three microphones, three guitars, and three of the most talented one-man bands I’ve ever seen live.
When combined, the TFDI (aka “Totally F*ckin’ Doin’ It) Team of Lucca, Nash, and Duke produce a sound comparable to Crosby, Stills, and Nash with a touch of The Band on guitar and some Motown soul in their vocals. The harmonies produced by both their instruments and their vocal chords were enough to pique any music theory majors’ interest and leave an Average Joe listener’s jaw dropped all at the same time.
And to think – this musical tour de force started out as a side project for a trio of guys looking for something creative to dabble with in their spare time.
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‘Is Love in the Cards? (218/365) (064/365) [Explored]’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’
If you’re looking for an alternative to the standard Valentine’s Day celebration of candle lit dinners, card and candy exchanges, and the occasional (yet awkward) first date, look no further than Jammin’ Java‘s “All You Need is Love Songwriter’s Circle Tribute to the Beatles and Love Songs“.
Singer-songwriters Shane Hines (of Shane Hines and the Trance), Anthony Fiacco (of The Blackjacks), Todd Wright, and Luke Brindley all give credit where credit is due on this day devoted to acknowledging love — a heartfelt tribute to The Beatles and the other music makers who gave us ways to sing about our love instead of just talking about it.
This intimate night makes room for the performers to share their tales of love and music in a “VH1 Storytellers” setting. So if anything, audience members are guaranteed a night of honesty in song and honesty in word from some local favorites taking the stage.
music at jammin' java, by flickr user cafemama
If you missed the Ten out of Tenn Christmas show last weekend but are still in the mood for some live holiday tunes, head out to Jammin Java tonight and catch The Lucky Day Christmas Show. They’ve got kind of a catchy, 90’s rock sound, which is hard for me to pass up.
They’ll be there with the super sweet Ellen Cherry and guy-with-guitar Joel Stein. $10, 7:30 pm.