Music has been a constant influence on my life since the day my older brother declared that within the next year of my adolescent life he would have me listening to really good rock and roll instead of the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees that I was into during my 8th grade year. That would have been about 1977.
My brother worked all that summer and blew it all on an awesome stereo system he set up in his 6×8 foot bedroom in the basement. It wasn’t long before I was rockin out with him to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Zep, Jimi, and the Stones. I’ll never forget the day he brought home Van Halen’s first album *angels singing* and gave it a spin on the ol’ Phillips. That album melted my face. Its impossible for me to hear any of those tunes without dreaming of the Glory Days back in high school. Pun intended as I listened to Bruce Springsteen as well. You kind of had to as that’s what the girls of the time were raving to!
In college, every Friday I’d come back to the house, crank the tunes, and clean up for the weekend ahead. It was my thing. My roommate once asked why it was necessary to listen to it so loud. I said “its not enough to simply hear the music, you’ve got to feel the music!”
Out of college I worked for the Department of Navy (late 80‘s) and recall the day a co-worker said “have you heard of this band called Guns and Roses?” One, two, and three albums later it was hard for my then engineering office mates to understand why I would spend the night in the Capital Center parking lot to score some tickets to see Axel, Slash, and the boys. That long awful night yielded great seats and a powerful show forever etched into my brain.
Sadly, I’ve never been able to play an instrument. Oh…. I’ve tried many times over the years but it just seems like something that must come from within and I just didn’t have the ear for it. But I have always appreciated those that could and a good time for me has always been a good band, good friends, and perhaps a libation or two.
I have read that the music that stays with you most is that which you hear between the ages of 14 and 26. That was true for a long time as I became content with listening to the same vinyl, cassettes, and CDs which seemed like forever. We now call that classic rock It continued on even after iTunes came along as I made similar music playlists…..and getting a little bored.
As I continued to season with time, I found myself gravitating more to the singer/songwriter genre but not sure where to start or whom to listen to. So imagine my excitement when this little coffee shop in Vienna called Jammin Java was taken over by the Brindley brothers with the promise of new and different artists rotating through all year long. It sounded right up my alley ……and within 2 miles of my home…boom! From folk to metal or Graham Colton to Anvil I have seen many great shows up there over the years.
So my instrument of choice these days is my camera. I’ve been shooting for a long time, high school, in fact. I do a lot of portraiture for lots of people but in the end what I really like is photographing live music events and doing band portraiture. I threw together this blogpost in support of Jammin’ Java’s question on their FaceBook page, “how does music make life better.” Enjoy this collage of my recent favorites captured at JJ. More below.
One of the best shows I’ve seen at JJ; Tony Lucca with Matt Duke
Mr. Charismatic himself.
Awesome set of pipes on Matt!
Pat McGee singing backup for Mike Corrado. Mike is a local from Quantico and opened for Pat many years ago and again this night. I have to give Pat a big thanks for turning me onto many fantastic talented singer/songwriters at his music fest on the Outer Banks called Down The Hatch. It was a great decision to go last year with my son. Tickets for this years event are still available but I wouldn’t wait. Go HERE for my blogpost from last year.
Green River Ordinance had one of the best light shows which made for some interesting photography.
Keaton Simons and his Beautiful Pain.
with his redneck wineglass. He sings to the heart.
Good ol’ powerhouse Bill Kirchen. I’ve been going to see Bill for decades. My wife hired him for my surprise 40th birthday……10 years ago. She is a lovely woman.
Garen Gueyikian of Kill the Alarm.
Rockville’s own The Dirty Jacks winners of JJ’s Battle of the Bands 6.
Luke Brindley, one of the brothas and a fabulous writer, musician, and teacher.
Local favorite Grand Revival
never disappoints and I look forward to watching Nate Wilkinson shred on his Gibson.
JJ has built themselves a reputation for supporting all age groups and all genre’s of music. Here Carlos of the Pat Sommers Rock Shop jams to his favorite punk original while enticing the crowd. If you put this kid in a hamster wheel he will light up Vienna.
Spawned from the excellent guidance of Pat Sommer’s himself is the band That’s What She Said featuring my own son Danny on lead guitar. I would have never guessed all those years ago that I would have a musically talented son (he got it from his mother), in a rock band, and playing in my favorite venue. I enjoy the place so much I rented it for my 50th birthday party. Like I said before, good band, great friends, and a couple of drinkies. What else is there? Music lifts me up, brightens my day, gets me moving, and gives me something to look forward to.
Also cool that lead singer Jason is currently a student of Mr. Luke Brindley.
No I.D. No problem. JJ is a safe environment for your youngin’.
(Photo by Chip Tondreau)
Me, playing my favorite instrument, right up front where I can feel the music I hope I’m still rockin’ through my 60s and 70s. At least that is my plan.
If you’ve enjoyed my post and happen to see me up there, make sure you stop and say hello.