Live Review: Bobby Thompson and Friends @ Jammin’ Java – 9/20/20

BTF03
Bobby Thompson performs at Jammin’ Java on Sept. 20, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Famed American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter David Bromberg wrote, “you gotta suffer if you wanna sing the blues.” The irony, of course, is that when the bluesman (or woman) sings, everybody else feels good. So it was when local blues musician Bobby Thompson performed recently on a brilliant late afternoon show at Jammin’ Java.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Cat Janice @ Jammin’ Java – 9/18/20

CJ01
Cat Janice performs at Jammin’ Java on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Fierce!

Cat Janice’s simultaneously powerful and subtle voice took center stage at Jammin’ Java on a recent crisp fall day and it figuratively blew the roof off the place. In a single word, it was indeed “fierce!”

Cat won the 2019 and 2020 Washington Area Music Award (Wammie) for Best Rock Artist/Group. Clearly, audiences are taking note of her songwriting, performing, and vocal talents.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Karen Jonas @ Jammin’ Java — 9/10/20

KJ12
Karen Jonas performs at Jammin’ Java on Sept. 10, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Playing a parking lot is not exactly the dream of every working musician but in the age of Covid it may be the best gig in the world. The cool evening, the sweet scent of recent rain, and the soft city lights helped make Karen Jonas’ album release show on a recent night at Jammin’ Java if not a dream, a lovely end of summer outdoor show.

If one’s imagination was allowed to wander, even the fading daylight on the western horizon transported us to fiery desert sunsets as Karen and her band performed songs from her new album, The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams (Yellow Brick Road).

Continue Reading

Required Listening: Canopy of Crimson by Teething Veils

TV01
Greg Svitil of Teething Veils performs at Capital Fringe on Jan. 20, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Teething Veils, the DC-based chamber folk band will release its fourth studio album, Canopy of Crimson (Etxe Records), on Aug. 10. ParklifeDC recently had the opportunity to preview the album’s collection of eight new compositions.

Continue Reading

Required Reading: Welcome Back, Kathleen Edwards

KE2013-08
Kathleen Edwards performs at The Birchmere in 2013. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

“The next time Kathleen plays here, we’ll be opening for her.”

Eric Brace of Last Train Home uttered those prophetic words at Arlington, Virginia’s Iota Club back in summer 2003. One of those NPR drive-way moments had put Kathleen Edwards on my radar when I heard one of her first interviews.

Her first album, Failer (Zoë Records), had just been released and when I heard its first single, “Six O’Clock News,” I was hooked.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Oh He Dead @ Jammin’ Java — 7/3/2020

OHD13
Oh He Dead performs at Jammin’ Java on July 3, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

More than once it’s been said that, despite our differences, music’s greatest gift is its ability to break down barriers, bring people together, and unite us in common cause. In this age of pandemic lockdowns, economic uncertainty, and just plain fear of the future, that those in need, particularly struggling local musicians, would work to support causes larger than themselves, is a beautiful testament to the power of song.

Oh He Dead recently performed for a packed, but socially distanced, crowd as part of Jammin’ Java’s “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series.”

Continue Reading

Preview: Oh He Dead @ Jammin’ Java, 7/3/20

OhHeDead07
Oh He Dead performs in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 25, 2020 (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Jammin’ Java’s Summerfest continues this Friday, July 3, with Oh He Dead. Originally founded as a duo in 2014 by Andy Valenti and CJ Johnson, the band now consists of five players: CJ on vocals and Andy on rhythm guitar with Alex Salser (lead guitar), John Daise (bass), and Adam Ashforth (drums). A healthy mix of classic R&B, funk, and folk, the Washington Post calls Oh He Dead’s music an “infectious and soulful sound.”

The show is currently sold out, but read on to see what you can expect if you’re going!

Continue Reading

Live Review: Elizabeth II @ Jammin’ Java — 6/20/20

ElizabethII-01
Beth Cannon fronts Elizabeth II at Jammin’ Java on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Normally, summer has been in full swing for weeks by this point each year. Concerts, festivals, parades, baseball, road trips and, of course, late evenings out with friends. But as we all know, this summer ain’t normal.

So when Jammin’ Java announced its “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series” to celebrate the opening of Union Pie (Jammin’ Java’s new pizza shop), a glimmer of hope sprang up that maybe summer had actually returned. And that maybe things could feel a little more normal.

Recently, Elizabeth II turned in a 90-minute, stripped-down, acoustic set to kick off the series.

Continue Reading

Preview: Elizabeth II @ Jammin’ Java, 6/20/20

Herafest39
Elizabeth II performs at HeraFeston Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Summer is traditionally the time for outdoor music festivals, strolling along the boardwalk and kicking back with a beer and pizza. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily paused many of those traditions, but Jammin’ Java is doing its best to bring a few of them back.

Elizabeth II is performing a free outdoor show as part of the venue’s Summerfest Outdoor Series on Saturday, June 20.

Continue Reading

Required Reading: Why I Support #SaveOurStages

RiverWhyless04
River Whyless perform at DC9 in 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

“Just as we talked about the community, I think it’s one thing to see an artist or a song in a one dimensional way, but what’s really inspiring is when you see an actual human being onstage with an instrument made of wood and wires, and one microphone, do something so moving that it conjures emotion and you fall into like a romantic state of loving life because people do great things.” — Dave Grohl, Alternative Nation, October 2019

Continue Reading