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.
Cat Janice performs at Jammin’ Java on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
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.
Bobby Thompson (Photo courtesy the artist)
Guitarist Bobby Thompson has been keeping the blues alive during these DC-area pandemic days, and he continues to do so with a performance by the Bobby Thompson Trio in an outdoor show at Jammin’ Java on Sunday, Sept. 20.
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).
One Way Out (Photo courtesy the band)
Young DC rockers One Way Out released a new single earlier this year, and the gents promise more music to come!
Meanwhile, frontman Josh Gaba and his bandmates perform at Jammin’ Java on Friday, Sept. 4, for a socially distant, outdoor show.
Karen Jonas (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)
The voice of country music in the DMV is a big, bright voice that belongs to Virginia native Karen Jonas. A regular sight on DC concert stages, Karen releases her fifth album, The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams, on Friday, Aug. 28 via Yellow Brick Records.
On past tours, Karen has visited Texas, New Mexico, California, and their neighbors, scribbling notes while on the road. She drew upon those memories to animate the characters of The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams. The results are a little bit peppy and a little bit sad but always full of life.
Prior to the new album’s release, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Karen about the record, her band, and her desire to get back on the road. And Karen plays a free outdoor album release show with her full band at Jammin’ Java on Thursday, Sept. 10.
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer (Photo courtesy the artist)
(Editor’s note: We have confirmed this event is free! — updated!)
Seventeen-year-old Brandon Niederauer, nicknamed “Taz” for his ferocious guitar playing, is living proof that dreams really do come true.
You can see so for yourself in a free outdoor show at Jammin’ Java on Friday, Aug. 28.
Torrey B. (Photo courtesy the artist)
Singer-songwriter Torrey B. performs at Jammin’ Java on Thursday, July 16. The soulful DMV singer-songwriter appears as part of the Jammin’ Java’s series, “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series,” in a show to benefit Black Lives Matter DMV.
Wandering Lies (Photo courtesy the band)
Wandering Lies is a female-fronted rock band based out of DC. By combining their do-it-yourself work ethic, and unwavering dedication with a signature sound, singer Angie Pepa, rhythm guitarist Noli Conty, lead guitarist David Chaletzky, bassist Myk Menez, and drummer Jason Brooks are paving their own road to success.
That road includes a stop for “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series,” at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, July 11.
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.”