You don’t need money, you don’t need fame, you don’t even need a credit card to ride this train.
You don’t need money, you don’t need fame, you don’t even need a credit card to ride this train. The music was free to all, on this night last October at The Camel as Jet Trails Media Celebrated its official launch party.
Music started at nine, so when I arrive fashionably late at 9:30, I was suprised to find the house was already packed to the back and music is in full swing.
Tiny glowing plastic jets litter the floor and balloons occupy the barely breathable air. Lucy Dacus is on stage swaying peacefully and somewhat seductively to her music. In the words of a young lady who was dancing alongside me, “her dancing is authentic. Like she is in the moment and not just trying to be sexy, although she totally is.”
I find this an apt description of Dacus and her music alike. It feels authentic and unassuming. Her tone remains generally light, if edged with a bit of southern rock, while addressing subjects that are often deep and introspective.
On the bar TV Marty McFly was taking us Back To the Future, but here in the year 2015, Dalton Dash is taking us back to the golden years of rock with a double time cover of John Fogerty’s “Someday Never Comes.”
This band is easy to watch. They are comfortable on stage and witty enough to keep you engaged between songs, and they are going to play at least a couple of songs that you’re gonna want to sing along with.
But my favorite thing has to be their tempo. By speeding up and playing many 4/4 standards in 2/4 time they are actually able to get a lot more songs in the set; especially when they showcase their medleys. That night they packed in 7 time-inspired tunes in a row including “Timing” (original) > “Ain’t it Funny How Time Slips Away” (Willie Nelson) > “Nothin But Time” (Jackson Browne) > “Time is on My Side” (Rolling Stones) > “Breathing Time” (Original) > “Comes a Time” (Neil Young) > “Country Road” (James Taylor).
Near the end of their set the band was joined by fellow RVA rockers Tim Beavers and Nekoro Williams of The Peoples Blues of Richmond, and Andrew Carper of Bandrew and The Southern Belles. Tim showcases his trademark Robert Plant on high reverb and Pat squelches out the overdriven power Guitar part to Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times”. Bedlam ensues.
Crowd favorite Bandrew Cranked the rock up to 32 gigawatts and blasted us through the third set at a cool 88 MPH.
The band, so named for members Andrew Sisk, Andrew Bayne, and Andrew Carper, is composed of members active in various RVA projects. For this reason their crowd and their set list is a kind of salad bowl of genre. Their sound ranges at times from Hard Rock, to Reggae Rock, to Ska Rock… so pretty much Rock Vocalist and Front Man Bayne has a knack for channeling Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and did so again that night.
The Crowd is still reeling from the last performance and the excitement seems to be building as the set goes on.
Local sketch artist Jennifer Kennedy is front row center capturing the action as only she can while squinting through a never ending barrage of latex projectiles.
The mood is aeriform as Jouwala Collective takes the stage. Jouwala combines Traditional Gnawa music with modern Funk, Jam, Jazz, and Electronic Rock. Their sound fills a room like a fog Machine. Its like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
Authentic is a word I am lucky to be able to use often here in RVA, but, despite being the result of cultural and musical blending, they felt truly original. Erie synth notes created a soft background over which tribal tones were laid from instruments from a world away (Ismail’s Gimbri and Gabe’s Loutar) and result in an atmosphere of spiritual healing.]
Incredibly fast, dynamic Drum rhythms kept our feet moving while the overall sound held you in a dreamlike trance. Electric guitars and Rock themes enter weave and the mood, and the room, became trance-formed immediately and without warning.
When this band is on stage time doesn’t matter, space doesn’t matter, genre doesn’t matter; in a sense matter doesn’t matter. Principal Stricklin said it best, “let me give you a nickel’s worth of free advice young man. Don’t be a slacker!”
The next time you hear that Jouwala is playing a show near you, do yourself a favor and count yourself among the Collective. You’ll be glad you did.
The set ended with another collaboration as Gabe and Ismail surrendered their strings in favor of a metal pot and hand drums (respectively), and the band is joined by nearly every musician who performed tonight and one who didn’t.
Original Wailers Drummer and Special Guest Drummy Zeb is sitting in on rhythm section. Sitting behind David Gibson’s kit, joined on stage his sons Neko, Asanti and Amani Williams, Drummy bangs out Universally recognized rhythm to Exodus and Trenchtown Rock (Sung Richmond Rock). When the music hit that Wednesday night crowd, they felt no pain.
Another Great night of Free music at the Camel goes on the books, this time courtesy of Jet Trails Media. Keep an eye out for this up and coming promotions company that could because where we’re going, we won’t need roads!