Music Inside The Beltway

So Dave calls me Mon­day morn­ing to tell me that he is in West Vir­ginia and on his way up to Alexan­dria to play a gig with Jes­si Alexan­der that evening. He want­ed to know if Angela and I could make it up to the show. Well, of course we get cut off before he tells me where (there are a few hills in West Vir­ginia and only one cell tow­er). I call Angela, and she’s all for it. Final­ly we get back in touch and he tells me it’s at the Birch­mere and that Jes­si is open­ing for Von­da Shep­ard. Even better.

Now, it’s a hun­dred miles one way from Rich­mond to Alexan­dria, but well worth the trip to see Dave, Jes­si Alexan­der, and Von­da Shep­ard. We got there in time to see the sec­ond half of Jes­si’s set, which was real­ly great. It just made me wish we could have made it to see the whole thing. Jes­si is a great song­writer and per­former, and I can see why Dave enjoys get­ting to tour around with her. Fur­ther, after meet­ing her in per­son, she’s a real class-act. She was fun to talk to about music, trav­el, and what­ev­er else the four of us all talked about. I have to admit that since I absolute­ly nev­er lis­ten to com­mer­cial radio or watch music videos, I’d nev­er heard her music until Mon­day. I bought her album and I’m glad I did. I’d rec­om­mend it to any­one as what real­ly good coun­try music can be when some­one writes songs and not “hits.”

The Birch­mere is more like din­ner the­ater than your typ­i­cal honky-tonk. I know Dave and Jes­si noticed the crowd was a lit­tle sub­dued. I think Dave took it as lack of inter­est or even dis­ap­proval. I think these peo­ple are way too used to watch­ing music on A&E, and don’t know to clap, whis­tle, and yell after gui­tar solos, piano rolls, and wail­ing vocals. There was no short­age of any of that between these two ladies, and the crowd had the pulse-rate of a nar­colep­tic golf cad­dy on the seniors tour. As far as Von­da Shep­ard goes, she’s prob­a­bly not used to crowd’s not respond­ing. She is a great enter­tain­er, singer and song­writer. I hate peo­ple who do this, which is weird because I do it more than any­one, but here goes: she’s like a cross between Ben Folds and Car­ly Simon. I did­n’t real­ly expect to enjoy her set half as much as I did, and now I’m telling Angela to go down­load some songs from iTunes Music Store. Next thing, you know, I’ll be sit­ting in my PJ’s watch­ing the DVD sets of Ally McBeal. Okay, that’s not very likely.

Towards the end of Von­da’s set, Dave, Angela and I went back to the dress­ing rooms to hang out. Dave showed off his high-end tam­bourine and his flashy new lap­top. He let us lis­ten to a cou­ple of songs off of the forth­com­ing Coal Men EP. Damn, it sounds ter­rif­ic. I was kick­ing myself for not bring­ing my USB flash dri­ve to grab some copies. I was also just proud that Dave was let­ting his inner geek shine for a while. Rock on, man. \w/

Any­way, Angela and I real­ly enjoyed the whole evening. Get­ting to hang out some with Dave alone would have been worth the trip, but two real­ly great per­form­ers real­ly made it a great trip. I hope Dave and Jes­si enjoy their time up in Philly and Detroit, and I real­ly look for­ward to see­ing Jes­si per­form again.

In oth­er music/geek news: Green Rode Shot­gun’s web site is back! Jason’s been a busy man, and the site looks great. He’s indeed a man of many tal­en­t’s, includ­ing occa­sion­al­ly threat­en­ing to post com­ments on this site. Glad to see you back on the web, my friend.

Categorized as Music

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.


  1. So I just expe­ri­enced the Cole Blog. Not bad but a lot of read­ing to catch up on. When are you com­ing back down this way?

  2. Jason… Thanks to you & Angela for com­ing out & see­ing the show in Alexan­dria… It was a fun night… It inspired Steve to come out & see the coal men in Murfrees­boro down at Wall Street, where we did­n’t even start the show until mid­night… Sat­ur­day morn­ing was fun… We played a long set, & i got home around 3:30 glad to be play­ing my own songs, but laugh­ing at myself for for­get­ting some lyrics. You’re a good one Jason Cole­man… Sure hope I get a chance to bring the band out on the road to Rich­mond & beyond… How we’ll do that is yet to be seen…

  3. Thanks for the com­pli­ment (and the link), hom­bre. I still have quite a bit of work to do on it. The big thing right now is the pop­up music play­er – a vari­a­tion on the one I did for SESAC. I may have it done this week­end sometime.


  4. Dave, any­time. We enjoyed the show and hang­ing out (see above) and I was glad to hear that Steve could make it to the next Coal Men show.
    Jason, I’m anx­ious­ly await­ing have some new music from both the Coal Men and Green Rode Shot­gun “offi­cial­ly” released to blob about.
    Every­one else, I’ve heard some of the new stuff from both the Coal Men & Green Rode Shot­gun, and it is good. Both of these guys get a lit­tle more dar­ing vocal­ly and you can real­ly hear the energy.

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