The New River Valley is rich with some great musicians, and we heard many of them last night; Laura Beth and the Clover Hollow, The Buffalo Trace Trio , and Slow Creek with Sandra Lyerly at the Side Door Sessions in Radford. Predominately original music with some amazing musicians. If it hadn’t been so cold we would have walked–but it was cold. So we drove.
There are some good places in this area to play music, but not as many as there use to be. Why? To a large degree, the licensing entities of BMI and ASCAP are cracking down on venues. The owners have to do what they have to do, which sometimes means asking the musicians to go what seems above and beyond to prove that they play originals, or, if they play covers, prove that the covers they play are with ASCAP or BMI. That means hours of research. It’s a pain. But it would be a pain not to have these places to play, because most of the musicians I know here, including us, use the money we make for groceries, or to pay a bill, or to buy baby shoes. This is a problem, and not one I’m going to try and solve in a quick post, but I ask that if you’re reading this, and you like to go out and you like music, please support your local musicians by going out to see them. Spend money if you have it at the venue, and we sure would appreciate you tipping. More on this subject later.
This month celebrates Ball & Chain’s 3rd anniversary as an entity. Jon and I set ourselves on this particular path knowing that it would wind through getting our kids through high school, into college, and in and out of our other freelance ventures perhaps not exactly gracefully. As well it has.
It’s hasn’t been easy but man, has it been joyous, exciting, and adventurous! We have met so many great people, helped marry people, opened and closed venues. . . have been a part of some really wonderful celebrations and milestones. We hope to continue to do so as the other parts of our lives continue to grow and expand as well. As we begin the 4th year as Ball & Chain, we’re looking forward to straying further out of the New River Valley. Nov. 14 will find us on the outskirts of Charlottesville in Crozet at Fardowners, a great place we discovered while on an adventure for our wedding anniversary. Catch us there if you’re in the area!