Two groups perform at the Barns

Posted: March 28, 2013

The Winchester Star

Bumper Jacksons
Chaise Lounge

Berryville — Most venues have slowed down for Easter weekend, but the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville still has opportunities for people wanting a musical night out.

The venue at 95 Chalmers Court will offer concerts featuring Bumper Jacksons at 8 p.m. Friday and Chaise Lounge at 8 p.m. Saturday. Both Washington, D.C.-based bands are promising music to make audience members want to get up and move.

Tickets to both events are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Bumper Jacksons

The weekend starts with the Bumper Jacksons, a duo consisting of Jess Eliot Myhre, on clarinet, washboard and vocals, and Chris Ousley on vocals, guitar and banjo. For this performance, they will be joined by Melissa Wright of Acoustic Burgoo playing bass and Matt Levine on lap steel and dobro.

Bumper Jacksons’ sound is a mix of traditional American music that includes New Orleans-style jazz, Western swing and traditional Appalachian old time, Myhre said.

“We definitely play a plot of material from ‘The American Songbook,’” she said. “We also play a lot of tunes that are hard to find and out of the way. We like to resuscitate them.”

The band performs a mixture of original and cover songs, she said. When the duo writes their own music, they do it in the style of the older music they play, so they have an “older blues, jazz and classic country” sound.

Although they haven’t finished Friday night’s song lineup, it will be a mix of original and covers and highlight tracks on their new CD, “Big Horn Mama.” The CD, which is from a live recording in November, will not be released in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore until May, so Berryville is getting a sneak peak, she said.

Some of the songs on the CD include “Crow Jane,” a traditional blues tune; “They’re Red Hot,” by Robert Johnson; “He May be Your Dog but He’s Wearing My Collar” by Rosa Henderson, and “Jubilee,” a traditional Kentucky number.

The duo just likes to have fun at concerts, Myhre said. One song they play, “Tippy Toe Sam,” is a number she wrote in a style similar to Jelly Roll Morton’s type of early jazz. The surreal lyrics came after listening to “too many Tom Waits records one weekend.”

“The subject matter is of a baby born with toes that were a mile long,” she said. “To get a pair of shoes to fit him, he had to sell his soul. He is a whimsical character.”

Bumper Jacksons is a participatory group, meaning audience members should expect to hear call and response tunes that require them to participate.

Myhre also brings washboards that she has built and asks people to come up and play along with the band.

The band is only about a year and a half old, but Myhre and Ousley had been playing together before that in a square dance band, Sligo Street Stomper. When they were the only band members who wanted to perform music full time and expand what they were playing, they formed the new group.

The duo is actually named after a dog. While touring in Louisiana a few years ago with their other band, they stayed with a family, the Jacksons, whose dog liked to howl along to Myhre’s clarinet.

For more information on the band, go to bumperjacksons.com.

Chaise Lounge

Music fans are in for a very different night when the six members of Chaise Lounge take the same stage Saturday.

All the members of the group consider themselves jazz musicians. The band’s sound “has very little to do with what people call jazz these days,” said Charlie Barnett, pianist and guitarist.

The group plays original and cover music in a style reminiscent of studio records made in the 1960s at Capitol Recording Studios, he said. When he put the band together in 1999, the idea was to replicate that sound.

“I honestly didn’t know that it would turn out to be a band full of such originals,” said Barnett of Bethesda, Md.

Besides Barnett, the band consists of lead singer Marilyn Older, bassist Pete Ostle, drummer Tommy Barrick, Gary Gregg on tenor sax, clarinet and flute, and the newest member, Joe Jackson on trombone.

“Our music is very inviting — dare I say friendly,” he said. “A lot of that comes from Marilyn, who is the most charming lead singer you would ever want to have around. Everybody walks out of our concerts wishing she was their best friend.”

It was Older’s ex-boyfriend who accidentally named the band, Barnett said. The guy said the name randomly, and it somehow stuck. “It kind of fits because the band is very relaxed.”

Barnett writes all the music, and since he composes a great deal for film scores, there is often “a sense that these songs all evoke a picture in your mind.”

Music he has composed has appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Cosby Show,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” “Weeds,” the PBS series “The Appalachians,” “Closer to the Truth,” “Kickin’ It,” “War Child,” and “Keeping the Lights On.”

He likes his songs to have a topic and a different angle. “The Devil on My Cell Phone” is a “devastating song about someone having an affair.” “I Just Want All of My Stuff” is basically a hard line divorce decree.

He also likes doing songs that surprise people, such as an old Fred Astaire song called “Let's Face the Music and Dance” or Italian star Paolo Conte’s “Via Con Me.”

For more information on the band, go to chaiseloungenation.com.

Information

Tickets to both events are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information, contact 540-955-2004 or go to barnsofrosehill.org.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com