My journey in pictures

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fightin The Good Fight @ the Ashland Coffee and Tea

Isn't this a GREAT picture of BJ & Kay?

Clockwise from the bottom left: Carter Redd, Tess Fisher, James Lester, Anna Harrington, Ross Severin. 
Sunday's through Tuesday's are usually the open mic or songwriter nights and last night I stopped by Ashland Coffee and Tea about 15 miles north of Richmond, Va.. Kay Landry (running sound) and BJ Kocen (hosting) have been running the writers night for going on their 3rd year (think they said). The place sits on railroad tracks of this beautiful little town (or seemed to be driving in) where you can watch the freight and passenger trains pass by. Not being raised around "passenger trains", I have this fantasy about riding cross-country on one, maybe one day. The coffee house itself reminded me of a bigger version of the Bluebird. Nothing fancy but a clean and middle america typa restaurant (if that makes any sense) with ceiling fans, carpeting and autographed pictures on the walls of various singer/songwriters. I saw about a half dozen writers get up on this "Songwriters Showdown" night. It's writers that sometimes have their 1st experience with performing in front of a crowd (or so it seems). There was a middle aged lawyer (dressed as such) that got up and played REALLY good guitar and sang a song about "Lines on Our Hands" and when he finishes he asks the small crowd "what do you think, is it finished yet?" somebody hollers back "Yeah, it's kinda weird, I like it!". A shy girl (Tess Fisher) get's up and sings what she called song #3. It was only her 3rd time ever performing. Most of the songs I heard were not something written with commerciality in mind, they were about their personal experiences. Regardless of what I thought or think, these people have bigger balls than I will EVER have sitting out there passing judgement with my little camera taking shitty pictures. Hell, I could never make 2 lines rhyme and even too damn lazy (and chicken shit) to try. Anyways, BJ and Kay really love what they are doing. They say it's been really hard in the current (economical) environment but they're scratching and clawing and keeping it going. I just wanted to write about it because most of the people there was supporting their friends or performing. It's a great coffee house for writers stopping through. so check it out if you need a supportive and warm place to play. :)


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