Monday, January 21, 2008

Randy Waller @ JV's Restaurant

After 5 years and 18 weeks into the NFL season, I finally found the ultimate place to watch football: JV's Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia. JV's first opened in 1947 and has been a haven for local artists since. In addition, over the years national acts such as Roy Clark, Jimmy Dean, Ricky Skaggs Seldom Scene, Country Gentlemen and Tony Rice have "passed through our doors". A couple years ago JV's won a WAMMY for the best music venue in the DC area. And I can see why. The restaurant hosts live music seven days a week with two shows Saturday and Sunday. Which leads me to Sunday football. Can you imagine a better time watching the NFL Championship games on three large screen televisions, with live music playing in the background. That's how I spent this past Sunday.

The music was provided Randy Waller, of the Country Gentlemen, and several associates including Dave Kirk (of the Country Gentlemen) and Dan Chute (of The Twangmasters) among others. Randy Waller is a native Washingtonian and learned to play touring with his father's band, Charlie Waller & the Country Gentlemen. After a successful solo career where he toured with national country acts and fronted for several country-rock bands, he replaced his father as the front man for the Country Gentlemen. Today's show was a combination country, bluegrass, gospel, and whatever someone decided to play. Randy Waller's voice is classic old school country - not the pop Nashville sound. And the music was sensational - regardless who was picking on the mandolin or trying to catch up on the acoustic guitar. The informal environment lead to several improvised songs which had the crowd laughing and clapping for more. At times it was hard to follow the football games - what a tough predicament.

This summer Randy Waller & the Country Gentlemen will be playing several festivals throughout the United States and Canada. Check for their schedule. JV's has a great schedule in the coming weeks, including Dave Chappel and Tom Principato. I hope to see you there. I wonder who's playing during the Super Bowl?

No comments: