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5th Annual Farmhouse Jam Rocks Clayton, NC

By: Sheryl Bryant

5th Annual Farmhouse Jam
Musicians Honoring Musicians/Honoring Tony Avery
September 4, 2016
Clayton, NC

Music is so powerfully soothing and healing. Never was this fact more resounding than at the 5th Annual Farmhouse Jam in Clayton, NC where the Jam was held on a lovely private farm. Thanks to Dan and Lisa Stahl for their generosity and hospitality!

This year the "honoree" was the late Tony Avery, a long time musician and avid music fan who lived in Raleigh. Tony was a tireless promoter and staunch supporter of local artists and bands. He passed away on July 31, 2016.

Several bands rocked the Farmhouse Jam on an absolutely gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Johnston County. Most every town in the Triangle had artist or band representation at this gig held every Sunday before Labor Day. The jam sessions were so spontaneously awesome. It does a music lover’s heart good to see and experience this kind of kindred spirit living and breathing among the area's musicians.

I caught a few bands and jam sessions that day and decided after a couple of hours I needed to write up a story about this amazing little grass roots event because it went off so smoothly. My decision to cover Farmhouse Jam was impromptu. It had me searching for my trusty pen and pad, so it may be a little less formal and unofficial!

Major impressive was that this gig was successful because of a network of dedicated individuals working as a team. Brothers and sisters of the Cause came together and gave of their time, money and effort to make the event happen. Hats off to all who pitched in.

Laundromat Sound made it their mission to handle the sound and stage with Tim “Butterbean” Bullock taking over the announcements and introductions. Thanks goes out to all volunteers who made this event so special

Here is a snapshot of some of the music that went down at the Farmhouse Jam 2016.

Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program played a set and, reliably, had the crowd singing along or laughing along with each lyric and verse. JWPP is a band that has earned and deserves high honors in the field of originality and creativity. I like to think of them as punk hysteria with brains, because the band members are so much more clever than one might think. You need only to have an open mind to enjoy their material. They are boldly entertaining, gifted and so much fun you will want to set aside time to catch them live if you have not done so. If you like your rock and and roll with a side of psycho, this is your band. Music these days is in dire need of daring new trailblazers, and JWPP are the Triangle area’s top notch pioneers of the absurd. Clearly, these musicians are leaders, not followers. If you get a chance, follow them off the beaten path.

Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program is:

Paul Lemieux - guitar and vocals
Remo “Uzi” Gwabaldi - drums and vocals
Tom Imler - bass and vocals

The Scene hit the stage next and the lineup includes twins Rob and Mike Philbeck, with Mark Winston on guitar. Rob Philbeck’s voice sounds super; it is clear and sharp and therefore ideal for the songs the band covers. Rob kills it on bass, and has no problems multi-tasking. The Scene's repertoire consists of classic rock hits from the eighties and nineties, along with some contemporary rock Mike Philbeck does a damn fine job keeping the rhythm on the drums for The Scene. Guitarist Mark Winston, a large presence on Raleigh’s local music scene (and also recent owner/publisher of this website), is solidly strong on guitar Rounding out this tight unit, there was Chris Johnson on keyboards and Eddie Watson on guitar The Scene rocked the Farmhouse Jam late afternoon/early evening with some vintage tunes commanding a solid set.

Siren is a four piece outfit that is adamant about setting off alarms. This band is just the right hard and heavy. The piping hot foursome’s goal is to honor and give tribute to women in rock and they certainly succeeded at the Farmhouse Jam. Speaking of women in rock, Siren has one powerful female lead vocalist in Kim Russert. Smoking on lead guitar is Charles Cadwell. Slamming on the skins is Dan Rutt. Bringing the heat and keeping the beat on the bass is Mr. Nelson Carter. The following is Siren’s Farmhouse Jam set list, but you must hear this band live to appreciate their energy and enthusiasm:

Paris
Heartbreaker
Livin’ Lovin’ Maid
Straight On
Lonely is the Night
Say What You Will
You Oughta Know
Piece of My Heart

Early evening jam sessions were highlights of a beautiful day of music and melody. Great food, fellowship, camaraderie and support for one another in the tradition of “Musicians Honoring Musicians” made for a memorable experience. The “jammers” were a veritable list of who’s who among the Triangle area’s musical elite. Unfortunately I did not get to enjoy hearing every musician who rocked the stage from setup to tear down, so obviously not everyone participating will be listed. Thanks is extended to the unnamed!

Hats off to the following JAM contributors:

Ken Skinner (guitar, vocals)
Jane Davis (harmonies , backing vocals, tambourine)
Mark Davis (bass, backing vocals, harmonies)
Doug Woods (vocals, harmonica)
Neal D. Bluesman (guitar, vocals)
Greg “Mojo” Finkelstein (guitar, vocals)
Brandon Hill (keys)
Roger Liverman (guitar)
Eric “E Train” Manning (guitar)
Jody Hoeger (drums)
Bruce Andrews (drums)
Dan Stahl (drums)
Phil Hart (keys)
Lonesome George
Mike Moser (guitar)
Rob D. (on bass)
Mr. T (keys)
Rob Philbeck (vocals)
Tim “Butterbean” Bullock

Poignant moments were not lacking or missing at the Jam. One heartwarming segment of the event came when Kenny Skinner (guitarist/vocalist) was called to the stage to perform. Skinner conquered Stage IV throat cancer just a few short months ago. He survived a difficult winter and early spring with radical cancer-fighting treatments. He had no idea he would be asked to or be able to play, therefore he was quite surprised when asked to come onto the stage. But like any lifelong musician worth his salt, he rose to the occasion with grace and dignity, taking his place among his fellow musicians. He proceeded to tear it up on a couple of songs, one being The Band’s “The Weight”.

Thanks goes out from all in attendance to Dan and Lisa Stahl and family, who have shared their beautiful piece of property each year since 2012 to make this event possible.

Thanks to Gina and Doug Woods and everyone who coordinated the behind the scenes preparation and planning for the event. There are many more unnamed contributors who gave tirelessly, I'm sure.

Thanks also to Mark and Erica Winston and all other foodie volunteers for serving hot dogs and hamburgers. Thanks to Bruce Andrews who cooked AND served hot dogs and hamburgers as well as jammed righteously! Great job by all!

Let the Music Keep Your Spirit High!

RIP (Rock in Paradise) TONY AVERY.


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