Ken Farmer shows off a lick on his Stratocaster at a recent CVBS jam at the Heritage on Main
CVBS jams are by far our most popular activity, and we are very lucky to have more and more performers showing up every month to participate. Some have asked about our format so, for everyone's benefit, we thought we would share information on how we generally proceed:
Musicians who want to play at CVBS jams should sign up in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating what instrument you play and whether you sing. This is so we can make sure in advance that we will have enough different types of musicians (drummers, bass players, etc.), be able to accommodate special requests, and plan ahead as best we can.
If you did not sign up in advance, you can sign up the day of the jam and we'll still try to give you a chance to play, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll get a slot if we run short of time.
Players of all skill levels are welcome at CVBS jams. We are proud of the highly talented players who show up at our jams but we also want to encourage aspiring blues artists who are still learning – especially young people. Jamming is not a contest and no one should be judged – we just want to have fun and keep the blues alive!
CVBS jams usually start with a performance by a house band which will play 30-40 minutes.and may play later if time permits.
Following the house band, we use the sign-up list to assemble individual jam bands, which will each play three songs. The musicians in each jamband are usually chosen in the order they signed up. Novice and experienced players may be mixed together. You might also be asked to "sit in" with the house band.
Please remember that this is a BLUES jam so, when calling songs for your jamband, it's usually a good idea to stick to material that falls into the 'core' blues repertoire your fellow jammers will be most comfortable and familiar with. In general, any 12-bar blues song that follows the standard I-IV-V chord pattern is a good call.
We will occasionally showcase certain groups or individuals during our jams so, if you would like to perform as a band or as an individual (for example, acoustic player), please contact us in advance and we'll try work something out. If you have any other special request or want to be in the house band for an upcoming jam, also let us know. Again, sending us an email in advance at email@example.com is key to making sure we can accommodate your special request.
The events listed below are NOT sponsored by CVBS but we are providing the information as a courtesy to the music community in Central Virginia. The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge. This list is for regularly scheduled open mics and jams -- not blues jams. If you plan to attend any of these listed events, we recommend you check with the venue first to make sure it is still scheduled. (Jams that are not on a regular schedule are listed in the "Shows and Events" calendar lower down on this page). Also, if you have any new information, additions or corrections, please contact us to let us know.
2 pm -- "No-Mic Open Mic" Blues and Bluegrass jam at the James River Brewing Company, 561 Valley St., Scottsville.
8 pm -- Rockfalls Tavern, 2813 Hathaway Rd., Richmond, VA, 23225 ((804) 272-9470) -- "Good Times Open Mic" with Solomon Miles. A great mix of comedy and music.
7-9 pm @ Baine's Books and Coffee (Scottsville) -- 485 Valley St, Scottsville, VA 24590
7 pm @ The Artful Dodger, 47 Court Sq, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 432-1179
9 pm sign-up, 9:30 start @ Emilio's Tapas Bar in the Fan -- 1847 W. Broad Street (Broad and Meadow) Richmond, VA 23220
7pm - 10pm-ish @ Current Restaurant in Shockoe Slip, 140 Virginia Street, Richmond, Virginia (804) 788-4284 -- This is a blues and blues-influened open mic/ jam session every Monday night; All instruments and level of play welcome, food & drink specials all night! Early sign up recommended.
9 pm @ Fardowners, 5773 The Square, Crozet, VA 22932 -- (434) 823-1300 -- OPEN mic Tuesdays with John Howard
8 pm-- @ Daddio's Grille, 12385 Gayton Road, Richmond, VA 23238 -- (804) 754-1448 -- Open Mic hosted by the Somervillans
7 pm -- Weeky open jam @ Rapunzel's, 924 Front Street, Lovingston, VA -- 434-263-6660 -- This is a relaxed, informal, very social round-robin-style evening of music. Styles trend through country,blues, oldtime, bluegrass, americana and folk, but our core group happily plays along with just about anything. This event is appropriate for musicians of all ability levels.
6:30-9:30 pm -- last Thursday of every month "Corner Mic Night" @ Corner Cup Coffee Shop. The space is tiny, and best suited for small acts. Soloists, duets, musicians, poets, comedians, etc. are welcome! 1325 W Main Street, Charlottesville, VA
7-9:30 pm -- Rick Johnson's Acoustic Open Mic @Baine's Books and Coffee, 205 Main Street • Appomattox, VA 24522
7:30 @ Bay 1. 1132 East Market Street, Charlottesville, VA -- Open House and Open Jam. Backline and drums provided -- just bring your axe, some beer for the beer swap (only if you drink of course) and a few bucks to put in the pot for the house
8:30-11 pm @ The Little Grill Collective, 621 North Main Street, Harrisonburg, Va 22802 Open mic hosted by Chris Hosdyshell includes music, words, comedy, and an assortment of other talents
9 pm @ Golden Crown Billiards, 92 Chestnut Ridge Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
7:30 pm to close @ Silk Mill Grill, 101 Woodmark St Orange, VA 22960 -- (540) 672-4010
7:30 pm signup - 8 pm start on the second Friday of each month @ Rapunzel's, 924 Front St.,Lovingston, VA 22949 -- (434) 263-6660 --Hosted by Joe Madison of Blue Star Music for wide range of talents including singing, poetry, dance or whatever. Please note that the open mic night is an acoustic event…Only bass guitars and keyboards may be amped. Free for performers. Spectators $2.
7-10 pm on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month @ the Mudhouse on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. "Live Music Is Good" proudly presents, MudMusic! Each event is open to the general public to sign up for a 15 minute performance slot, and also showcases a different featured performer. Sign ups for each MudMusic begin the Friday before the event and you can go into the Downtown Mudhouse to sign the sheet. Space for each event is limited to 12 performers so GET THERE EARLY on Friday to make sure you get on!
The calendar below lists shows by various blues performers in Central Virginia along with other events of general interest. This does not include open mics. If you would like to have your event listed on our calendar, please send us the information in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please be sure to include all the relevant details including the date, beginning and end time, location, web address and whether there is a cover charge.