Monday, September 28, 2009

Jammin at the Junction Recap

(FYI: There is music links within this post, if you want to listen, be sure to click pause on the music on my sidebar. All photography by Leigh, Photographic Memories)

Amazing! That is the only way to describe this past weekend's festivities at Jammin at the Junction! Jammin at the Junction was the brain child of Bo Bice, former American Idol contestant, who was also a close personal friend of Larry. Bo approached the Childers family with ideas of how to extend the passion of Larry and his presence in the community and the charities that were so passionate to him. And so, a benefit concert in the memory of Larry Childer's was born. Bo had the idea of a charity concert and a motorcycle poker run in the name of Larry Childers, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the charities that Larry was so passionate. The day began with a motorcycle poker run, led by Helena's own, Bo Bice. Then the rain, er monsoon, came in and delayed some of the events, but it didn't dampen the mood. By 5:30PM we were off and running again with many genre's of musical acts in store!
Sixteen year old Contemporary Christian singer, Alexa Rankin opened the show with a beautiful voice that was crisp and clean, unlike the earth underfoot (think Woodstock). Alexa sings, play guitar, and writes her own songs & music. For more on Alexa, or to hear a sample of Alexa's beautiful voice, click here.

Alexa was followed by local folk group, The Overalls, whose rendition of Bobby McGee had me singing with my best Joplin voice that I could muster (I am still horse).
Unshackled then took the stage with music that was what I would describe as bluegrass. Unshackled formed in early 2008 as part of the Hunter Street Baptist Prison Ministry. “Unshackled” members are Tom Chiles – banjo & guitar, Rick Harris – dobro, Dwayne Tew – guitar & mandolin, Dan Vaughan – guitar, and Ronny Koon – bass. All the guys supply vocals on various songs. The group has played before many captive audiences throughout Alabama since coming together.

2 Blu + the Lucky Stiffs brought a whole new vibe to the stage with their bluesy, swampy sound. The percussionist was amazingly gifted and pounded, hammered, and scratched on instruments that I would've never thought to use in such ways. 2blu is: Bruce Andrews,Harmonica and Vocals George Dudley.Guitar and Vocals. Lucky Stiffs are: Jack Dudley:Fretless Bass , James Dudley:Drums , Dave-Teeto-Gowens:Percussion. The Lucky Stiffs are a essentially a five piece good time,blues based-jam band.The band is driven by a "fusion-funk engine" consisting of James Dudley on drums,Teeto Gowens on percussion and Jack Dudley on fretless custom made basses.2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs win the 2009 Alabama Battle of the Blues Bands!The Band will be representing Alabama in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this coming winter. Together they have been performing in different bands for a combined 60 plus years. That's a long time. More info on 2 Blu + Lucky Stiffs: click here.

But, for me, it was The Mitchell Brothers, who stopped me in my tracks. Headliner, Bo Bice personally invited them to be a part of the event. Little was known about them. Twin brothers, they played a very moving performance, Patrick Mitchell on vocals and piano and Jimmy Mitchell on vocals and guitar, harmonizing like an entity that God is solely responsible for. The performance literally moved me to tears, to hear such emotionally charged and invested lyrics and to be sung with such conviction....I was truly moved to tears. In speaking with them after their performance I learned that the Mitchell Brothers both have had separate careers in their craft. But only until recently, did they come together and decide to combine their talents to create one amazingly talented duo. They do not have a CD out as a duo, they are currently laying tracks and hope to have it out soon. When they do, I will let you know. In the meantime, you can purchase their individual cd's, as I did, and have already worn out!

Rock Candy. This was the group that became my adopted family for the day. I feel like I bonded with them and will always have a special place in my heart for them. If there wver was an electric bolt on Saturday that wasn't weather related, it was Rock Candy. They preformed an amazing set list, opening with Tina Turner's, Proud Mary. Later, they backed Bo Bice with a seamless blend, one would never know they weren't his own personal band. Rock Candy is a versatile Rock & Roll band formed to appeal to the 21-50 year old crowd. It is a group of veteran musicians who have performed on the local and national music scene for many years. The band performs mainly rock & roll tunes from the 60's to the current Top 40 which can also include some R&B and country along the way. Rock Candy can tailor a performance to satisfy almost any type of event. The band features two extremely talented female vocalists along with a horn section that gives Rock Candy a unique sound that is perfect for events ranging from wedding receptions to private and corporate functions. For more on Rock Candy: click here.

And then there was Bo. Bo Bice-well known for his stage appearances on American Idol, Bo Bice has been performing since he was a baby. He plays a number of musical instruments including the piano, guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone. He does his own recording at home in his own studio. Bo, the soft spoken southern gentleman, brought his Southern sensibility with him to the fourth season of Fox's long-running talent contest. In 2004, He brought American Idol and the world to his hometown of Helena, Alabama. Two members of the group Lynard Skynard surprised Bice during his trip home from Idol and performed "Sweet Home Alabama" with him in his home town of Helena, Alabama. It goes without saying that the city of Helena was ecstatic to have our "homeboy" and pride, Bo Bice, back "Home". Bice gave an electrifying performance that brought everyone in the crowd to their feet, singing right along to Bo's melodic vocal tone. Bo brought authenticity to the event, protesting his love for the city of Helena, and sharing his close friendship with Larry Childers, of who the event was named. Bo also sang the beautiful soul tapping song that wrote and preformed at Larry's funeral. It was a very poignant moment with the Helena police and fire explorers filing in to give hugs to the Childers family (Thanks to Lisa, for the video)...

Bo is currently finishing up on his third album, post American Idol, and sang some of his new material at the concert on Saturday. For more on Bo Bice, Click here.

It was an amazing day! On a personal note, it was a day that I will long remember. When I graduated high school I had dreams of attending art school in Atlanta and go into the field of sound production. I didn't. Life happens. Music has always been a passion of mine. On Saturday I was asked by Steve Scorey, of Rock Candy (and served with me on the VIP committee) to assist in stage prep. The stage was literally under water. I spent a couple hours mopping, which lead to meeting the sound production folks, contracted by Bailey Brothers Music. Moose, the head producer took me aside and asked if I would work for him for the night. My job was to contact each band and go over direct input and vocals with them so all would run smoothly. That job led to my work with Gina, in lighting, assisting her in making sure all lights were correctly working above and to the side of the stage. This job led to band gopher and assistant to each band and studio producers who had me on the run throughout the night. I had the best seat in the house, I got to hang out with some incredibly talented musicians and discuss music, and made some lifelong contacts and friends. Each artist welcomed me happily and made me a part of their crew. The vibe was incredible, everyone in high spirits and belly laughing funny. It was something that will stay with me forever. I thoroughly enjoyed living a day doing what I once thought I would make a career of. I cannot thank those people enough for the opportunity and for showing the love.
I arrived for my day at 7:15AM Saturday and didn't return home until past midnight on Sunday morning. I hardly sat all day, but by day's end the atmosphere was so electric I didnt realize how tired i was until Sunday morning. And it hit HARD! We had family in town for my Mother in Law's 63rd birthday (Happy Bday Tuiren!). Needless to say, I am dragging today, but I am still emotionally charged from being a part of such an event that was so very close to my heart, to remember my friend, Larry Childers. Larry Childers would have been very proud at the celebration of his life. Until next year's Jammin at the Junction, Live Out Loud!

The Childers Family, Bo Bice & Family, Mayor Sonny Penhale, Circuit Clerk Mary Harris, Sheriff Chris Curry, Jim ‘N Nick’s Alabaster, Deborah's Party Rentals, Inc., Sam Lilly Liquidators, Inc., Karen Miller Agency–Allstate Insurance, Vulcan MaterialsCompany-Helena Quarry, Dave Rankin & Family, Magic City Title, Inc, Buffalo Rock, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Am Wins Of Alabama, Back In Time, Bo’s Peeps, Bead Biz, Monkey Basket, LaReunion, Helena BodySpa, 122 Tree Lane

Jammin at the Junction, Memorial benefit concert proceed benefit: Helena Kiwanis, Safe House for abused women and children,  Institute for the Deaf and Hearing Impared, Helena Police and Helena Fire, City of Helena.
To dontate or to purchase t-shirts from the event visit the website.

And to those who could not attend, I feel here is a link to some vidoes all recored at the event. Short song clips to enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Leigh, Thank You Wow. What a Great time had by ALLLLL. The pictures are fabulous. You are a Doll.
Love U, Cher

Shelia said...

Hi Leigh! Oh, what a time you must have had! I'm glad you had such a great time and got to meet so many talented ones. I probably wouldn't have been able to even get out of bed.
Take care of yourself.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kirby3131 said...

What a great event! How cool that you were chosen to be a helper all day - I'm sure it was thrilling and exhausting. Bravo! Thanks for letting us tag along :)

Kristin - The Goat

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Wow! What a fun and jam packed weekend. Thanks for taking us along!

xinex said...

Hi Leigh, I can imagine how much fun you all had!..Christine

TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

Wow! It looks like a wonderful day, night, you know. What a fantastic event!

I hope that you have a wonderful week.


P.S. O.M.Gosh!!!! I LOVE your new profile pic!!! GOR-GE-OUS!!!!

PlantSomeRoots@Lakewood said...

So Leigh...what does it feel like to be a rock star? Even your new profile pic has the vibe of being a rock 'n roller! Cute!!!
Living it up at Lakewood,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Leigh! What fun! So glad that you got to do this. I love it when people get to realize their dreams. :-)

I'm still computerless, but I hope to have mine back next week. In the mean time, I've borrowed Adelaide's so I could check in with my buds.

Sending you big hugs...


Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Leigh! What fun! So glad that you got to do this. I love it when people get to realize their dreams. :-)

I'm still computerless, but I hope to have mine back next week. In the mean time, I've borrowed Adelaide's so I could check in with my buds.

Sending you big hugs...


Sheila :-)

niartist said...

Hi Leigh! Thanks for stopping by Casa de la Vanderdogan for a tour of the living room! :) Seems like a waste of time, really - before you know it it'll be Christmas! LOL! Anyway - the rail cart was a particular lucky find for me. A friend had just purchased an old flower shop and everything in it for almost nothing, and was trying to clean it up before he auctioned it off. He had already been in there and taken what he thought was valuable, and then said I could go in and take a peak at the rest. There, turned upside down with the wheels pointing up toward the roof was the cart. He let me take it (FREE) along with a ladder, chair, and a few other knick-nacks. He wasn't so happy to see it just a year later in Restoration Hardware for more than $1000! LOL! Oh well. ;) They can get pretty pricey and they have them in a lot of places if you're looking: Restoration Hardware, Napa Style ... but, you can usually find someone in a larger city selling them on craigslist for much less. Check that out - search cotton cart, rail cart, train cart, and old wood cart - you're bound to find one at a much better price than RH! ;) Good luck, and thanks again for stopping by!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Outdoor music fests are just the best, and this one looks like a lovely night. Larry would be so proud. :-)

Dullbert said...

It's great you got to live out one your dreams and be "Roadie" for a day, maybe you can head over to the Intermediate school this weekend and knock out another one and be "Carny" for a day ☺

jennifer said...

Congratulations on a successful weekend! I enjoyed the video of Bo.