On Saturday 19 December 2015 James and I met to set-up our equipment for what he thought was merely our debut gig at a new venue in Woodbridge, Virginia. Joe's Place, a popular pizza place and weekend hangout, was formerly on US Route 1 on the south bound side. It also hosted music on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring local musicians, myself included between trucking trips.
A couple of years ago the state of Virginia decided to expand the highway from Fort Belvoir south, towards Fredericksburg, Virginia. A number of businesses had to move, while some only lost portions of their property that bordered the existing road. Joe's was one of them, but was fortunate enough to find another place just about a mile north in the Gordon Plaza shopping center on Route 123, just off of US 1. When I approached the owner, Ana about performing there, she was very reseptive, and I discussed the possibilities with my label-mate James. Little did he know I also had something else in mind. With three prior releases I've produced of him, it still bothered me that he never had a CD release party. Especially after his 2nd release "Old Time Country Songs Are They Really Dead and Gone?" garnered the Rural Roots Music Commission's "Pure Country CD of the Year" award which he received at the 40th Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa on 31 August 2015.
This was perfect! It also was pretty much in sync with James' lastest CD, a 12-song Instrumental called “Country Sounds” [his 4th CD] released by You and Me Records on 26 November 2015. Only a select few knew my ulterior plans, and when the time came during mid-show, James was so involved with his guitar that he didn't even see the special cake, which was waved almost under his nose! We all had a good time.
Thank you Ana, for hosting us. And to Rocky Guttmann, for providing the new PA head, Linda Caldell, Jeff Seidell, and the Adelsberger family!