Jasper Magazine wanted to know what the deal was with this weekend's big Jam Room fundraiser at Rockafellas', so we pulled aside Jay Matheson, owner of the Jam Room Recording Studio and asked him. Here's what Jay had to say:
Jasper: So what are we calling this very cool fundraising event and how did you come up with the concept?
Jay: When I met the new owners of Jake's I could tell that they wanted to embrace the musical legacy of the bar, where the previous owners seemed to want to distance themselves from the building's heritage. I’m constantly coming up with crazy ideas, but this one just seemed to actually be good enough to put into operation. It’s called Back to Rockafellas' because we all finally get to go back, not to reminisce but to actually re-experience it. And hopefully, we'll raise some funds for this year's FREE Jam Room Music Festival, so we can bring Columbia the best show possible.
Jasper: What’s the line-up look like?
Jay: Since it’s a benefit for the Jam Room Music Festival we had to keep budget in mind, but I think it’s going to be a great gig and I think the bands will be glad that they played it. We got a strong bill together and we’re very happy with it. The first night has a Rock ‘n’ Roll theme with a country-ish opener. The second night more indie, and the punk matinee and acoustic Sunday evening speak for themselves. It’s basically an exact copy of the format of a normal weekend from the heyday of the old Rockafellas'.
Steve Gibson, the original owner of the bar said that he preferred to have fresh, current new bands, rather than trying to have defunct bands reform. I agreed and feel that Steve’s input is essential in doing the most appropriate event that we can. This show was designed to appeal to younger people, but also to be something that the older Rockafellas' crowd will like.
Jasper: What do you think is going to be most surprising to folks attending?
The most surprising thing will be the vibe that the place still has and the sense of camaraderie and community.
Jasper: How are things going with plans for this year’s Jam Room Festival – can you give us a little preview of what’s in store?
Jay: We're already working hard on planning the event for September 21st. We'll have two stages set up at Main Street and Hampton Street, with an eclectic mix of bands, just like last year. We're planning on bigger and better, and we're talking to a number of great artists but no specific details are available just yet.
Jasper: Anything else you want to share with Jasper’s readers?
Jay: The Jam Room Music Festival is always looking for volunteers and sponsors so I’d like to encourage anyone with interest to contact us through our website or through Facebook. I really hope that both this fundraiser and the Jam Room Music Festival will inspire some other people to get off the sidelines and get involved with creating some new music events or even improve our current music venue variety. We’re hoping to help put Cola back on the map as an important music city
Jasper: Finally, what dates should we mark on our calendars for both the Rockafellas' Fundraising event and this year’s festival?
Jay: Back To Rockafellas' is the weekend of May 17 -19. We have a number of other fundraising events coming up later this summer. One is a Ladies of Country Music show at Trustus Theater on Sept. 6th. The others will be at the Whig and at Jake's, with more details to come on those later on. The Jam Room Music Festival happens on Sept. 21st on Columbia's Main Street.