One of the first friends that we made when Holly and I moved to Nashville was David Dorris. He worked with Holly at her first job here – Danco. David really helped introduce us to Nashville as well as other people. Through David we met Bill Lloyd, Swan Dive, and he even introduced me to one of my best friends, Dan Westman. After he and Holly left Danco, we didn’t see each other as much as we’d like, but we have kept in touch.
One of the things that David invites us to every year is a thing called “Jambodian Fest.” What started as a yearly jam session among friends who happened to be in town for the holidays has grown to an annual concert. Granted, these “friends” are some of the best musicians to come out of Bowling Green, Kentucky, with many Grammys under their belt, so it’s easy to see how things could get out of hand in a hurry. We’ve never been able to make it in past years, but this past December things worked out just right and we took Dave up on his invitation to make the hour drive up to Bowling Green for Jambodian Fest III.
We left a little early to make sure we had time to drive around and check out some of the downtown stores and grab a bite to eat before the 6:30pm concert. An accident on North I-65 cut our time a good bit, so we immediately went to the Capitol Theatre to get our tickets. They were close to sold out, but we were lucky enough to get some tickets. David was out front when we arrived, so we were able to visit a little bit with him, which was nice. It was obvious that he was excited that we made it, but it was also obvious that he had 100 things going on to get the show underway, so we let him get back to work.
David is one of the sweetest people I know. Saying that about another guy may sound a bit effeminate and I certainly don’t mean it that way. He has a strong character and would take a bullet for a friend, but he’s a little on the quiet side. He’s the guy who is usually behind the scenes making everything happen, but isn’t usually recognized for it. One of his many claims to fame is that he was the road manager for Foster and Lloyd, a very popular country duo in the 80s. That’s a tough job that entails a lot of details, long hours and huge amounts of stress, but he did it to a “T”.
As I said earlier, Jambodians started as an after Christmas jam session. There are a lot of top notch musicians that have come out of Bowling Green (not to mention the director John Carpenter) and since many were home for the holidays, they’d get together and jam. It started as a jam session in one person’s home, but eventually expanded to the South Street Pub, where it took on the moniker of “Jambodians”. This year the motley crew that make up the Jambodians created a CD and used the 2003 show as a CD release party at the Capitol Theatre. Although there was still the usual jam session at the South Street Pub as an after party. 🙂
To say that the concert featured a diverse mix of music is an understatement. From uillean pipes playing Irish jigs, to folk, to classic rock, there was a little something for everyone. Jonell Mosser sang a heartfelt love song to her home state in “Kentucky Take me Home”, then Tommy Womack sang the political song “I Miss Ronald Regan”, then Slickrock cranked out a classic rock homage/anthem “Ode to Billy Joe”. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a HUGE jam session at the end with just about everyone that had already played, but featured Bill Lloyd, and Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters.
Although the music was great, the best part about Jambodians Fest was that all the monies generated from the concert, t-shirt and CD sales, as well as everything from the jam session later at the South Street Pub went to children’s music programs in south central Kentucky. This was done through the Son Rhey Foundation. That’s right, all of this talent and energy was directed at giving back something to the community that they came from.
At the end of the show, my good friend David was brought out for a little recognition. It was explained that David had been the person that made not only the Jambodian Fest such as success, but was instrumental in getting the CD made as well. David, my buddy who would rather remain in the background, was brought front and center and given a standing ovation by his home town and fellow musicians and peers. It was quite a sight and put a huge smile on my face.
It was nice getting a little peek at just how much talent has come out of Bowling Green. The event had a very home town feel to it and I felt like we were allowed to get a little taste at what makes people from Bowling Green so proud about their home town. I figure it must be something in the water, so I made sure to fill up before we left and headed back to Nashville. 🙂