Our retail partner, Plan 9, now has a dedicated merch page. We’re offering themed merchandise including a limited edition, signed print by renowned artist Bill Nelson as well as a t-shirt and poster. All are reasonably priced and “must haves” for Page’s fans. Proceeds will go to Page’s daughter, Virginia Blue, as a tangible part of her father’s legacy.
Our documentary series has gotten some great advance press from several local publications offering insightful backstories on the series’ creation as well as Page’s own history. Check them out!
We also have a Page’s Kitchen Facebook page which will include updates, additional information and the ability for visitors to post (moderated) their own memories and photos of Page.
We’d like to share a lovingly prepared Spotify playlist created by our friend Gene Raney, to mark the debut of our Page’s Kitchen radio documentary on VPM Music. We first met Gene and his wife Dale as fellow artist hosts for the Richmond Folk Festival since year one. Gene’s life is completely soaked in music across many genres and the depth and detail of his knowledge are impressive. During the pandemic, he posted near daily playlists entitled the Corona Shake to underscore musically the challenges we were living through as individuals and as the community of man. As the pandemic impact has begun to lighten, his posts have become less frequent, and we’re flattered that he would see fit to create another of his compelling soundtracks to help us better enjoy the live performances to come on the 8-week Page’s Kitchen series. Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist, followed by Gene’s masterful setup:
In the late 1980’s, a Richmond area musician named Page Wilson began hosting a radio show called “Out o’ the Blue Radio Revue,” which aired at 8 p.m. on Saturday nights. It was such a breath of fresh air, and it was mandatory listening at our house whenever we were home. Page played an exhilarating blend of roots music— country, blues, folk, rock and roll, bluegrass, zydeco, and a whole lot of songs that couldn’t be pigeonholed into a single genre. Page had a name for the music featured on his show. He called it “Purebred American Mongrel Music.” It was basically Americana, although at the time I hadn’t heard anyone use that term to describe music. To me, Page’s name was better.
The Out o’ the Blue Radio Revue was folksy — when we listened to it, we felt like we were hanging out with an old friend. One highlight of the show was a recurring segment in which Page would invite musicians to visit him in his kitchen, where he would feed and interview them, and have them play a couple of tunes. In reality, the kitchen was a local recording studio, the food was catered, and the interview and music were priceless.
In the beginning, it wasn’t easy to attract musical guests to visit Page’s kitchen. They didn’t know Page or his show, and they weren’t sure of what they would be getting into. Musician after musician turned the invitation down.
Finally, Delbert McClinton’s manager accepted the pitch, and the Texas singer/songwriter/harmonica genius was featured in Page’s initial kitchen segment. This was huge. Delbert was a well-known, successful musician. After he visited the kitchen, it became a lot easier for Page and his team to book guests.
The Out o’ the Blue Radio Revue ran for about 20 years, although it changed radio stations a couple of times, and I think there was a break or two when the show was between homes. It eventually landed at Richmond’s public radio station, where it stayed until Page’s death in 2011.
Page was a man of the people, and his death was a real blow to Richmond. He was committed to helping people in need. He did a lot for music around here, both by playing and helping other musicians. Before he began the radio show, he published his own paper, which I think also had “Out o’ the Blue” in its title. If you were an aspiring writer with something to say, you had a chance of being published by Page. Of course, the end of the radio show was like losing an old friend. I can remember hoping fervently that old episodes would be re-aired. Sadly, it never happened.
But … starting this Saturday, the next best thing will happen.
A while back, Tim Timberlake, a retired radio professional who spends a lot of his time on various music-centric projects, was handed the remaining tapes from Page’s kitchen sessions and given permission from Page’s daughter to feature them in a new radio series. They were old and deteriorating, so they had to be stabilized and digitalized. Tim enlisted a broadcast engineer to bake the tapes (literally — at a relatively low temperature for a relatively long time), a technique that, when executed properly, restores tapes to the point where they can be played at least one more time so that they can be digitally recorded. The baking worked.
Tim then had to reach out to the artists or their surviving heirs to get permission to broadcast the tapes. Every single one of them agreed. Honestly, I was a little surprised to hear that, but it appears to be because all of the artists enjoyed their kitchen experience, and maybe also because these tapes are rare records of a long-gone time.
Each episode will air twice on its assigned Saturday, at 12 noon and again at 8 p.m., on VPM Music terrestrially at 93.1 and 107.3 FM. Each episode will also stream live at https://vpm.org/listen/stream?channel=music
This eight-episode series features 11 incredible artists/groups:
Delbert McClinton (Appears on May 29th broadcast) — Famously known for giving John Lennon, at Lennon’s request, a harmonica lesson in the early 1960’s. Subsequent to his appearance on Page’s show, he’s won four Grammys. I love his version of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.”
Indigo Girls (Appear on May 29th broadcast) — Love this band. Beautiful songwriting, beautiful performances. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers combined their somewhat disparate musical tastes to create a duo with more stylistic range than one might expect. They visited the kitchen while touring in support of an album that would win a Grammy a few months later.
Tim & Mollie O’Brien (Appear on June 5th broadcast) — Tim is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who helped found the progressive bluegrass band Hot Rize. His sister Mollie is a singer whose credits included regular appearances on A Prairie Home Companion. When they record or perform together, the results are beautiful. You just can’t beat sibling harmonies.
Cephas & Wiggins (Appear on June 12th broadcast) — John Cephas and Phil Wiggins performed Piedmont Blues as a duo for over 30 years, until John died in 2009. John was an outstanding Piedmont guitarist, and a great guy who loved to educate his audiences. At every show I attended, he would patiently explain and demonstrate the difference between Piedmont and Delta Blues. Phil is another great guy, and one of the finest harmonica players that I’ve ever seen. Both John and Phil are recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship, the United States’ highest honor for folk and traditional artists. I was fortunate enough to see Cephas & Wiggins a lot, and if you ever saw them, you know how wonderful that was.
Tony Rice Unit (Appears on June 26th broadcast) — Bluegrass royalty. Tony Rice was one of the greatest acoustic guitarists ever, and a tremendous bluegrass vocalist. This kitchen session was recorded in 1991, one of the two years that the Tony Rice Unit won the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) “Instrumental Group of the Year” award. This was also one of six years when Tony Rice won the IBMA “Guitar Player of the Year” award. In addition to Tony, The Tony Rice Unit consisted of Tony’s brother Wyatt Rice, Jimmy Gaudreau, Rickie Simpkins, and Ronnie Simpkins. Sammy Shelor also sat in on this session, and he has won the IBMA “Banjo Player of the Year” award five times.
Marcia Ball (Appears on July 3rd broadcast) — Texas singer/songwriter/pianist noted for her ability to play in Professor Longhair’s style. I think I’ve seen her more than any other performer on this list, and in my experience she’s an excellent musician and a kind person. To me, her version of Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927” surpasses any others. I recall that after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, Marcia raised her merch prices on tour and donated the difference to hurricane relief efforts. She performed this song on stage to encourage fans to help if they could.
C.J. Chenier (Appears on July 3rd broadcast) — Zydeco musician; and son of the legendary Clifton Chenier. C.J.’s kitchen recording took place soon after he played accordion on Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” album and about a year before he was a featured headliner on an episode of “Austin City Limits.”
J.J. Cale (Appears on July 10th broadcast) — Singer/songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist. Innovative musician who employed a distinctive laid-back style. He wrote a ton of great songs, including “After Midnight,” “Cocaine,” and “Call Me the Breeze.” In 2005, Eric Clapton and Cale recorded an album together (The Road to Escondido). I think this booking was a major accomplishment for Page—I don’t think J.J. Cale played a lot of live shows around the time of his kitchen appearance.
Mary Chapin Carpenter (Appears on July 17th broadcast) — Singer/songwriter/guitarist. She was well on her way to a very successful career when she visited the kitchen in 1990, just three months before her album “Shooting Straight in the Dark” was released. It’s song “Down at the Twist and Shout” eventually earned her the first of five Grammys.
Robert Earl Keen, Jr. (Appears on July 24th broadcast) — Gifted singer/songwriter from Texas with an avid cult following. For my money, he’s an exceptional songwriter, equally capable of creating songs with deceptively simple or elaborately complex lyrics.
Townes Van Zandt (Appears on July 24th broadcast) — Arguably the most gifted singer/songwriter ever from Texas, and if Steve Earle is correct, the greatest songwriter ever. Here’s what Steve famously said, “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” Reportedly, Townes Van Zandt responded by saying, “I’ve met Bob Dylan’s bodyguards, and if Steve Earle thinks he can stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table, he’s sadly mistaken,”
Today’s playlist features four songs by each of the artists/groups who will be featured in JAMinc’s eight-show series, as well as two bonus tracks by Page Wilson and his band. I hope you like it; it was truly a labor of love. As I said previously, please feel free to share it with anyone who you think will like it.
Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist again: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4XuPWv9JM4SNZJVjU1XVWH?si=a0dc5316ae6c4948
With such a rich treasure-trove of original recordings, VPM Music has graciously added an eighth show to the schedule. Page’s Kitchen will now be eight one-hour shows broadcast twice each Saturday, at 12 noon and 8pm, beginning May 29th. The 8pm time slot celebrates the time we’d faithfully tune in for the Out O’ The Blue Radio Revue. You can listen terrestrially at either 93.1 or 107.3 FM, or stream the program live from VPM Music.
Along with the radio series, JAMinc will be offering some themed merchandise including a limited edition, signed print by renowned artist Bill Nelson as well as a t-shirt and poster. These will be available through partner Plan 9’s website. We’ll have more details on that soon so stand by.
We also have a Page’s Kitchen Facebook page which will include updates, additional information and the ability for visitors to post (moderated) their own memories and photos of Page. Please visit and like our page. We’ve got an Instagram feed up and running as well. Follow along!
This project has been years in the making and we’re grateful to Jude Schlotzhauer and Virginia Blue Wilson for entrusting us with these priceless recordings. Special thanks to Guy Spiller and Charlie Reilly for carefully digitizing these 30-year-old master tapes. And a heartfelt thanks to Digital Video Group, Fralin Pickups, Threshold Counsel PC, the Scott Street Family and the members of VPM Music for their production support.
That profound lyric from Page’s beloved theme song “Virginia”, rings especially true after this unimaginable year of change and loss and too much time spent apart. So it’s in that spirit that we welcome you home, to share the music and the memories of our friend Page Wilson, who left us a full decade ago, but who leaves us with now indelible memories of the magic he made in his make-believe lair in the Chickahominy Swamp.
A very special documentary radio series debuts on Saturday, May 29th on VPM Music. The historic recordings that we’ll be revisiting soon, some more than three decades old, feature prominent artists who were playing Richmond venues back in the day … the likes of Delbert McClinton, Robert Earl Keen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier, and folks like Page who have joined the Angel Band … John Cephas, J. J. Cale and Tony Rice.
Page would ply them with brisket and gumbo and have them sing for their supper around his virtual kitchen table in the swamp, as the tape rolled. Some of what you’ll hear has never aired before, and it’s a singular snapshot of many of Americana’s most prominent artists in their prime.
This project has been years in the making and we’re grateful to Jude Schlotzhauer and Virginia Blue Wilson for entrusting us with these priceless recordings. Special thanks to Guy Spiller and Charlie Reilly for carefully digitizing these 30-year-old master tapes. And thanks to Digital Video Group, Fralin Pickups, Threshold Counsel PC, the Scott Street Family and the members of VPM Music … for their production support.
We are also honored and delighted to have had renowned illustrator Bill Nelson create the Page’s Kitchen caricature. After years in Richmond, Bill is now happily calling Staunton home and continues to make magic with his distinctive and instantly-recognizable work, now mostly focusing on sculpture. Take a fascinating look into his world here: billnelsonstudios.com
Page’s Kitchen will air twice each Saturday for eight weeks, at noon and at 8pm which was the time we’d faithfully tune in for the Out O’ The Blue Radio Revue. Listen terrestrially at either 93.1 or 107.3 FM, or stream the program live at VPM Music.
Elizabeth Wise, who was set to join us on Dec. 9th with her full band to record a live album while streaming, has decided to move forward with recording a studio album instead. Our goal is to have them join us in September for a CD release concert at In Your Ear; by then it may be feasible to have at least a limited live audience in Studio A. Elizabeth has launched a Kickstarter drive to fund the production of the album and we hope you’ll consider being a part of it.
In the meantime, Elizabeth is performing “Monday Blues” every Monday, 7 to 7:30pm, through the end of her Kickstarter campaign on her Facebook page showcasing some of the new songs she’ll include on the album. Cricket the dog often joins in. Check it out!
All of us at JAMinc hope you share in our renewed optimism for what the new year will bring and that a gradual easing of pandemic restrictions will let us get back to our live music offerings from Studio A. JAMinc … Live streaming concerts remain on hold until the board feels it’s safe for artists and crew to return. Amythyst Kiah (originally set for Jan. 14th) along with Mike Farris and Rod Picott remain in the wings and are basically ready to schedule when we are.
We wish you all of winter’s best, and urge you to catch the weekly Shockoe Sessions streaming every Tuesday night at 7:30 from Studio A. Carlos Chafin and company have created a wonderful environment to spotlight and support RVA’s formidable base of musical talent. Here’s a fine example from a few weeks ago.
Shockoe Sessions Live has raised over $10,000 for musicians and over $800 for Feed More.
Our In Your Ear … Live setup at Studio A.
To our JAMinc family …
As we grapple with the uncertainty and impact of the pandemic on our lives and our futures, all of us at JAMinc trust you and yours are healthy and optimistic, and are finding ways to make the most of this unimaginable period. The coronavirus has turned everyone’s world upside down and we’re sorely missing our social interactions and musical gatherings. For many, livelihoods have been severely impacted, especially the artists who entertain and inspire us. As you know JAMinc is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and our missions are simple. Enhance musical education especially in primary schools. Support music and musical performers. Distribute and share musical diversity in our community. We encourage you to view and enjoy our new virtual live streaming concert series, In Your Ear…Live, presented monthly on our YouTube channel. While you are there, please subscribe to the channel!
There is no charge to view these concerts; they’re made possible by a seasoned group of volunteers and the artists are guaranteed a generous performance fee. All artists are also recording a special video appropriate for school distribution. Here’s an example »
Even with virtual “tip jar” donations, we fall significantly short of breaking even on these events so we humbly ask that you consider a donation, as you are able, in order to continue to support these artists and our mission. 100% of your donation goes to the artists and production costs.
Ways to donate:
If you’d like more information on your donation choices please call or email your questions (email@example.com) We’re grateful for your loyal support and eagerly await the time we can gather in Studio A once more. Here’s to a meaningful and hopeful holiday season.
Tim Timberlake, President
Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran and an award-winning songwriter, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.”
Joined on drums by Austin McCall (Kaira Ba, Violet Bell), and musical renaissance man Johnny Waken on Strat, mandolin and crosscut saw, Byrd shares the often-missed, always poignant tales of the small people that make the world such a big place.
To get to know him a little better, read more about Jonathan Byrd »