This Sunday afternoon, don't be surprised if you hear the screech of guitars or some loud wailing emanating from Townsend. It's not a wild teenage party getting out of hand. It's actually local resident and musician David Brenton, who is opening up his home, the Dragonfly Air Ranch, for a jam fest like no other. One that he says that everyone is welcome to attend and instruments are optional.
Brenton, who has been playing music for more than 40 years, hosts a jam session every so often but this one carries some special weight since it will also double as his latest CD release party. He's also finally fulfilling one of his musical dreams, set in motion when he started hosting the jams several years ago: finally getting it all on tape.
The mild-mannered musician took time this week to discuss his background in music, why he organizes the jams and how this jam will live on forever.
Q What's the back story for this party you are throwing?
A I've played in a million bands around here so I know a lot of the musicians. I ask people to show up and they show up. It's absolutely amazing. People you don't know stop in, they get up on stage and just play. This time, though, I've actually recorded a CD of music that I've been writing my whole life and I'm going to have a release party for it.
Q What's your music like?
A Well, you know, you listen to a bunch of bands, play a bunch of stuff and then you start to hone in on something and get good at it. But, the reason you're getting good at it is because it's pulled you in. I've been told that I'm pushy and prickly and snarky and I finally decided to embrace it. But, I'm having a blast with it. Some of the songs are funny, some are more heart-felt. But, I tell you, I've been getting a lot of good feedback on the music. I'm starting to think people are really going to like it.
Q Where is the jam going to be exactly? Is truly everyone invited?
A The jam is going to be at my place, the Dragonfly Air Ranch, that I built in Townsend. I was also a pilot, which is where we get the name. But, I've got an air hangar and a lot of open space to play and park cars. And, yes, everyone is invited. If you have a guitar or if you even have a triangle, bring it. We'll get you set up and you can come onstage and jam. If you play the triangle and you feel comfortable, bring it. But, you don't have to. It's great fun to just watch and listen, too. There will be a little something to drink and a little something to eat. Bring something to share and don't forget to bring your chair. That's it. It's just easy, fun and laid back.
Page 2 of 2 - Q Explain some of the logistics, though. Where do people go?
A The address is 1274 Caldwell Corner Road. We'll have signs posted so just follow those. Once you get to the address, you'll be greeted by my sons. If you have equipment or something to load up, you'll be escorted to the main building, the air plane hangar, and then escorted back to a place you can park your cars.
Q What's your favorite part of these jam sessions?
A Honestly, it's everything. These are just really cool parties. But, I love getting to play with people. What happens is that you get up on stage with people you've never played with before and you just start playing. It's so awesome. You pick a chord progression and just go with it, maybe it's a song everybody knows, maybe it's not. When you get tired, you take a break and the next person who has been itching to play gets up.
Q Some of this is going to be recorded, too, right?
A Yes. And, I can't tell you how excited I am about that part. Every time I've had one of these, I've said to myself, "I wish I had recorded this." It's unbelievable the talent that is in this area that shows up to these things. So, finally, this time, I've got Digital Street Studios coming to record the whole thing and we're going to be able to give a copy to anybody who wants it.
Q Speaking of recordings, yours will also be available for sale, right?
A Of course. It's a nine-song disc and we'll have copies for sale for $10 if anybody wants one. We're also going to have t-shirts and stickers, too.