a decade of jam

If you want the best jam
You’ve got to make your own

Strawberry Jam-Michelle Shocked

Saturday, June 25th the humble little community of Carbondale,  KS, pop. 1,478 will swell in ranks significantly when Randy and Lisa host the Carbondale 10th Anniversary Jam.

Over the last decade, musicians and music lovers alike have been converging on a small parcel of land on the outskirts of this peaceful little town. Many arrive brandishing musical instruments, intent on making jam with fellow four and six string enthusiasts and a drummer or two. Some are just as content to hang out; spending the evening listening to the musical outpouring of friends, spouses or significant others. Some have traveled far to be there and some just across town, but the one thing they all have in common, is a love and appreciation for homemade jam.

Randy and Lisa

Jam sessions at bars and clubs are popular these days. Several venues throughout Topeka host weekly jams, but the C-dale Jam is something special, even for those who’ve attended only a few times. Located on Randy and Lisa’s private property, the Jam is more an informal gathering of friends and family, who’ve found their way there by invitation. That fact notwithstanding, the Carbondale Jam has achieved legendary status among aficionados of do-it-yourself, rock and roll music.

It all started when Santa Fe Trails alumni, Lars and Randy, ran into each other at their 20th high school reunion. Discovering they still had a mutual love for playing rock and roll and growing their hair, they got together to play some music in Randy’s new workshop. It must have gone over well, because Dennis, Cecile, and Charley showed up the next week, and from there it’s grown into what Jam regular and event organizer, Professor Chuggy, calls a, “back porch hootenanny gone off the rails.”

“Musicians playing for musicians,” says Chuggy, a nine year Jam veteran. “It was never about putting on a show. It’s about sharing music with your fellow players . . . it has also healed a lot of broken souls.”

As time went on friendships were forged, alliances were made and oftentimes formal bands were formed out of this informal gathering.

“The Tone Benders, Hammerjunk, The Peacemakers, and many, many more have cut their chops there, or been introduced there.”


So to mark the auspicious occasion of Randy and Lars initial get-together, and to celebrate all the great music that’s gone down at this humble little building over the last ten years; Randy and Lisa decided to pull out the stops and have a special day of Jam. They invited all the musicians who have a connection with their bi-weekly rock and roll hootenanny, to come out and perform for their special guests.

There will be food, beer, pop, water, t-shirts, koozies, jewelry, baked goods, and other items of interest for sale. They’ll probably let people onto the grounds around noon, and you can camp overnight if you feel inclined to do so.

Come early and plan to stay late, because with nine bands scheduled to play plus an open jam afterwards, this promises to be heaven on earth for all Jam enthusiasts. Whoa Nelly!

A power trio from Kansas City, with influences as diverse as, Two Days Warning, Kinks, Spacehog, Pete Yorn, Collective Soul, R.E.M., Toadies, Gary Newman, Foo Fighters, Air Supply, [and] White Stripes, I/O perform a set of original rock.

Dean Dailey – Drums, Vocals
Matt Brillhart – Bass, Vocals
Jeff Rhodes – Guitar, Vocals


Next up is hard rocking Steamroller, featuring Paradox front man DJ Jost, and the wicked guitar riffing of the Reverend J. Steele, plus the rock solid rhythm section of Chuckie Pain and Jake Bartlow of Flashback fame.

L-R:Mike Weinbrect- Westin Alford- Mike Weber- Kevin Hamm-Tom Peterson- and on kit - Tim Bulkley

Then SignShopBlues, a 6-7 piece “rhythmic-psychedelic-electric-blues” band that guitarist Tom Peterson promises, “play nuttin’ like the record,” is up next.

After a two year hiatus, Topeka/Carbondale rockers, Hammerjunk, who went public with their ragged around the edges variations of rock and roll classics, at the Jam three years ago, are back by popular demand.

John Barba- Guitar
DJ Jost- Drums/BGV
Robin Cremer- Bass
Donny Barba- Lead Vocals and Harley

Popular Topeka band Flashback, fronted by local music legend Mike Cowell, will perform their spot-on renditions of classic rock standards, followed by Josh Vowell and the Rumble, with M.Boyd Brown on bass, Justin “J” Shelton on harp, and Dave Spritzer, on drums, and featuring the incendiary blues riffing of two-time IBC finalist, Josh Vowell.

Following Josh, a band who’ll tell you straight up that they,

“make thousands of dollars,” playing gigs, but want you to know it’s, “not
for us. We make money for those that are unable to make money for themselves,
due to illness, accident, or other issues.”

The Tone Benders, hailing from all parts of the great Midwest and featuring three of the original Jammers; Lars, Dennis and Charley, with nine year Jam vet, Chuggy on drums, closes out the evening’s performances.

An open jam brings to an end the day’s festivities, giving everyone a chance to get up, stretch out, and blow the roof off the barn.


Please keep in mind that this is first and foremost a private celebration, and although open to the public and free to attend, you must contact a member of one of the bands to obtain a ticket, which must be signed by both inviter and invitee, to get you in. It may take a little more time and effort then an ordinary music festival, but I guarantee at the end of the day you’ll be glad you went to the trouble . . .

. . . and if you do attend this amazing day of musical madness, all I am asking is you consider that it is taking place on Randy and Lisa’s private property and you show them the same respect you would insist on if you had guests over for your party.

Carbondale 10th Anniversary Band Schedule

1:00 p.m. – To Be Announced

2:00 p.m. – I/O

3:00 p.m. – Steamroller

4:00 p.m. – SignShopBlues

5:00 p.m. – To Be Announced

6:00 p.m. – Hammerjunk

7:00 p.m. – Flashback

8:00 p.m. – Josh Vowell & the Rumble

9:30 p.m. – The Tone Benders

11:00 p.m. – Open Jam

[June 2011 | Robin Cremer | photos provided by facebook pages| top photo by Judith Cremer ]

Please note the above schedule is subject to change.  To be updated, contact any of the bands listed above. Also visit their Facebook page and show them some love by Liking it.

Add Comment