Band on the brink of fame
Janah brings a world of rhythm to the Fox
by Pamela White
© 2002 Boulder Weekly. All Rights Reserved.
JANAH "LIVE" ON THE DUNHAMS RADIO SHOW SUN 18TH AUGUST 2002 Atlanta
OMG I have just returned with Robert from a live radio show with JANAH . Its nearly 1am now and I am completely knocked out. They played for 2 hours and 10 mins. One hour was recorded live for the radio show the Dunhams who are two local disc jockeys for Z.93 in Atlanta. I have seen Janah now at least a dozen or more times but this one was just AWESOME......I cannot wait to play the recording back tonight of the live show I attended. I'll never get to bed, but I cannot go to sleep without hearing the whole show again.
I suppose you have gathered I think a lot of this band. Well yes I do .......This band is my no. 2 band with PR of course being my no. 1 .........For those of you who know me well, after my back accident in Feb 2001, I thought I would never be able to move freely again , but with the help of JANAH's music being so damm good. I get a fantastic workout each time I see them. I just can't stop moving my whole body to the sound of the charismatic sound of Janah
Each member of the band just facinates me. The singer is just delightful to watch and sings with his whole body, the way he performs blows me away. The bass play plays like no other............His playing is so aggressive its impressive, all the members of the band are so unique. I love each one of them This show gets a 9.0 for just giving us as much as they can. Well done guys !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you want to catch a JANAH show live , see if they are coming to a town near you.
This story comes from some friends of ours in an Atlanta band called Janah.
Only 36 Hours to NOT Play Nashville
11:30 AM June 2, 2002 - Janah meets at our home base: Sycamore Recording Studios in Roswell, GA. All of us exchange salutations and prepare to begin our journey to Nashville, America’s Music Mecca, by boarding the Eye Hope. Named by its original owner, the Eye Hope (appearing as <O> Hope on the rear spare tire cover) is a 38 foot 1983 Holiday Rambler Recreational Vehicle. Most of the Eye Hope’s components are much newer than that, as necessity has dictated over her life of 90,000+ miles. She’s carried Janah to cities and towns all over the Southeast, up the East coast, down through the Midwest, and across the crest of the Gulf of Mexico and back. And Janah’s carried her to every RV mechanic in the Metro Atlanta area.
12:00 Noon - Janah sets sail.
1:00 PM - Janah stops at exit 290 on I-75 to pick up Soundman/Road Manager Brad Nash and fill up the Eye Hope’s 70 gallon gas tank.
1:20 PM - The journey to Nashville continues, with Bill at the helm. The predominant recreation on this recreational vehicle is conversation. With eight educated guys, conversation topics can vary as widely as books in a library – from history to film, to food, to current events, to engineering, to literature, to technology, to etymology, to theology, to psychology, to chicks, two chicks, and of course every aspect of music – all discussed to exhaustion.
Another favorite recreation, born out of necessity, is sleeping. Life on the road requires that certain opportunities never be missed, lest they be long lost:
2:15 PM - With Keith, Ron, Steve and Brett sleeping, and Rick
and myself working on songs, Bill relinquishes the helm to Brad, so that
Bill can help Rick and me work out parts for the new Janah song “The
The decision on how much clothing to wear while sleeping in the RV is a personal choice – understood by all and rarely discussed. Some group members choose to exercise more freedom in that area than others. Those members are faced with the eternal conflict of freedom vs. security – the freedom to be comfortable while sleeping vs. the security of knowing that when you are invited to evacuate the RV NOW! DAMN-IT! you’ll not be underdressed for the occasion.
~3:00:01 - As Bill and I stand 200 yards up the highway embankment observing our brothers barreling out the door in various stages of dress with a backdrop of towering black smoke and white steam, we hear our own Brad Nash (a.k.a. high risk rescue firemen for Cobb County Fire Department) yelling for more water from the other side of the vehicle. Bill and I rush back up to the side door and join Keith, Brett, Steve, Rick and Ron tossing our water reserve jugs in a fireman’s line from next to the bathroom, out the door, around the back and up to the left rear wheel. The left rear wheel is 10 inches from the RV’s sewage tank, 18 inches from the gas tank. A trucker has stopped and is running towards the wheel with a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher – we have one of those! ….somewhere.
Scrambling his way out, after checking that all the bunks are empty, Steve has the presence of mind to open the door to the bathroom, realizing it sits above the left rear wheel well. The room is black with smoke. He hits the fan switch, but nothing happens. The trucker reaches the wheel and extinguishes the flames on the tire. Steve re-enters the bathroom, where the guitars are stored, hits the fan, which starts this time, and begins passing the smoldering guitar and sitar cases down the line. Outside, we use a wet towel to put out the tiny lingering embers. We’re safe, the RV’s safe, the instruments are fine. “We’ve got a new story” Bill smiles and says to me.
~3:04 PM - Six hours later, the fire truck arrives. We begin to theorize that the brakes had caught fire on the way down the last 4-mile grade, causing the tire to explode. With the help of the firemen, and a waning audience of stopped cars, we change the tire and limp up to the next exit, maybe ¼ mile away.
3:45 PM - Parking at a Stuckey’s, we disassemble the wheel and assess the damage. The area is scorched. The wheel well cover is melted. The brakes are dust. The back plate for the drum is warped. The rear bearings have taken a shape similar to the remnants of a box of Raisinettes. Grease? What grease?
4:00 PM - Slowly widening our focus, we realize that we still have a job to do. We have a show to perform, in Nashville, at a club, to a live radio audience. Ron, being the most responsible in Janah’s logistical maters, and therefore the most often abused among us, has been in touch with the Record Label, Radio Station, and Club Manager to inform everyone of the situation. Clichéd bottom line and Janah’s position: the show must go on.
4:30 PM - Ron and Brad do an excellent job of fielding the influx of phone calls attempting to manage the crisis. Steve, Bill, Brett and Rick continue to assess the damage and attempt to define a fix for the scorched wheel. With no car rental stores open on Sunday, Keith and I place calls to friends in the area, in search of a saint with available resources – a truck to haul a trailer, and at least six musicians, to Nashville, 90 miles away, America’s Music Mecca, to address the masses in a live radio broadcast of a Janah show…in 4 and ½ hours.
That saint is Scott Keniley – friend of Janah, musicians’ advocate, Nashville resident, entertainment attorney, and proud owner of a one-year-old Chevrolet Tahoe, which had just traversed the same stretch of I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville less than two hours prior. Within minutes, Scott was back on the highway, driving 90 miles at the drop of a hat to do what he could to help. The show might go on.
5:45 PM - Scott arrives. The radio station has laid down their law – if we can’t be there by 6:15 to do a sound check, no broadcast. So, no broadcast. Now it’s the club’s turn. Maybe we can still salvage a paying gig from the ruins. After much capitulation on their part, and much ingratiation on Ron and Brad ’s part, the club offers their verdict: don’t bother. But The Show MUST….. uh, whatever, dude, we wanna go home early.
6:15 PM - With the kind assistance of several local folks, we’ve learned that there’s a garage that can service RV’s 15 miles up I-24. Steve reassembles the wheel as best he can, minus brakes, minus rear bearings, and with a warped back plate. The expectation is that the Eye Hope will slowly wobble her way to the garage, Scott following with the trailer, and we’ll park there and sleep until Monday morning when the garage opens.
7:30 PM - 100 yards on to I-24’s emergency lane, it is discovered that applying several thousand pounds and driving on a wheel minus rear bearings creates an interesting sound and light. While I’ve never seen a speeding freight train lock up it’s brakes on the tracks, from the passenger seat of Scott’s SUV, I believe I learned what that piercing metal-on-metal shriek and subsequent orange rooster tail of sparks would look like.
Because the wheel well cover had melted in the fire, the RV’s bathroom sported a glass-bottom-boat-type view of the light show. Apparently, at that point Ron thought to begin dumping water through the hole onto the wheel creating a trail of steam. With years of experience in rock show presentation, Ron quickly recalled that any good light show needs smoke.
7:55 PM - Janah arrives at a rest stop to replenish the water supply, look at a map and discover that the RV shop is the other way on I-24 (not that traveling 15 miles in any direction was really an option now). But there IS a truck stop with a 24-hour garage two more exits up in the same direction.
8:30 PM - Scott and I arrive at the Mont eagle Truck Stop, having left the rest of Janah to manage the Chinese New Year Parade alone. I step into the service department’s office to apprise the team of mechanical experts of the situation and our dire circumstance. The depth of their concern reveals itself in their eyes the moment they look up at me – about 45 seconds after I start talking.
We do manage to establish that the one mechanic who might give a…. um, be able to help, will be in at 7:00 AM. And that I should leave.
9:00 PM - We park the Eye Hope and her trailer on the truck stop’s older out-of-commission scales in the rear of the campus.
9:15 PM - We offer overt thanks to Scott, to which he graciously answers, “A lot of people have had a much worse day than we have today. Don’t mention it. Pay it forward” – a movie, and attitude, worth remembering.
After Scott leaves, some of us drink a beer, all watch Shrek, and marvel at Brad’s digital recordings on his laptop from the previous Janah show in Columbus, and sleep.
7:00 AM June 3, 2002 - We pull the RV around to the open garage bay and Mont eagle’s team of grade-A mechanics races into action with all the enthusiasm and attentiveness of a herd of turtles.
7:30 AM - A mechanic removes a lug nut from the wheel.
8:05 AM - Another mechanic removes another lug nut from the wheel.
8:15 AM - Realizing that at this pace we do indeed have time for breakfast, the eight of us mosey into the truck stop restaurant. The scene might have been best described in the words of Bob Seager’s “Turn The Page” – “…sometimes you can ’t hear ‘em, other times you can, all the same old clichés, is that a woman or a man…”, but the level of contempt felt through the eyes of our fellow customers comes with much less tact and discretion than depicted in that song.
Little do they know that this band of seemingly heathen hippies holds a place in their heart and in their history for these good folks and their way of life. The walls are decorated with pictures of bald eagles, American landscapes, and country music legends. The game begins – who can name the highest number and/or most obscure country artist on the wall – Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrel, Walon Jennings, Alabama, Johnny Cash, C.W. McCall, each name ushers in a footnote about the artist’s production, career highlights, and sung lines from their hits – all with admiration and respect. Before breakfast is over, that admiration and respect has come full circle, and the eves-dropping brows that beat us on the way in, are raised and cordial on our way out.
11:15 AM - Scott calls to check on us, and to pass along a message – when he reached home the night before, he turned on the television. The movie on the channel on the television as it warmed? Pay It Forward.
11:30 AM - All awaiting word from the mechanics, engaged in the art of doing nothing, I receive a call from a friend simply saying hi. I tell the story. Enter saint number two: Billy Bryan. He volunteers to drive 2+ hours from Euharley, GA to Mont eagle, TN to pick up our trailer, and a few people and deliver them back to Acworth, GA. From there, we arrange passage back to the studio via saint number three: Nancy Galbraith.
12:00 Noon - So who will ride with Billy? With status of the repairs
unknown, and the time to completion uncertain, individual priorities are
analyzed. Bill needs to pick up Janah’s newest member Tom at the airport
at 12:30 this evening. Keith’s wife has just been evacuated from the
nuclear hot bed of India, as ordered by our president, and they have not
seen one another in 7 weeks. Brad has consulting contracts pending and
shifts to cover at the fire station. Brett has a trip scheduled at 9:00 AM
the next day. Billy stipulates that he ain’t comin’ unless I fish with
him in the morning. Obligation’s a bitch.
Steve is now making significant headway with the mechanics. Lines of communication are open and flowing. Parts are not. Fred at the parts counter begins to sprout mitre and staff and line up to become saint number four. He places calls to parts distributors in Cumming, Cartersville, Chattanooga, and who knows where else, in search of bearings, races and a seal for the Eye Hope’s wheel. I place a call to Billy to wait up if he can, his commission may be expanded.
In the mean time, Janah’s signing posters for the mechanics, and exchanging well wishes. You never know.
1:20 PM - Fred dons cape, mitre and staff and finds parts in Chattanooga. Billy agrees to stop there on his way in and pick them up – a task that will prove to be as trying as playing a show in Nashville.
3:30 PM - Billy calls to announce his arrival as Janah sits down for lunch back in the restaurant to the tunes of “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “Great Balls of Fire” playing on the jukebox… twice. “Where are you?” I ask. Billy replies in typical Billy fashion “standin’ in front of this RV piece o’ sure enough Keith and find him there by the garage bay, all smiles.
4:00 PM - We finish lunch.
The mechanics finish the wheel.
We hook the trailer to Billy’s truck to lighten the Eye Hope’s load for the journey home.
We get the bill for repairs. 20 hours at the truck stop. 9 taking up one of their bays. Numerous phone calls for parts. Hours of diagnosis and labor. 100 dollars. Halos beam.
5:00 PM - Janah settles up and sets sail.
8:00 PM - We drop Brad off at exit 290 on I-75.
8:30 PM - We arrive at Steve’s home in Acworth basking in the shining faces of his three daughters, wife, and Keith’s wife – a glorious sight for sore, smelly, tired eyes.
8:45 PM - Saint Nancy arrives with transportation for five sore, smelly, tired guys.
9:15 PM - A solid line of bright red taillights form a wall across I-75’s southbound lanes. A tractor-trailer has wrecked. All lanes are blocked.
11:30 PM June 3, 2002 We arrive at our home base: Sycamore Recording Studios in Roswell, GA. We exchange salutations and go home… and eat… and bath… and sleep.
Accreditation is mostly overrated. But friendship is invaluable, whether discovered or newly created. Words of thanks are too small, and so it may often go without saying entirely, but hopefully always with complete understanding.
To borrow a sign off from legendary good ole’ boy and talk show host Ludlow Porch, “No matter what else you do today, you find somebody to be nice to.” And pay it forward.