As a recording and touring musician, there’s not much better than owning your own performance space, allowing for experimentation and learning from other colleagues in the industry.
That’s just what life is like for Luke Brindley, one of the co-owners of Vienna’s Jammin Java. Brindley and his brothers, Daniel and Jonathan, have owned the 200-seat venue since moving to the area in 2001.
“In a lot of ways, it’s been awesome,” Brindley said. “It’s a lot of work, there’s no doubt about that. It’s also been great to just meet other touring artists and kind of have a home base locally. Honestly, it’s been a great sort of laboratory for my own performing and getting to see so many different kinds of amazing performers there every night for the past 10 years or whatever. I can’t imagine life without it.”
Brindley will play at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Jammin Java. Tickets are $15 and on sale now at jamminjava.com.
The show is an album release party for “The Whiskey Switch,” available now on iTunes and Bandcamp. He was happy with early reviews from a number of publications, who have given the album high praise.
The album’s name comes from a special feature at the Jammin Java — one hidden in the green room, and available only to performers. Brindley said the club feature was a perfect name for the album of stripped-down songs.
“There’s a switch on the wall that goes to the back bar in the club,” he said. “And when you flip the switch, a light goes on at the bar that only the bartender can see, and the bartender can come back and bring you drinks. The bands nicknamed it the whiskey switch.”
In 2013, after the breakup of his touring band, Brindley undertook an ambitious project of writing and releasing a new song each week. While the challenge was sometimes difficult, he said it helped him reign himself in as a songwriter and meet his deadline.
“The hard part for me was keeping a deadline and really forcing myself to focus and finish songs,” Brindley said. “I always have a lot of ideas, and sometimes it’s too easy to start songs and never finish them. Having the song a week project really helped because I have that deadline every week — there were people expecting a new song every week.”
When putting together “The Whiskey Switch,” he picked a deadline for the album and worked to finish the album by that date. He also wanted to focus his efforts on a single musical style, instead of the 52 songs project, which saw him changing styles week-to-week. He said he’d been wanting to put together a folk and Americana record for quite sometime, and this was the perfect opportunity for it.
“I wanted to put something out that was a little more focused, a little more cohesive,” Brindley said. “Some of the feedback I did get from the song a week project was that it was a lot of material to take in — 52 songs by anyone is a lot.”