A CD release party is a chance for a band and its fans to celebrate a job well done. While there are no plans for paper hats or a cake (though you can order dessert at this venue), the roots-rock quartet called the Nadas will be partying and playing at Jammin' Java on Sunday night for "Listen Through the Static," which came out in September on the group's own Authentic Records. Like the Nadas's previous release, "Transceiver," the new CD (their seventh) was produced by Todd and Toby Pipes of the pop-rock group Deep Blue Something and mixed by Grammy winner Stuart Sikes (the White Stripes, Loretta Lynn).
The Des Moines-based quartet, featuring Mike Butterworth (vocals, guitar), Jason Walsmith (vocals, guitar), Jon Locker (bass) and Justin Klein (drums, vocals), plays more than 200 shows each year and has become a regional favorite for its soulful, rootsy sound.
Songwriters Butterworth and Walsmith previously wrote material separately, collaborating for the first time when writing songs for the new disc. It takes its title from the ongoing struggle to find something worth hearing on your radio. The Nadas would like a world in which you could readily tune in to Tom Petty, Lucinda Williams, John Prine . . . and, presumably, the Nadas, who share a taste for that American heartland sound.
Another hard-driving road machine, the Clumsy Lovers, has been touring for 10 years and, by the band's count, has given more than 1,500 live performances. This fall offers a full U.S. and Canada tour as the Lovers celebrate the release of their seventh album, "Smart Kid" (Nettwerk Records).
The rambunctious Vancouver B.C.-based quintet, which consists of four gents and one feisty lady, create what one scribe called "raging bluegrass Celtic rock" that also sparkles with modern pop flair. Named after a bagpipe tune, the Clumsy Lovers began by playing Pogues covers in Irish pubs but have developed anything-goes skill, jumping among musical styles while maintaining great good humor and high energy on stage.
Founding member and chief songwriter Chris Jonat generally leads these not-at-all-clumsy musicians, but, at a previous Jammin' Java show, he couldn't be there, which let MVP Andrea Lewis take center stage with her lightning fiddle and delightful vocals. After the show, the band offered free copies of its then-latest CD, "After the Flood," as reparation for Jonat's absence. The audience's thorough enjoyment of the show made such compensation unnecessary and bodes an even livelier time with Jonat back at the microphone.
The Baltimore outfit called the Bridge -- which has been dubbed "a jam band with an urban soul" -- employs guitar, bass, mandolin, saxophone, drums and vocal percussion from "human beat box" Kenny Liner. With its self-released CD "Cross Market Street," the group scored honors for best band and best local album in the recent 2005 Baltimore City Paper readers poll.
-- MARIANNE MEYER
Jammin' Java is at 227 Maple Ave. E.; 703-255-1566; www.jamminjava.com. Tickets are $10 and all ages are welcome. Good food, gourmet coffee, wine and beer are available.
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