Forget about the negative connotation of the word ‘junkie’ and concentrate on the positive definition as those who have an insatiable devotion to a cause.
So it is with the ‘Jam Room Junkies of Jenkins.’ This hot new band is new on the public scene, but in reality they have been getting together every Friday night for years and jamming for their own enjoyment.
“It has always been a hobby with us,” said Rick Hall, one of the senior members. “We don’t actively get out and try to get gigs to perform but when we’re approached to do a show we’re glad to get the opportunity.”
All four members are graduates of Jenkins High School and currently reside in Jenkins — Rick, class of ’81, Quinn Bowling, class of ’81, brother Rod Bowling, class of ’83 and the latecomer, Mike Sanders, class of ’96.
On bass guitar is Quinn Bowling who is affectionately known as ‘Word Man’ because of his natural talent for writing song lyrics. Quinn is the veteran of the band because he achieved success regionally with the popular band ‘Timekeeper’ in the 1990s.
On lead vocals and guitar is Rod ‘The Box Slinger’ Bowling, so nicknamed because of his employment with UPS. Rod’s powerful vocal style is second to none and fits nicely into the mix.
On lead guitar is Mike Sanders who joined the group two years ago. Mike received classical training in music at the University of Kentucky. “Mike is our technician,” said Rick. “When we’re composing original music we know we have it nailed down when Mike puts his stamp of approval on the composition.”
On drums and vocals is Rick Hall. He loves to write original music and helped write the lyrics to the locally popular song, ‘Devil John.’ The song is about local legend ‘Bad’ John Wright, his great-great-grandfather, who was immortalized as ‘Bad’ Judd Tolliver in the book ‘Trail of the Lonesome Pine’ by John Fox Jr.
The Jam Room Junkies is a versatile group which is comfortable playing rock, pop, blues, or some of its own folksy original music. “We try to get a feel of what our audience likes and go from there,” said Rick. “Originally we concentrated on Southern rock and heavy metal music, but we learned that some of the audiences prefer a more laid back sound of blues and classic rock.”
Even though the group’s passion is playing music, all have regular jobs. Quinn is manager of the Best Western Hotel in Wise, Va. Rod works for UPS. Mike works in the pro shop at Raven Rock Golf Course in Jenkins and Rick works for the family owned H&H Waterworks in Jenkins.
Rick also does contract work for Intermountain Cable and TVS Cable. Rick is seen regularly at most fiscal court meetings, city council meetings and school board meetings where he cuts the videos to be aired at a later date. Rick also has a weekly television show, ‘Meet the People,’ broadcast on Hindman TVS cable.
“I try to keep the public informed of regional events and local, interesting people,” said Rick.
The Jam Room Junkies will perform at the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival Thursday night, Aug. 27, beginning at 7 p.m. The group will open for the dynamic Tim Michaels who will perform from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Last year, the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival had a record three-day attendance thanks to beautiful weather and outstanding line-up of talented musicians.
Marlow Tackett will return this year on Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. for a command performance. Our Saturday night headliner will be Ralph Stanley II, who will begin at 9 p.m.
In addition to musical entertainment our festival will feature 15 food booths, carnival events, arts and crafts and novelties.
On Saturday we will have our annual festival parade through downtown Jenkins from noon to 1 p.m., then the whole town will flock to the City Park for non-stop entertainment till 11 p.m.
Our good friend Chuck Johnson will be back to glue the entire festival together with his excellent work as emcee. His new band Chuck Johnson and Friends will open for Ralph Stanley II.