WXTJ Jamz: Kendall Street Company
We’re thrilled to have Kendall Street Company on our stage for the sixth episode of WXTJ Jamz. Joining us after a full month of performing at venues all over Virginia, Charlottesville’s own Kendall Street Company is a genre-fluid, jam-rock ensemble that claims to be “on tour always.” Visit our YouTube channel to watch the full video.
To commemorate the continued support we’ve gotten on the series (thank you), this will be the first written piece with director’s notes! Keep reading to learn more about Kendall Street Company’s performance at WXTJ Jamz. Official information about WXTJ Jamz can now also be found at wxtj.fm/jamz.
The band was born out of the serendipitous musical friendships between Louis Smith [Lead Vocals/ Rhythm Guitar], Brian Roy [Bass], Ryan Wood [Drums], Ben Laderberg [Lead Guitar], and Jake Vanaman [Saxophone/ Keys] — who all met at the University of Virginia, graduating between 2005 and 2010. They now leave a lasting impact on live-music lovers, with their love of bringing humor and storytelling to the stage.
Since then, they have released over 100 original songs and embarked on tours across the country. This episode of WXTJ Jamz was recorded in March 2023, which is right when the band wrapped up their state-wide “Kendall Street Is For Lovers” tour.
As of today, their cover of “The Fool On The Hill” by The Beatles is out now. Their newest single, “Lost Together,” is also available to stream. For all other music, tour dates, as well as updates about their upcoming album, visit the band’s website at www.kendallstreetcompany.com.
Director’s Notes by Ashley Park
This video was filmed at a time when most students were out of town for spring break. So, if you couldn’t already guess from the absence of usual claps and cheers, the live audience for this performance was very exclusive. What I mean by exclusive is that it was really just me, alongside four other members of our production team — and almost all of them were behind a closed studio door the whole time.
Kendall Street Company shows are known for having high-energy crowds. The band incorporates elements of audience participation, off-the-cuff interactions (during and in-between songs), jokes, and other musical antics. I was able to catch one of their last shows at The Southern here in Charlottesville on February 23rd, and they engaged us in a game of Bop It! but with funny sounds that came from each of their instruments. It was great. So, this time around, it was certainly an interesting experience to see Louis, Brian, Ryan, Ben, and Jake rely on each other more than anyone else for the recording. It was still special, as they’re incredibly skilled and natural performers, know their songs and their sound by heart, and have no shame in rolling out a complete set of personal rugs on stage so that they can take off their shoes.
Might one of them not actually be barefoot? The world may never know.
The fun, spontaneous energy of KSC was really flowing through the space that day. A mixture of rushing to set-up the video equipment, resolving technical issues, and wanting to experiment — it brought me to use a free-floating camera for the video. It would’ve been awkward to be the only one in the crowd and dancing, but this task definitely kept me on my feet.
Also, if you’ve watched enough WXTJ Jamz episodes, you’d know that Crabby (aka “Money Crab,” or perhaps “Wonderful Virginia Blue Crab”) makes an appearance in each one. He normally lives in our studio upstairs, but just can’t help but wander around when he hears good music happening below. The coincidence that he’d end up being the mascot of their song “Crab Surprise” was not planned. At all. I’m so glad it happened, though, because I’m pretty sure he’s best friends with them now — which means Kendall Street Company will have to come back to WXTJ again someday soon.
“Lost Together” – Kendall Street Company
“The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles, Cover by Kendall Street Company
“Crab Surprise” – Kendall Street Company
“Trapeze” – Kendall Street Company
WXTJ Jamz is brought to you by:
Producers – Ashley Park, Ellis Nolan
WXTJ Director – Ashley Park
Performers – Kendall Street Company
Audio Engineer – Ben Larsen
Mix + Master – Ben Larsen
Video + Editing – Ashley Park
Special thanks to Lewis Reining, Jay Baker, and of course WTJU 91.1 FM for the extra help on this episode!