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Blame James Brings the Funk to BT's

Cory St. Clair Guest Writer
Published 02-24-06
Graphic By: Julie Brennan
The band Blame James was formed when a group of guys from Blacksburg met a group of guys from Radford. They had similar interests - the love of music and the aspirations to form a band - and that's just what they did. They named the band after the mutual friend that brought them together, James, and their popularity took off from there. Blame James has been amassing a larger and larger following with each show. Through word-of-mouth alone, the band, has been able to obtain gigs that most college bands only dream of having. When it first formed, the band mainly played house parties, but, as their reputation increased, so did their demand.

Blame James played at BT's bar and restaurant on Wednesday to an extremely enthusiastic crowd. BT's does not usually book Radford bands, and the groups that typically perform there are more widely known regional acts. This is something which made it more of a monumental feat for Blame James. Lead vocalist Jack Van De Riet reiterated on this by saying, "It feels gratifying to play bigger venues, because we have worked so hard."

Their hard work has definitely paid off, and this was made clear through their music. Although the majority of their songs are covers, the twist they put on their music makes it unique. Their show on Wednesday combined jam rock and classic roots, and left the crowd wanting more. Blames James' renditions of songs like the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" and Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" showed just how eclectic their music is. One could observe just how responsive the crowd was to their music by simply looking around and seeing everyone dancing and singing along to "Whipping Post" and "Don't You Forget About Me." Blame James also incorporated some of their own songs like "Big Girl" and "Hustle" into the show. "Hustle," a particular crowd favorite, combines classic rock and hip hop to produce a song that is especially catchy. Junior Claudia Undurraga said, "They branch away from the pop music and gear towards music that's been liked and appreciated for decades, and the vibe they gave off was contagious and chill. They were there to entertain, but it really seemed like they had fun in the process. They really fed off of each others abilities and worked with it."

Many bandmates in a college band try to out-do each other and steal the show with long, monotonous solos, this is not the case with Blame James. The whole band plays in perfect harmony with each other and are extremely talented at playing multiple instruments. During the show it was not uncommon to see Josh Van De Riet, Jack's brother, jump from keyboard to guitar or for backup guitarist David Bennett to belt out a song on vocals.

Since the formation of the band, Blame James has progressed in leaps and bounds. After recently adding Trevor Robinson on percussion to back up Matt Sielsky and Joe Detmar as their sound engineer, Blame James has taken on a multifaceted and more versatile sound. They recently chose to be represented by EastCoast Entertainment, which will also help get the word out about Blame James. Blame James will be playing at Champ's in Blacksburg on Friday, Feb. 24 and at JD's in Radford on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Cory St.Clair is a smug, egotistical bastard of a writer for the Whim.

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love Jack & Josh
Posted by Bree

I love Jack and Josh of Blame James...they are my bros...no really, they are.
No Subject
Posted by Doug

Until you see them live, you don't know. You THINK you know, but you don't KNOW!!
Hell yeah!
Posted by Rick Snee

It's a good thing I don't have a t-shirt for this band, otherwise I would definitely be That Guy. If you haven't seen them yet, make that a priority.

Oh, yeah. And Jack's a decent writer for The Tartan, too.
another show
Posted by Joe

since nobody from the band posted it, i might as well do it. they have added an extra show Blame James 3/1/06Top of the Stairs (TOTS) in Blacksburg
Posted by Rick Snee

Tuesday Night, JD's. Be there. Unless you're dead or in jail. And if you're in jail, break out!
No Subject
Posted by James

With a name like Blame James how can they fail
No Subject
Posted by James

With a name like Blame James how can they fail
Local Acts @ BT's
Posted by Adam

The reason BT's never books local bands is because BT's books COVER bands. BTs could care less about promoting local music, they're looking only for a jukebox replacement. Enter Blame James.
[Blame James] - your local jukebox replacement
Posted by Jack Van De Riet

Coming to you live from Southwest Virginia, BLAME JAMES!! Proud to be your local jukebox replacement... ironically, that's exactly what EastCoast Entertainment called us after they listened to our original cd and signed us...
jack and josh's mother
Posted by mike aka hendo

boy oh boy, blame james has some good music but the mother of jack and josh is smokin hot, i know we've all seen some MILF's before but she really takes the cake
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