Calf Mountain Jam
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Calf Mountain Jam

Waynesboro, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Waynesboro, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Jam


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Calf Mountain Jam @ Shenandoah Pizza

Staunton, Virginia, USA

Staunton, Virginia, USA

Calf Mountain Jam @ Awful Arthur's Downtown

Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Calf Mountain Jam @ Dave's Downtown Taverna

Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Calf Mountain Jam raises bread for tsunami victims

By Dawn Medley,
Courtesy of Calf Mountain Jam

Calf Mountain Jam band member Brian Massie

If You Go

# what: Calf Mountain Jam

# when: 9 p.m. Feb. 25

# where: The Clock Tower Tavern

# tickets: $3, all proceeds and donations go to Air Serv International to aid those affected by the recent tsunami

# more info:,

Listen to Calf Mountain Jam clips

The Morning Star


Ben Reade, Justin Shifflett, and Brian Massie sat eagerly at a table at the Clock Tower Tavern on Beverley Street on a recent Thursday night. They patiently and candidly answered questions about their band, Calf Mountain Jam, and themselves, but if there had been a few microphones and instruments in front of them in place of a reporter's notebook they would have been in much more familiar territory.

That's where they'll find themselves Friday night, this time on stage at the Clock Tower joined by fourth band member, guitarist and vocalist Jason Critzer, and the band's latest addition, percussionist Joe Dockery. Ticket proceeds and donations from the show will be sent to the tsunami relief effort through the Warrenton-based humanitarian organization Air Serv International.

Reade, Shifflett, Massie and Critzer have been playing together since 1997 -- they're all still only in their mid-20s -- and they have built a dedicated, if relatively small, local fan base. The occasional media spotlight is still an anomaly for the Waynesboro natives, but with the release of the band's first album coming in the spring and gigs at bigger venues and festival slots starting to take off, Calf Mountain is clearly ready to take the next step.

"I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't playing and writing," said Read, 26, who pens most of the band's original tunes and provides lead vocals and guitar. "It goes without saying that we'd like to get out and play more, meet more people in more places."

While some of the more well-known jam bands admired by Calf Mountain members have added synthesized, keyboard-produced sound to their music, Calf Mountain has stayed true to its organic, fundamental roots, relying on their solid command of their instruments and voices. The band's first album, "One Arm on the Wheel," recorded and mixed by Bobby Read of the Bruce Hornsby Band, features the soulful, roots-rock lyrics and instrumental solos that have gained them local acclaim and opportunities to play a tour in Ireland, performances at the State Theater in Falls Church, and a spot at the eclectic Spaghetti Fest in Mount Solon.

Calf Mountain Jam blends early influences of the jam band scene popularized by The Allman Brothers Band and Phish. Reade and Shifflett list Particle, Moe, The String Cheese Incident, and Disco Biscuits as some of their favorite current groups.

A regular at intimate Staunton and Harrisonburg venues, Calf Mountain Jam plays live shows two or three times a week. In addition to Ireland, they have performed in locations from Vermont to Georgia.

"We never mind being billed as the opening band when we are not headlining; whenever we get to play with great musicians, it's a treat. We are getting into the festival scene to broaden our fan base," said Shifflett, who is keeps busy on the phone promoting and booking the band when he's not on the drum set.

It does not take long to appreciate that Calf Mountain Jam just plain likes to make music, whether anyone's listening or not. They grin thinking about their next gig. They would be lost without the creative outlet.

Massie, the bassist, admits he would not mind it if the band hit it big, but he enjoys making music that isn't "drilled into your head a hundred times a day on the radio. If we can write and play stuff that is meaningful to us and people in our audiences can relate and dance, it's a good day. If that someday makes us mainstream, that would be great.

"When we get into that groove and we can feel that we're all connecting, I realize that's why I go through the practices and the travel and the booking. Playing is its own reward," Massie said.

Waynesboro band plays for charity on the way to festival scene

Originally published Thursday, February 24, 2005 - Go! The Daily News Leader

"A great touring jam band, with funk and reggae beats." - Splash Magazine

Tinges of jam irradiate this funky southern jam rock sound- this five piece from Waynesboro's first album, "One Arm On The Wheel" was produced by Bobby Read of the Bruce Hornsby Band. - The Hook, Charlottesville, VA

As October shifts from let’s-go-throw-the-football cool to pain-in-the-ass cold, the outdoor music festival season comes to an end as well. With Old Man Winter approaching fast, Virginia bands are forced to go back to the grind of playing cramped bars to spread their name.

Calf Mountain Jam drummer Justin Shifflett talked about what his band has been up to recently. "Well, we recently played the area’s final good festival of the year: Spaghetti Fest, last weekend," said Shifflett.

Spaghetti Fest is a weekend of outdoor music hosted by and featuring local bands in the middle of October each year. Think of it as a micro-Bonnaroo on four times more land. A mixture of rock, funk, bluegrass, indie and jam bands, the festival in Gore, Va., benefits Habitat for Humanity and snags more and more publicity for area artists every fall. "It’s definitely a free-for-all (laughs).

We (the band) all camped out together and ended up playing from midnight until 3:30 in the morning. We saw a lot of familiar faces." It may seem like at 3:30 a.m. would be a little late to be jamming out to bands, but Shifflett explains that festival goers are different. "That’s primetime as festivals go. The weather cleared up and we had a great time. Spaghetti Fest is getting bigger and bigger every year and we can’t wait to play it again. We’re working on keeping our name in Virginia, but we’re moving into the stage of large venue shows."

Ben Reade (lead vocals, guitar), Brian Massie (bass), Jason Critzer (rhythm guitar), Bobby Mankedick (keyboards, trombone) and Justin Shifflett (drums) of Calf Mountain Jam have played the festival for three years straight as well as what seems like thousands of other shows across the state. A group for over six years, these guys separate themselves from typical southwest Virginia garbage bands by way of some of the classiest piano playing I’ve ever heard.

While there’s plenty of guitar to go around, the piano doesn’t miss a beat either. Like a guy wearing a tuxedo and playing a baby grand piano in Nordstrom’s, Mankedick hits the keys as if he has something to prove. Listening to him extend a song with elegant chords exhausted my fingers. Anybody can fool around with the middle keys; it’s the high note play that turns you on Beethoven-style.

Mix in edgy guitar rifts, explosive trombone, cigarettes and long hair and you’ve got Calf Mountain Jam — a southwestern blend of Ben Folds Five and the Grateful Dead. These guys travel extensively and love it. Shifflett expressed what it’s like moving away from small time shows and people you know. "We travel up and down the East Coast; from in and around New York City to Georgia.

We try and go to New York at least three times a year to pound our name out there. That’s the place you have to go as a musician, but NYC is hard man. You could be playing a show there and have 50 different bands doing their thing on the same street. It’s hard being in a scene where you’re a dime a dozen. You just have to keep at it." Playing in Blacksburg was a relaxing treat for the band. "The college scene knows how to party and the people are really into the music. I think Blacksburg has a great scene because it’s all about the music and not just ‘let’s go to the bar and get drunk.’ I love playing in Blacksburg," said Shifflett.

While he may be slightly wrong about the drinking part, Shifflett has seen enough of Virginia to know what he’s talking about. One of the state’s prominent young bands transitioning into the national spotlight, Calf Mountain Jam has been serving area fans fresh tunes for nearly a decade. Now, they hope to spread grass roots across the country. - Virginia Tech Collegiate Times

Calf Mountain Jam is a Waynesboro, VA based band that explores the realm of progressive jam rock. Their influences stem mainly from funk and blues but sometimes even bluegrass and country can be heard in their music. Ben Reade, Brian Massie, and Justin Shiflett began playing together in 1993 and in 1998 they picked up rhythm guitarist Jason Critzer. With finesse drumming, a sweet bass, funky rhythm, and some soul-pleasing lead guitar, Calf Mountain Jam simply rocks. -


"One Arm On The Wheel" A 12 track CD recorded, mixed and co-produced by Bobby Read (Bruce Hornsby, Modereko, etc.)

The follwing tracks are known to receive airplay from the following stations:

Sirius Radio: Jam On 89
98.5 (98rock) Harrisonburg, VA
97.5 (3WV) Charlottesville, VA
106.3 (WBOPfm) Harrsionburg, VA
88.1/91.9 (WNRN) Charlottesville, VA (CMJ is also specially featured on the "Dead and Friends" show aired on Saturdays at 11 AM.)
88.7 (WXJM, the James Madison University radio station) Harrisonburg, VA



Calf Mountain Jam formed in 1997 in Waynesboro, VA about 90 minutes west of Richmond. No strangers to the road, from bistros to numerous festivals to theatres, the members of CMJ play from Vermont to Georgia, and even did a stint in Ireland in the fall of 2004.

The influences behind the musicians is quite diverse with bands such the The Allman Brothers, Phish, The Grateful Dead, The Meters, and Little Feat as well as numerous rock, blues, funk, fusion, jazz, country, bluegrass and Cuban musicians and groups. The band's latest album "One Arm On The Wheel" was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Bobby Read of the Bruce Hornsby Band. A great sax player in his own right, he's also an occasional guest at CMJ shows. The album features 12 tracks of soulful lyrics, grooves and instrumental solos that gain them ever growing acclaim.

Calf Mountain Jam has worked / toured with such acts as Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Tea Leaf Green, The Recipe, Micheal Glabicki from Rusted Root, and The Big Wu.