The dimly lit, low hanging lights set the scene at Bluemont Hotel on Wednesday, November 10th for RNR Extempore’s impromptu show—an unmistakable contrast from other venues in town, the Bluemont warrants a more laidback audience-experience.
RNR Extempore plays mostly jazz and folk music, and you can find them at the Bluemont once a month on Wednesday nights.
The four members (Robert, Heidi, Robert Jr., and Nate) serenaded the crowd and reveled in each other’s ability: Robert Jr. was tidy on guitar, Nate jammed-out on drums, Heidi demonstrated her confidence on keyboard—it’s obvious they appreciate the variety of talents each of them brings to the stage the way they sit back, idle, and enjoy one another’s flairs.
Along with their amicable interactions with the crowd, their love of jazz was sincere. The music was relaxed and classy—a suitable score for the chic Bluemont venue.
Between songs, Heidi found time to grab a drink and chat. For her, playing music is a form of release, a way to let the creativity flow and have fun doing it. She tells me that Robert (Sr.) sneaks all the jazz he can into their sets.
Robert, who serves as a kind of spearhead for RNR Extempore, writes his own original music and tells me that audiences often can’t sing along because they don’t know the words yet. But he assures me that they do replay some songs.
He has a favorite saying:
“These [songs] are my sketches and my friends play with me. They paint the sketches. It enriches the sound and experience. It thrills me, and it expands the dimension and what it’s trying to create.”
In the beginning, Heidi and Robert were the only members of RNR Extempore. As the years went by, Robert Jr. and Nate joined; October 10th was Heidi’s first gig in eight years.
Robert Jr. has been involved with the music scene since he can remember. He makes and sells guitars as a hobby. He pointed to a couple on the stage he played during the set.
The performance was smooth: Nate played the drums with a quiet kind of rhythm you don’t often see in drummers—his drumheads could have been china plates. The Roberts plucked and twanged on guitar. Admittedly, the enunciation of the lyrics was difficult to follow, though it somehow didn’t matter. Their voices were calm and resonated with the audience.
They opted for simple transitions, bleeding into new song in a listless fashion.
A person in the audience, Dan, who had been there since the start of the performance, stuck around after the gig to chat:
“I am very pleased with the performance. This band wasn’t supposed to play tonight, but I’m happy with the arrangement.”
Bluemont Hotel hosts live music from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before football games. Wednesday October 24th is Oldies night with Heartstrings, and on Thursday October 25th original acoustic duo Betty the Astronaut will take you to space and back again. The schedule for November is yet to be released at the time of this post, so check the calendar in the coming week or so for RNR Extempore’s next show.