Experiential Learning #1

Brooke Taylor

Experiential Learning

Saturday, October 8th

7:00 PM at Clementine’s Restaurant

Harrisonburg Virginia

One weekend, I went to visit my sister who attends JMU in Harrisonburg.  We went to a local restaurant named Clementine’s to see a band.  The band was called “Girls, Guns, and Glory” and they were a blues rock band.  The band members were all relatively young, probably in their twenties or thirties.  While there was a fair share of college students there, I was surprised to see a lot of locals watching the band.  This event was sort of out of the ordinary for me because I do not usually listen to blues or rock, and I have never attended a restaurant/bar with a live band.  I began talking to some people sitting next to us and they were about in their mid fifty’s.  They said that Girls, Guns, and Glory was one of their favorite bands and they drove about forty minutes from their home to see them.  Almost immediately after they began playing people of all ages were up and dancing to the music.  This reminded me of the reading “Music in Appalachia” from High Mountains Rising. This chapter talked about how influential music is in Appalachia and how there are multiple types of music in the region.  Many people think of Appalachia as only playing “hillbilly” country music, but this is not true at all.  All different types of music are played and listened to.  My perception of Harrisonburg culture changed after attending this show because I always just thought of it as a college town without much Appalachian influence.  I did not necessarily feel like an outsider while I was there because there was plenty of college students there listening.  I learned a lot about the Harrisonburg culture while I was at Clementine’s.  While observing, I noticed that most of the people there were seeing the band and not just eating.  Clementine’s usually has an event or band playing on most nights, so a lot of times the crowd can just be there to eat.  I also realized that as soon as the band began setting up, the restaurant became packed.  Before, it was just a normal sized group of people, and then it grew into a huge crowd standing in between tables, filling out the whole place.  The atmosphere of the restaurant changed when the band came on.  They turned the lights down, added colored lights, and the band was playing the music very loudly.  This made it more of a rowdy “party” like scene.  Every person in the place seemed to be enjoying themselves.  Even if they were not dancing, people were bobbing their heads or tapping their feet to the music.  I was surprised to see the different age ranges there.  While it was a college restaurant/bar, people of all ages were there from children to older adults.  I think that music is an amazing aspect of Appalachian culture.  Not only does it serve as a source of entertainment, it brings people together and creates a social event.  I watched people that clearly did not know each other dancing, laughing, and engaging all because of the band/music.  It was the kind of music that made you want to get up out of your chair and be a part of, even if it is not something you’re used to.  Personally, I haven’t really ever listened to any kind of blues or rock music, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this band play.  Music plays a huge role in Appalachia by uniting the community and giving people who may not have much in common something to share.

The Band: Girls, Guns, and Glorypicture1

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