Sunday, November 4, 2007

Barksdale's Sunday Music Series is Back!

Posted by John Steils

Barksdale Theatre serves the community in a LOT of ways, including co-producing a live music series on selected Sunday nights. The series is called Stretchin’ at Barksdale, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Our partner and co-producer, BJ Kocen, does most of the work. Brad Tuggle, Assistant to the Managing Director at Barksdale and Theatre IV, is staff liaison and general coordinator on Barksdale’s behalf.

But it’s BJ Kocen (that's him, grinnin' to the right) who selects, books and promotes the acts, and hosts every Stretchin’ performance. BJ is a man of many talents, and a charmer to boot. He is a singer and guitarist, songwriter, actor (he played the young lover in Italian American Reconciliation in Barksdale’s 01-02 Season), art gallery manager (he and his wife Jennifer Glave Kocen own the newly opened Glave Kocen Gallery), impresario, and all round great guy. No wonder STYLE Weekly selected him in 2006 as one of the Top 40 Under 40.

Stretchin’ is back for its second year of great music performed live on the intimate lobby stage in Barksdale’s “living room.” Stretchin’ guests (that means you) sit at cabaret tables, enjoy light fare and libations from the cash bar, and groove to some of the best singing and playing you’ll find in any of Greater Richmond’s clubs and pubs.

Six top notch shows are scheduled for the 07-08 season, and each will hold true to the feel that B. J. has established for the series – loose, fun, intimate.

The first show on Sunday, December 9, 6 to 8 p.m., is a whopper. And admission is only $10 at the door—an unbelievable bargain.

Justin Townes Earle, (singing to the left) is the son of international recording artist Steve Earle. He will fill the Barksdale “living room” with songwriting, singing and storytelling that will knock you out. Just back from his gig with the Old Crow Medicine Show and a tour that took him all over the globe, Justin has been compared by the critics with Bruce Springsteen circa Nebraska. His mini-lp, Yuma, is a quiet masterpiece. The amazing Susan Greenbaum will open the show, and BJ will kick it off with Justin for a season opener not to be missed.

Remaining shows in the season are as follows:

Jan 13 – Paul Curreri and Devon Sproule

Feb 17 – Jackie Frost, BJ Kocen and Brad Tucker (The Gobstoppers)

Mar 9 – Sheryl Warner & the Southside Homewreckers (CD Release Party) (photo to right)

Apr 13 – Slash Coleman and Browning Porter

May 11 – All Star Jam

Many thanks to the other co-producers of the Stretchin’ at Barksdale series: Creative Mortgage (, The Community Idea Stations (, and the Glave Kocen Gallery (

For more information about the series, call BJ Kocen at 358-1990. Also, you can check out Justin Townes Earl at and Susan Greenbaum at

Come December, we’ll once again be Stretchin’ at Barksdale. We hope you’ll join us for the fun!

--John Steils

(Added by Jessica in Marketing: Also there's a full list of dates with ticket information on Barksdale's Stretchin' page.)

1 comment:

Curtis Shofeltter said...

I only made it to one Stretchin' show last season, but I loved it a lot. Your Willow Lawn lobby stage really is the best music venue in town for this type of series. I can't wait to be more active in attending this year's Stretchin' shows.