By Katie Bowles
If city living’s got you down, consider heading to Jammin’ Java in Vienna this Friday or Saturday. This weekend, Texas natives Green River Ordinance are bringing their Southern stylings to NoVA with their “Kicking Up Dust” tour. We recently got a chance to chat with lead singer Josh Jenkins about the band’s past, present and upcoming shows.
Northern Virginia Magazine: Describe your sound for someone who’s never heard Green River Ordinance before.
Josh Jenkins: We play Southern pop rock with a bit of country and rock ‘n roll flair to it.
NoVA Mag: Why the name Green River Ordinance? Do you guys have roots in the West?
JJ: We were born and raised in Texas. [Bassist] Geoff was 13 and [lead guitarist] Jamey was 15 when the band got started–they weren’t good at sports, so their parents got them guitars (laughing). When they started playing music, their garage had a street sign in it that said “Green River Ordinance”…They thought it sounded cool and it just stuck.
NoVA Mag: How long have you guys been playing together?
JJ: The band formed when we were teenagers, but the full band as it is now basically started in college–we’ve been playing together for around 13 years.
NoVA Mag: How has your sound changed and grown since the band first formed?
JJ: When we first started, it was more blues rock. But I grew up singing country music at small opry venues…I was used to singing songs from Merle Haggard and other country legends, so when I joined Green River Ordinance it was kind of eye-opening. I joined the band, and we were mostly blues rock at first, with some inspiration from ’90s-era bands like Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind. Throughout the years our sound kind of found its way into a mixture of sounds. It definitely has a Texas thing about it, but also the ’90s and blues rock influences.
NoVA Mag: Is writing a collaborative effort, or mainly the result of one member?
JJ: It’s different every time—sometimes it’s all of us, sometimes a few of us and sometimes only one…that’s the beauty of being in a band; we’ve got several different ways of going about things. It allows [the process] to be open and free.
NoVA Mag: Who are your biggest influences when writing and making music?
JJ: Matchbox 20, Third Eye Blind, The Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sting, Tom Petty, Goo Goo Dolls, country music, Americana music…we love all of that, especially being from the South.
NoVA Mag: Has Green River Ordinance ever played in Northern Virginia before?
JJ: Yeah, we’ve played Jammin’ Java probably seven or eight times—this will actually be our first time playing [a venue] two nights in a row. D.C. is awesome; we love being there, and would love to just walk around. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to do that much since we usually have to head out as soon as we’re done with a show…it’s definitely a place we’d like to spend some time in, though.
NoVA Mag: Anything else you’d like our readers to know about Green River Ordinance?
JJ: We like to have a good time, and hopefully if you come to our show you’ll have a good time too—we want it to be an experience. Hopefully people come out after a long day’s work and are able to cut loose a little.
Come see Josh and the rest of Green River Ordinance this Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, at Jammin’ Java. Tickets available here.
Green River Ordinance at Jammin’ Java
March 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m.
227 Maple Ave E, Vienna
Tickets $14 and up