May 23, 2012 06:21 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
Soon after Kim Baker opened River and Rail Bakery in the historic Heritage Station of downtown Huntington, she had an epiphany. A live music fanatic, she thought, ‘Why not start a family-friendly open mic?’ Kim felt patrons of her bakery would enjoy the relaxed atmosphere over the typical late night bar scene. “I know when I’m working, getting up at four or five in the morning, I’m not going to make it to an open mic late at night in a bar,” she says.
Coining the name Bakery Jam, Kim has watched the weekly open mics grow as they showcased local talents across genres. Every age, from high school students to older members of the local harmonica club, has made an appearance in the cozy bakery, often joining together to jam. “We keep things very informal,” Kim says.
One Saturday afternoon, when no open mic was planned, a girl showed up at the bakery with a guitar and her family. “She blew us away, she was so good,” Kim says. The guitar-strumming musician was Abbey Kimball, from the band, 4 Mile. Since then, Abbey has continued to attend Bakery Jam—even recording a video inside the bakery.
Other regulars to the open mic include the harmonica club, members of the band Qiet, and Marshall University students. The variety is incredible; you could see everything from poetry readings to an artist playing the saw. Kim plans to continue opening her doors to musicians through Bakery Jam each Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. “I love when musicians play together and people connect,” she says. “That’s what makes me happiest.”
Make sure to stop by River and Rails Bakery one Saturday to sip some of their “locomotive brew,” munch on a fresh pastry, and soak in the sounds of great acoustic music.
Bakery Jam with Abbey Kimball. Shot and edited by Morrison Studios.