It was through a friend of a friend that the Brindley Brothers learned about Jammin' Java. They had heard that the previous owner was looking for someone to make the venue, then a Christian coffeehouse, successful.
So brothers Luke and Daniel came down to Vienna from the New York/New Jersey area, where they had been playing as an acoustic guitar duo for several years. They liked the idea of owning a club while cultivating their own music, so they took the next big step and moved.
That was 2 1/2 years ago. Now Jammin' Java, located at 227 Maple Ave. E., features national and local acts, a cafe, recording studio and music lessons. And two of three Brindley brothers — Daniel and Luke — have released a debut album, which they hope reflects their eclectic tastes.
"We naively thought that it would be a good thing to do. We did it, and here we are. We still struggle, but it's getting better and better," said Luke Brindley, the eldest of the three brothers.
AS OWNERS of Jammin' Java and musical artists themselves, the Brindley Brothers both said that owning a club has helped them grow musically. Open throughout the day and seven nights a week, the two have watched 90 percent of the performances that have come through their venue.
"Running a music club, you get to see it from that side of things. It gave us a new perspective," Luke Brindley said. "We really learned from the performances and have seen what worked well, what excites us, and what doesn't. We were just always exposed to new talent and new things musically that we wouldn't otherwise be if we weren't here."
After several months of settling into Vienna, they began recording their own songs in Jammin' Java's recording studio. They had intended to make a demo recording to send to other clubs, but as they worked on the project piecemeal over a year and a half, the demo recording grew into an album with a five-piece band.
The album's songs had been written for acoustic guitar originally, but the brothers stripped away the guitar in order to look at the music in a fresh way.
"How do we build this song? What tools do we have that are at our disposal right now?" Luke Brindley said.
The project evolved into "Playing with the Light," an album whose songs vary in their musical approach, yet reflect a rock 'n' roll, spontaneous feel.
"This is really kind of the debut album," said Luke Brindley, who added that they had released two previous albums, both under his name, of just the two of them playing. "It's a different sound for us. It's a full band, and as it progressed, we really wanted to lean just towards what was fun and exciting musically, and that comes back to Jammin' Java. Certain shows really stand out to us. A lot of them are just excitement that certain performers get across.
"We had been seeing so much of the acoustic. ... If we can do a full band and do an exciting, fun, rock record, then why not? If we're going to do it, let's do it now."
SINCE DANIEL and Luke Brindley released their album earlier this year, they have gotten acclaimed reviews from The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the magazines Relevant and Amplifier. The reviews remarked on the duo's intelligent lyrics and well-spun music.
Their next plans are to promote the album, through touring the East Coast and doing radio promotions. Among those shows are two at their own venue, Jammin' Java, this Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22.
Although their album will be distributed to local record stores later this year, it is currently available at Jammin' Java; their Web site, www.brindleybrothers.com; and their studio's Web site, www.pasterecords.com.
But in addition to touring, the brothers say they plan to keep running Jammin' Java, and hope more people come in to see a show, record a song, or have some chili.
"We'd like to keep Jammin' Java for as long as we can. We both work well together. We want to keep this place strong," Daniel Brindley said.