By Cathy B. Koplen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Energy was high at the B Side Ballroom and Supper Club Wednesday night as the club celebrated its one-year anniversary.
To celebrate a year of offering Oneonta a wide range of musical talent and food, B Side brought back Nashville musical legend Billy Joe Shaver for the evening.
Shaver, a Texas native, has written songs for Nashville musicians for the past half a century. His songs include those performed by Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Bob Dylan.
“He is great,” said B Side co-owner Wayne Carrington. “The people really like his music. My customers asked when he was coming back, and we are lucky it happened during our one year anniversary.”
To celebrate a year in business, B Side offered a supper club special with dinner and a show of live music featuring Shaver and his band.
“It is exactly what I hoped it would be,” Carrington said. “We have a really good group of people who come in to hear really good music. We do not have television or other distractions. We wanted to be a supper club that fosters culture, community and conversation.”
SUNY Oneonta communication professor Brian Dolber is a regular visitor to B Side, where he meets friends to enjoy dinner and a specialty beer.
“I come here about every Wednesday,” Dolber said. “I really like the pork dinner. My band has played here on occasion.”
Dolber plays the drums in the musical group Hagalicious.
Every seat in the house had been purchased by Wednesday evening. The cost to attend the concert was $30 in advance, which guaranteed the patron one seat for each ticket purchased.
Dinner was served until 7 p.m.
“That is the one thing that surprised me, I guess, was the excitement for our food,” Carrington said. “I really have to credit our chef, Rhett Mortland, for that. We change the menu with the seasons and we use locally grown, fresh produce when it is available. We have a cheese board that is made from cheese from a local, organic, milk farmer in Bovina.”
As the sun began to set Wednesday, more music fans came to hear Shaver perform. The venue was packed by 8 p.m.
When Shaver came onto the stage, many people in the audience whooped, hollered and cheered.
“A year ago, I saw Billy Joe Shaver right here,” said John Finn from New York City. “It was like an oasis then, and it is like an oasis now. And it would be an oasis in (New York City) if this club were there.”
Carrington, an Oneonta native, also has an interest in Dryhill Studios Recording and Production. In addition, he enjoys playing with other musicians. He has been known to jump up onstage with performers to sit on a set of music.
“We love having local musicians perform, that is what we are really about,” Carrington said. “But we are hearing from our customers who want to see some more nationally touring bands like Billy Joe Shaver. We like having the national bands who come through here and they like coming here too. It is an intimate venue. You can get close to the audience, and the audience gets to see the performers up close and personal.”
Shaver agreed with Carrington.
“We were here last year,” Shaver said. “Oneonta is a pretty place. The leaves are so pretty now. And this is a nice little club.”