FridaysUpdate: Honeymoon phase: Jim & the Divorcees grow up

jwaiveJim Waive & the Young Divorcees– not so young, not so divorced.

Country fans raised on CMT videos may be used to hearing their favorite stars sing summertime anthems and make political statements, but according to local folkie Jim Waive, the music should be about feelings, not references.

"I'm not a hater at all – there's room for everybody," Waive says. "But I'm not really buying that Kenny Chesney is out there on his tractor.

"But when Hank Williams sings about being busted, you believe it," he continues. "We're bringing back something that perhaps is getting lost. "We're taking elements of that era and trying to keep it alive."

Thus, the divorcees pay tribute to the golden era of country music: Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Dwight Yoakam. As a songwriter, Waive looks to the greats to gather inspiration for his appealing and often heart-wrenching lyrics, singing mostly about "frustration, loss, love, happiness" and other such weighty matters.

"I take something personal, something I've experienced, felt, seen, then try to make it more universal," he says. "It's not easy to write a song, but it's a medicinal thing, therapeutic for me."

Waive first picked up the guitar at the age of twelve in response to his father's death, and still finds solace in it. The same is true of the other divorcees: steel player Charlie Bell, bassist Jen Fleisher, and violinist Anna Matijasic.

Waive moved to Charlottesville in the late 1990s and picked up a regular gig at the Blue Moon Diner. One by one, the rest of the Divorcees came to him to share both their similarly antiquated tastes in classic country and their stories of love and loss, finally allowing him to put the band together in 2005.

Four years, two albums, and two engagements later, the Divorcees believe they have grown up– although Waive is back at the Blue Moon, playing regular solo gigs. "At the time, everyone had been married and divorced and we were a little younger," Waive reminisces. "But now Jen's getting married and Anna is getting married– it should be Jim Waive and Marital Bliss."

Jim Waive & the Young Divorcees play Fridays After Five on 8/28. The Honey Dewdrops open. The show starts at 5:30 pm and admission is free.