From basement to stage

Just making music together powers this trio

RumJones, photography by Mark Lahey

RumJones, photography by Mark Lahey

Fort Wayne has a thriving music scene, and nearly every imaginable kind of music can be found in the clubs, bars and coffeehouses throughout the area. But it’s still relatively rare to find a group composed only of women. Not unheard of, but not typical either. And that could very well be why RumJones has taken off in just over a year’s time.

The origins of RumJones are pretty unassuming. Before the three women of the group became a musical trio, they first had to find one another and discover a common musical bond.

“Kris and I started getting together about a year and a half ago,” said Monica Hadsall of her friend Kris Lahey. “We were just singing together in the basement, and Kris was playing guitar. The first time we played together was at my wedding on September 21, 2013.”

It was then that Hadsall’s friend Stacey Patalita first heard the duo, not realizing at the time that one day she’d join forces with them. As Hadsall and Lahey continued fine tuning their efforts, they realized they needed a little something more.

“It was just us singing and my guitar,” says Lahey. “I do my best, but I really felt like we needed to fill in the sound a bit.”

When Hadsall mentioned that she and Lahey were looking for a bass player or drummer to join them, Patalita mentioned that she played and was soon joining them for their basement sessions, contributing to their rhythm section by bringing along a vast array of other ways to contribute including a washboard and a tambourine. RumJones was born.

Since that November day, RumJones began finding ways to move out of the basement and onto some local stages. Since both Hadsall and Patalita are married to musicians and Lahey’s husband works sound, they had several connections. Their first appearance, at an open mic night at Mad Anthony’s, helped establish them, and soon they were receiving offers to open for other bands around town. Taking the leap to the stage was a little nerve-wracking for at least one of the members.

“I used to get really nervous before we played,” admits Lahey. “I would usually end up messing up the first song because I was shaking so much. But I’ve relaxed as we’ve done it more and more, and now we’re talking to the audience and slowly that nervousness has gone away.”

“I really never felt that nervous because we’re really just doing this to have fun,” says Patalita. “If this were some big stressful thing, then it wouldn’t be worth doing. It’s not like we’re looking to get signed or anything.”

With more than a year under their belts and plenty of opportunities to play being presented, the trio has been working to expand their musical selection which is eclectic and includes country, pop and classic rock. They’re also working on original material which they hope to incorporate into their shows soon.

“We just want to have fun making music together,” says Hadsall.

First appeared in the February 2015 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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