Anyone looking for sufficient cause to go out in the middle of the week need go no farther than Middleton Tavern at the City Dock in Annapolis.
The acoustic rock duo of Bill Bromfield of Reston, Va., andLisa Jones of Rockville, known as The Cause, are performing there from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday and Aug. 14 and 28.
The duo recently recorded "On The Edge," their debut compact disc, at Bias Studios. It can be found locally at Oceans II in Annapolis.
The Cause has been taking the midwatch at Middleton Tavern off and on since April, working around some of the room's more established acts.
Remembering the rather empty room when they first started atthe tavern, the duo are proud that the middle of the week has started to slowly fill up since then.
Normally they play four or five nights a week in the Washington area. Jones said they expanded their range to Annapolis because "we're always looking for new places to play."
The Cause presents a variety of original and cover tunes in a fast-paced format that is lively, well-paced, energetic and entertaining enough to divert even the most hard-case tipplers at the bar from their passion.
All this talent is enhanced by the duo's tight teamwork.
They have been together since last year, after Bromfield, who had looked for a musical partner for the previous two years, saw Jones performing at a restaurant in Reston.
He knew Jones was the one "the instant I walked in there, partly because of her rapport with the audience, plus she sounded great. We talked the next day, and then a series of meetings went on, and in the end, we decided to go withit."
Jones compared their collaboration to "having a conversation. Sometimes you find somebody and you can have a good conversation, and connect, and sometimes you can't. If you're not doing that musically with someone, if it's not there, then it gets old fast."
Bromfield added, "For me, this is one of the major things that gives the music a point. To me music is a communication. Sometimes it's very difficult, when you're dealing with -- not a hostile audience -- but let's just say an imbibed audience, in establishments that thrive primarily on alcohol, and the music is sometimes secondary.
"But what canhappen is that people can perceive the communication between the musicians and they'll try to get in on it, which they're certainly welcome to do. I mean, that's the whole point of it. Sometimes it just takes the energy between two musicians to start a chain reaction that will light up the whole room."
Jones said she always knows if somebody's listening, "because that's what you want to see, is somebody paying attention. So you find them, even if they're way in the back corner, and you make eye contact, to acknowledge them."
Picking a namefor the group wasn't easy. "It was a long time and a lot of thinking," Jones said, "but (the process was) really not that deep."
Bromfield said, "Our original name was 'Moving Target,' but my daughter didn't like it, so we changed it. She's really the boss," he joked, "and also serves as our bellwether" of opinion.
Their next name was "Stand," which they had to drop because someone else released an albumof that name.
"Anyway," explained Bromfield, "the idea of 'cause'was that someone could look at the name and take it anyway they want. But it's not any particular cause. There are no flags to rally around. If you want to get deep about it, you could say that one is the cause of one's own life, or one's own circumstances. But actually, it's also a name that is short and sweet and memorable."
"We're trying to be more the cause than the effect," Jones said.