Together Runnin’ Shine is chasing the world one song at a time
by Millie Voliva-Wiggs
Photo credit: Glenn Woodell
She has love music for as long as she can remember. Chances are Janice Chandler was just born that way. She got her first instrument on Christmas at the age of seven. It was a keyboard from Santa and it sealed her future.
The first song she learned on the keyboard was “Watermark” by Enya. The rest as they say is history.
“Playing it and writing songs became the only thing I ever wanted to do,” Chandler tells us.
By fourth grade she was playing the Flute and by high school she took on the Oboe — because there were no other Oboes in the school band. She was her high school’s drum major for the marching band and competed in upstate New York — where she grew up.
After high school Chandler joined the US Navy and spent six years serving our country. While she did not have the opportunity to perform while in uniform, music was always on her mind. After she left the Navy, her and her family settled in Hampton Roads.
These days, you will mostly find her playing an acoustic guitar performing as the lead singer in the band Runnin’ Shine. Her husband Jeremy Chandler picked the name and the band all agreed to it. Runnin’ Shine has become one of the area’s most 'in demand' shows in Hampton Roads.
She carries an eclectic style of music.
Being from New York it’s not surprising to find out her musical admiration is rapper Post Malone.
“I admire Post Malone because his lyrics are so clever,” she tells us. “He can say so much in just a few words and phrases. His melodies are simple, but beautiful and very catchy.“
But the person she has learned the most from is Enya, an Irish singer/songwriter.
“As a little kid, I used to listen to her harmonies to pick out each one,” she says. “I think that helped me learn how important harmonies are and how to identify each part of a chord.”
“Gosh, I am such a nerd,” she admits.
And while she is not so nerdy about performing, she admits that she gets super nervous for interviews. With the recent rounds of radio tours to promote their first single “Shotgun” she is becoming a little more relaxed.
Fortunately, bandmate, Jim Cahoon (Bass/Vocals),
usually does most of the talking for the band because he is so good at it. And for the last four years, band members also include Richie Bohr (lead guitarist/ vocals) and drummer Bill Snow. The harmony for this group is off the charts. You would think they were related.
The Runnin’ Shine lineup has not changed since.
Together they performed “Shotgun” as their first video from their first full-length album titled SO THERE WE WERE produced by Grant Hart in Virginia Beach. The title is a play on words they use when they are all together. “Shotgun” is the first to be released to radio by GrassRoots Productions. The song is receiving great reviews and posted on the Music Row chart.
They spent the last few months traveling the US and introducing the song to radio stations and fans. They did it together and that is very important to Chandler.
“Driving in the car hearing “Shotgun” playing on the real-life radio is a pretty momentous musical memory," she conveys. "Together our first trip to Nashville was Bill’s birthday and we had so much fun exploring the city and listening to all the bands,” she remembers. “We also did several radio interviews during that trip together.”
It's been a really busy time for the group and they wouldn't have it any other way.
“We’ve played so many shows — some of them were amazing and some of them were not. As a band, we have experienced so many highs and lows together," she recalls. "We’ve played in the scorching summer sun and in the freezing rain. We’ve played to empty bars and packed rooms. We’ve traveled to many places, riding together for hours in the van or in Jim’s truck.”
She’s got a lot going on with more to come. What is still on her ‘short term’ musical bucket list you ask?
“Naturally, we’re still working toward winning a Grammy.” And she adds, “I’d like to play at Something in the Water opening for Post Malone.”
“I think it all depends on where life takes us and what we decide as a band to do,” she says. “Either that, or we’ll all be millionaires with platinum records hanging on our bathroom walls, playing beer pong with Dom Perignon and driving chromed out Bentleys.”
Regardless of their choices, their song “The Way You Need Me” has just been released and is also receiving great reviews. You are sure to enjoy it live now too. The band presents a line of fan driven songs in every show. It’s those moments they keep close to their heart.
“The most momentous musical memories are the ones we’re making every day,” Chandler reveals. “That is the best part of the band is that we are all in it together.”
If you were to ask her where she would like to perform — anywhere in the world — she will say, “Honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me where we play. I’m happy to play anywhere. “
… and the beat goes on.
Bill Snow (drums), Janice Chandler (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Jim Cahoon (Bass/Vocals), Richie Bohr (lead guitarist/ vocals)