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I knew the music of Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers had the power to move people; what I had not realized was Roger’s keen impact on the weather and ability to shift cloud patterns in preparation for a welcome night of music at JJ’s Cantina for the 6th edition of January Jam. Though rain had fallen on Friday night, following the rousing sold-out performance of Hickman Dalton gang and an acoustic Roger at Wrecked, only mist and fog remained early into Saturday, Jan. 26th – setting the perfect stage for the 1st Annual Mexican Moonshine Tequila Classic held at The Links. (By the way, great emceeing, PH!)
By Saturday evening, a thousand people or more flocked to the terraces of JJ’s, or staked out a spot on the beach next to a campfire or two, with RCPM’s own lyrics from Counterclockwise (Americano, 2004) setting the stage: “…On my way to meet the moon on the bay Where she’s risin’ big full and blue…” Throughout the evening, which began around 5 with mariachi tunes of local musician Hernán spreading over the gathering crowd, a full moon peaked out intermittently from behind dissipating clouds, and by the time the music ended the sky was clear and stars capped off another great night of rock infused jammin’.
Up on stage, the Arizona based RCPM made up of Roger Clyne, guitarist Jim Dalton, drummer PH Naffah, and bassist Nick Scropos were joined by Johnny Hickman from the band Cracker, as well as the group’s own touring support man – and soon to be birthday boy – Jason Boots. The Jam itself has been a yearly tradition since 2008, following the band’s cram music and recording session in a makeshift studio in Cholla Bay (resulting in the album Turbo 8), and this year’s round featured two long sets with an encore that kept stretching out while the tide inched in. Roger’s infectious voice led the crowd over the sea in a Leaky Little Boat, down to the beach and curio stands with Your Name on a Grain of Rice (both off Americano 2004), and back to a quick Spanish lesson of love with Marie (Unida Cantina, 2011). Hickman joined the band for some rockin’ Cracker songs to which he proclaimed, “Cracker really is one of the last great rock bands….and here’s the other one,” pointing back to the headliners of the night. As is customary for the January RCPM crowd, tequila, serapes and cervezas kept everyone warm though with Roger’s weather magic the evening temps were perfect. To top it off, everyone swayed to and fro when the band rolled into a cover of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline set to the rich, husky voice of Jim Dalton.
Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers will be back to their “casa” on the shores of the Sea of Cortez for Circus Mexicus XXII, June 6 – 9, 2013….plus, we’re waiting for Roger’s next añejo version of Mexican Moonshine to hit Puerto Peñasco shelves soon…though he sure got the moon to shine this weekend in Rocky Point! Salud! (Check out our photo gallery of the weekend’s events)
For more information on everything Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, check: www.azpeacemakers.com, for Circus Mexicus news www.circusmexicus.net, and for Mexican Moonshine be sure to visit: www.mexicanmoonshine.com