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By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero
One thing is sure about Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, they never just put on a concert when they come to town…but rather a whole experience. The next full experience is coming up Jan. 24th & 25th, with stages from Sandy Beach to Cholla Bay set to welcome January Jam VII. This year, the alter-country-rock band, made up of Roger Clyne, guitarist Jim Dalton, drummer PH Naffah and bassist Nick Scropos, are bringing along a number of new tunes as they continue to develop their next album. PH tells us while they’re aiming for a Spring release, and definitely will be adding the album to Circus Mexicus – RCPM’s Mexican music mecca for Peacemaker fans held usually in early June –, some of these songs are “taking shape and we can’t wait to play them live.”
Begun in 2008, January Jam itself came out of the songwriting experience when the band holed up in a makeshift recording studio in Cholla Bay, challenging themselves to write 8 songs in 8 days, which resulted in the album Turbo Ocho. The process, spread on vivacast on the band’s website, culminated in a relatively spontaneous concert at sunset for a few hundred fans settled into the cracks and crevices of JJ’s Cantina in Cholla Bay. January Jam was born.
From vivacasts to cantina casts, and even pre-birthday Twitter conversations with Roger, one look online and it’s easy to see the band continues to get right up and personal with fans and are even putting up music teasers. PH admits, “We leak parts of the recording process just to keep fans engaged and let them know we really are working.”
Still, it’s not all work and no play. Along with music, there’s the beach soccer tournament Roger puts on each summer and now, in its second year, the Mexican Moonshine Classic at The Links golf course. The 9 hole golf classic, open to just 72 players, is on Saturday morning of Jam weekend and includes great raffle prizes, a watering hole featuring Roger’s Mexican Moonshine shots for Charity, and of course the chance to pull out one’s best golf gear….just ask Jim Dalton.
PH, who spearheads the Mexican Moonshine classic much as he does the Hot Dog & a Smile fundraiser in June, promises, “Dalton’s pants along with his entourage will be back. After the tournament, we’ll sit down and divvy up the proceeds and try to spread support around to local groups beyond La Casa de Esperanza (children’s home). We’ve got some cool stuff donated so far for the raffle – rounds of golf, a stay at Las Palomas, gift cards to Pita Jungle, tickets to the Phoenix Open, Mexican Moonshine Tequila, private tour and dinner at Four Peaks Brewery, signed RCPM drum head, golf clubs and more.”
Friday night – Jan 24th @ The Hut (formerly Chango’s)
8 p.m. Shawn Johnson – After playing bars in Arizona for a long time, Shawn recently had the opportunity to become the house musician and manager at The Hut. RCPM Mexico promoter Greg Ross explains, “Shawn puts his own spin on his diverse musical influences and engages with his crowd really well. We’re happy he’ll be opening up Friday night at The Hut and look for him to be involved in Circus Mexicus in June.”
9 p.m. Jim Dalton & The Lawbreakers – Again, Ross chimes in, “The Lawbreakers were put together especially for January Jam, consisting of PH and Nick from the Peacemakers and Harley Husbands from Shurman. All 3 have been recording a new record with Jim along with Johnny Hickman and other friends of JD’s. They’ll bring new country flavored and rock originals I think people will really like to experience live and I’m sure they’ll finish with some favorites.”
10:30 p.m. RCPM does Covers – After the Lawbreakers’ set, Roger will join PH, Nick and Jim and finish the night with a set of entirely all cover songs. Over Twitter as he sat waiting for chicken to grill on a chilly January evening, Roger explained the band has a list of 30 covers they’re working to whittle down.
Saturday – Jan. 25th
10 a.m. 2nd Mexican Moonshine Tequila Classic – The Links golf course at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort (9 holes, 72 players). Register and sign up for contests and raffle tickets beforehand.
Near sunset @ JJ’s Cantina in Cholla Bay
5 p.m. Jason Boots – Long time RCPM touring buddy, trumpet player, guitar strumming, free-spirited adventure seeker
6 p.m. – ???? Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers