The inaugural Canyon Jam at Colorado’s iconic Mishawaka Amphitheatre features several of the jam scene’s “Next Phase” of bands, such as Spafford, The Main Squeeze, Aqueous, Mungion, Organ Freeman, Cycles, Moves at Midnight, and Jus’ Sayin’. The two-day event takes place across September 8th and 9th, and is looking to be an annual affair boasting some of the jam scene’s top young talent. With the event just several weeks away, we decided to catch up with members of each band on the lineup in this new Live For Live Music interview series dubbed Road To Canyon Jam.
The first installment of the series features guitarist Patrick Harvey and drummer Michael Wood of Colorado’s own psychedelic-fusion act Cycles, who discuss the excitement surrounding Canyon Jam, following in the footsteps of other jam scene greats that have played The Mish, the art of the jam, and more. Tickets for Canyon Jam are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.
Live For Live Music: The nature of Canyon Jam centers around the art of the “jam.” What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients that make up a solid jam?
Patrick Harvey: The key ingredients to a solid jam are made up of fruits of choice. Mine are my ears. Listening is most important when jamming. If you have the chance, take as long of a sound check you need to make sure you can hear your peeps. Sleeping helps too—maybe even lack of sleep, in some instances.
Michael Wood: I can’t wait to play outside at the Mish! The first show I went to in Colorado was at the Mish, and I’ve always wanted to play on that stage.
L4LM: In their earlier years, bands like The Disco Biscuits and The String Cheese Incident performed at the Mishawaka. Do you ever put any thought into bands that have played iconic venues before you and how that relates to your own career?
MW: We played the Eldo in Crested Butte and talked about the years that Phish played there and how Cheese had played there a bunch. I wouldn’t say I put too much thought into it, but it was fun to look up the old Eldo Phish sets.
L4LM: The Mishawaka is known for its intimate and gorgeous setting. How does a venue’s vibe (or some other word) affect how you go into a performance?
L4LM: In your career thus far, what has been your favorite guest appearance to participate in—whether it’s someone sitting in with your band or you sitting in with another?
PH: We had a lot of fun jamming with Brian [Moss] from Spafford at Wind Rider Festival! He was super nice and it was a lowkey crowd, so it didn’t take much convincing to have him sit in. We played one of our favorites with him, “Wait,” and he crushed it! Also playing “Fame” (David Bowie), “Devil’s Haircut” (Beck), and “I’ve Got A Feeling” (The Beatles) with The Jauntee during our last tour—so fun jammin’ with those guys. “Fame” from Indianapolis was my favorite, I think.
L4LM: Playing Colorado, in general, always seems to bring out the best in bands. Why do you think that is?
PH: In Colorado, the size of the crews or groups of people that roll into these shows is insane! Everyone seems to know each other, and it’s just a giant family of live music enthusiasts that keeps getting bigger. It’s full of positive energy, and I think it shows in the recordings from Red Rocks and the Fillmore and stuff. The crowds are pumped, the bands are pumped. Colorado is live music country!
6 pm – Doors
8 pm – 9 pm – Moves at Midnight
9:30pm – 10:30pm – Mungion
11pm – 1am – Main Squeeze
4 pm – Doors
6 pm – 6:40 pm – Jus Sayin’
7 pm – 8 pm – Cycles
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Organ Freeman
10 pm – 11:30 pm – Aqueous
12 am – 2 am – Spafford
[cover photo courtesy of Ryan Lewis Photography]