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Road To Canyon Jam: Spafford’s Jordan Fairless Discusses The Importance Of Vibe Reciprocation

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 on 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.

Why The Mishawaka Amphitheatre Is One Of The Most Coveted Scenic Venues In The Country

Our first two installments of the “Road To Canyon Jam” interview series featured conversations with Cycles’ guitarist Patrick Harvey and drummer Michael Wood and drummer Rob Houk of Buffalo-based jammers Aqueous. In the latest installment, we had a conversation with Spafford bassist Jordan Fairless about what the Arizona four piece is looking forward to most on their road to Canyon Jam. Tickets for Canyon Jam are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.

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Live For Live Music: The nature of Canyon Jam centers around the art of the “jam.” What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients to make up a solid improvisation?

Jordan Fairless: We’ve concocted a secret recipe for our jams over the last several years. Just like grandma’s secret recipes, ours don’t get shared too easily. We can share one key ingredient though: Thyme.

L4LM: Because Canyon Jam is in its first year and given the location and the lineup, what are you most excited about for Canyon Jam?

JF: None of us have ever been to the venue before and it is hailed as one of the Crown Jewels of the country’s outdoor music venues. It’s an honor to be invited to perform at such a prestigious venue.

Spafford Shares New All-Improv Release, “Abaculus: An Improvisational Experience” [Stream]

L4LM: In their earlier years, bands like The Disco Biscuits, The String Cheese Incident and STS9 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?

JF: It is definitely a rite of passage and an honor to be playing these iconic venues, you can feel the history in them. That has never really affected the way we play. We are always and will always be, unapologetically, Spafford.

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?

JF: The atmosphere a venue provides certainly plays its part for us. Although we are most affected by the crowd engagement from show to show, the real question is how are the fans reacting to the venues “vibe” which in turn reciprocates to our playing differently.

L4LM: Playing Colorado, in general, always seems to bring out the best in bands. Why do you think that is?

JF: It’s hard to say really. Maybe the elevation? Everything is different when you’re that high.


Friday Schedule:
6 pm – Doors
8 pm – 9 pm –  Moves at Midnight
9:30 pm – 10:30 pm – Mungion
11 pm – 1 am – Main Squeeze

Saturday Schedule:
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 by Keith Griner of Phierce Photo; follow him on IG]