I don’t know how the band and crew did it. On Thursday June 29th, the band performed in Chicago, then caught a plane and flew into Phoenix and performed Friday June 30th for the release of their newest album, Native Heart. They performed until midnight and then caught another plane to Milwaukee so they could perform at the Summerfest event. Currently they are doing a Midwest and Eastern US tour, but made time to debut their latest album, Native Heart for their adoring fans here in Arizona.
Originally the band was named The Refreshments, but in the late 90s, Roger Clyne (lead vocals and guitar) and his longtime friend P.H. Naffah (drums) retooled the band and they became Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. A few years later they were join by the current members Jim Dalton on guitar and Nick Scropos on bass. True fans typically just call the band RCPM. The majority of Roger’s songs are about Arizona, Mexico and the southwest where he grew up. A native of Arizona, he and the band now called Arizona home. We in Arizona (and Rocky Point, Mexico) are very lucky because we not only get RCPM but they have other performers join them here. For tonight’s show 2 of The Jons, Javier Gámez and James Peters joined to provide the horn section and additional percussion. There were also 2 new people that performed with the band, Elliott Rauch on keyboards and Kenyata “Queen Be” White providing backing vocals. The additional members just add that additional dimension that takes this great music to the next level.
This is the first time the band has played almost the entire new album, Native Heart, which was just released on the same day as the show with only “Barons to Break” omitted. They intermixed a lot of their other great songs for an over 2 hour show including a 4 song encore. They started the show with 2 of the new songs from Native Heart, “Arizona Night” and “Every Kind of Lucky”. RCPM has been playing a number of their new songs over the last month, but this is the first time almost all of the new album was played. Of course RCPM intermixed fan favorites songs throughout the show including, “¡Americano!”, “Switchblade”, “Mekong”, “Mexico”, “Lemons” and “Counterclockwise”. They ended the main set with their hit, “Banditos” with Jim doing a guitar solo. They came back to do a 4 song encore. They ended the night with “Flowerin’” where Roger gave up his guitar and did the lead vocals and played harmonica and their sound manager, Chris Kantor played guitar.
Three songs that I really wished they would have played were, “California Breakdown”, “Marie” and “Girly”, but with 10 albums, they have a lot of great songs to pick from. Even without those songs it was an outstanding show and the fans loved it. At one point in the show, Roger brought out a bottle of his special tequila, Mexican Moonshine and past it around the band and then the audience. Once the bottle was finished, one lucky lady got the bottle and held on to it like it was a baby. I have been at 4 shows and I still have not gotten a drink even though I was standing next to the lady at this show. Well maybe next time.
If you get a chance to see Roger and the gang, you really need to go. Their music is just good old fun rock and roll. They have even been dubbed the “Springsteen of the Southwest” by the Asbury Park Press. I have to agree that Roger is a fantastic song writer but the only difference was that when I saw Bruce in the 70s, he would do 3+ hour shows. Having now seen RCPM 4 times, I can honestly say each show is getting better and that says a lot after seeing their New Year’s Eve show. For those RCPM fans or soon to be fans in the Boston area, RCPM’s upcoming concert on July 23rd looks like it will be a blast. It can never be a bad thing for a great concert on a boat ride around the Boston Harbor area. I will be back in the Boston area at this time on vacation and I might even attempt to attend the show with my family.
By the time you read this review, the Livewire venue in Scottsdale Arizona will be no more. As of July 4th, 2017 the venue will be closed and repurposed. This is sad because this was a nice little venue with an open floor area and an upstairs setting area with great bar service. Probably the biggest issue I had with the venue was the lack of parking at the venue. You either had to park on the street or one of the parking garages about 2 blocks away. This could be an issue on Friday and Saturday’s due to the other bars on the same street.
Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Date: June 30, 2017
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017
RCPM Setlist: (Album)
Arizona Night (Native Heart)
Every Kind of Lucky (Native Heart)
Preacher’s Daughter (The Bottle and Fresh Horses)
Fun (Native Heart)
Down Together (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
A Little Hungover You (¡Americano!)
Jack vs Jose (Reel to Reel)
iViva Love! (Native Heart)
Mekong (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Sunday Drivin’ (Native Heart)
Suckerpunch (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Shadyside (Native Heart)
So May You (Native Heart)
Mexico (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Lemons (No More Beautiful World)
Hello Tiger (Native Heart)
Banditos (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Maybe We Should Fall In Love (No More Beautiful World)
Blue Collar Suicide (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
NADA (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Flowerin’ (Native Heart)
Ryan Bexley & Friends
Ryan Bexley is a country/folk songwriter singer that currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. His connection to Arizona comes from the years he played football for the ASU Sun Devils in 2008 -2010. He has performed at RCPM’s Circus Mexicus a 3 day festival at Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexica. For tonight’s show, Ryan Bexley played acoustic guitar and sang lead vocals and was joined by Dan Johnson on cajón drum and Jay Kereny also on acoustic guitar.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017
Ryan Bexley Band Setlist:
Wild And Free
It Felt Good
When It’s Reckless
Seger on The Radio
Green Eyed Carolina Girl
Jason DeVore & Friends
Jason DeVore is a local Arizona artist that most people will know as the lead singer for the band Authority Zero. He also has played at RCPM’s Circus Mexicus festival including this year (2 weeks ago). For tonight’s show he was joined on stage by fellow Arizonans Mike Spero on acoustic guitar and Blake Jamison on percussion (djembe). They performed a country/folk style of music for tonight’s show. They played a number of songs from Jason’s 2 solo albums, Conviction and Conviction 2. He also covered acoustically a few songs from Authority Zero. He changed the last song of his set to “One More Minute” due to demand (lots of people shouting for it) from the crowd.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017
Jason DeVore Band Setlist: (Album)
Hazy Days (Conviction)
When We Ruled The World (Broadcasting To The Nations – Authority Zero)
Hold Me Down (Conviction 2)
Old Weathered Face (Conviction)
Hate To Say
Get It Right (Stories of Survival – Authority Zero)
Big Bad World (Stories of Survival – Authority Zero)
One More Minute (A Passage in Time – Authority Zero)