Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Talking Stick Resort – Showroom
Date: Friday December 27th, 2019
Coming back to their roots, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (RCPM) returned to Talking Stick Resort to perform in the Showroom for 2-nights to a sold-out venue. As is typical with most RPCM shows in the Phoenix area, Roger and the boys were joined by 3 members of The Jons from Tucson Arizona. For tonight’s performance, all of the seats on the main floor were removed so more fans could attend. If you attended both concerts then you got to hear a number of songs that normally are not performed. About 50% of each night had different songs. But with most fans, it didn’t really matter, they just love hearing RCPM perform.
For the few people that have not heard of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, they are a rock & roll band from Arizona that have been performing for over 25 years. Their specific style of music is solid good time rock & roll with a Southwestern/Sonoran flavor. A majority of their music evolves around things that happened to Roger or about Southwestern/Sonoran thymes. Roger has been compared to Bruce Springsteen for both his style and the music he writes. Just like Bruce Springsteen, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers are just outstanding live. Their albums are good, but live, they bring an energy to the music that is just sensational and the audience really get into it. Having seen Bruce Springsteen a number of times in the 70s, I can say that RCPM energy is very similar to that of Bruce and the E Street Band. Then add the horns and percussion section provided by The Jons and the concert becomes a memorable event. It was a perfect closure to a great concert year.
The majority of the songs come from Roger’s first album with the Refreshments, Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy. The album is a pure party-fun time set of songs. Intermixed in the set were songs from almost all of Roger’s later albums including from the Peacemaker’s latest album, Native Heart. Since Roger and the guys were doing a 2 night performance, they included in each night songs that we normally might not hear like “European Swallow”, “Maybe We Should Fall in Love”, “Leaky Little Boat” and “Horses“ during tonight’s set.
This was the loudest concert I have seen at the Showroom, but the sound was still great. Without seats, you always worry about the crowd pushing and shoving, but I have never since this at an RCPM concert. Just the opposite, people are very friendly and allow people to move to the front for a couple of songs and then then they left. Also, almost the entire front row of people were women. Everyone seemed to have a great time and sang along with every song. There was a lot of drinking especially Mexican Moonshine (Roger’s personal Tequila) but no one was obnoxious. They even delivered shots to the band which Roger and the gang had no problem partaking.
If you get a chance to see RCPM, I would highly recommend it. This next weekend, January 17-19, Roger and the gang are going south to Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) for their annual January Jam festival. It starts this Friday night and goes through Sunday. For more information about the event, how to get there and tickets visit: https://rogerclyneandthepeacemakers.com/tour/ or https://www.bandsintown.com/e/101661123?affil_code=js_rogerclyneandthepeacemakers.com&app_id=js_rogerclyneandthepeacemakers.com&came_from=242&utm_campaign=event&utm_medium=web&utm_source=widget or https://laspalomasresort.net/eng/rcpm-january-jam-package/ . To learn more about Roger, check out their website: https://rogerclyneandthepeacemakers.com/ . They also do another festival in Puerto Peñasco in June, so if you miss the January event, you get another chance in June.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
RCPM Setlist: (Album)
All Over the Radio (Unida Cantina)
Beautiful Disaster (Honky Tonk Union)
Hello Tiger (Native Heart)
Blue Collar Suicide (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Horses (The Bottle And Fresh Horses)
Fun (Native Heart)
Lemons (No More Beautiful World)
Mexico (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Shadyside (Native Heart)
Maybe We Should Fall in Love (No More Beautiful World)
Leaky Little Boat (¡Americano!)
Marie (Unida Cantina)
I Know You Know (Turbo Ocho)
European Swallow (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Broken Record (The Bottle And Fresh Horses)
Mekong (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Loco to Stay Sane (¡Americano!)
Hello New Day (No More Beautiful World)
Banditos (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
Nada (Fizzy Fuzzy, Big And Buzzy)
The opening act was BJ Barham of American Aquarium doing an acoustic set. BJ Barham did a country music style set. His first song was a really slow and depressing song. Afterward he joked that he did this to see if he could get some big burly guy in the audience to cry. The other songs were more upbeat. He ended his set with Roger and the Peacemakers coming out to play background for BJ’s last song.
This was the first I had seen BJ and I am really looking forward to see him perform with his band, American Aquarium to see what he can do with the energy of his band backing him up. Given his performance with Roger and the guys, it seems that American Aquarium might be fun to watch and listen too. If you get a chance, check them out.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved