The Spring 2019 Tour saw OJATA perform for the first time in Las Vegas Nevada, Des Moines Iowa and Denver Colorado! And what a great time it was for the band as they revisited popular legendary clubs in Kansas City Missouri, Lincoln Nebraska, Springfield Illinois and St. Louis Missouri as well. Every show was a packed house filled with enthusiastic Blues fans that have become family to Orphan Jon and The Abandoned. The tour started off at the legendary and iconic, as well as the oldest Blues club in Vegas, The Sand Dollar Lounge, where the band performed for the Las Vegas Blues Society. From there the boys headed northeast to perform at their favorite little roadside juke joint known as Molly’s in Albuqurque, New Mexico. After a great night of Roots and Blues, they then headed to Denver to make their debut at another top shelf iconic club called the Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen, Colorado. Soon they were back in the Midwest, where they have garnered a huge following of Blues loving and OJATA loving fans. First stop! The B Bar in Omaha for the Blues Society of Omaha. Always a great time with everyone in Omaha.
The next day, the boys were honored to perform at the #1 rated Roadhouse in all of America! Knuckleheads Garage & Saloon in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the annual MerleJam and it was filled with hundreds of Blues, Roots and Rock fans from throughout the state Missouri and beyond. MerleJam is a great cause to help bring funds and awareness to Heart Transplant needs as well as Heart conditions dealt with in Kansas City and outlying areas. It’s organized and named after Merle Zuel. In it’s 10th year it has hosted many top shelf touring Blues acts of today. This years line up was a who’s who of the Blues, with Tommy Castro and The Painkillers, Amanda Fish, Orphan Jon and The Abandoned, Head Honchos and Donny Miller and Rude Awakening. You can find out more about MerleJam and the many needs concerning healthy heart lifestyles, as well as donating to help bring awareness and support at WWW.MERLEJAM.COM
Next the band was in Moline, Illinois for Cinco de Mayo and a night with the Mississippi Valley Blues Society at The Viking Club. Afterwards they headed to Springfield, Illinois to perform at one of their favorite spots in the state, The Alamo. The members of the Illinois Central Blues Club has been a welcoming friend from the moment OJATA first performed, while opening for The 44’s in the Summer of 2017. The band took a much needed one day break, staying in Springfield and spending time with their great friend Mark Audi before heading to Lincoln, Nebraska where they performed at the oldest Blues club in the state, established in 1973, another iconic and legendary venue named The Zoo Bar! There they shared the bill with Gary Hoey, and what a night it was performing before a packed house of serious loving Roots and Blues fans and friends. The following day seen OJATA travel to St. Louis, Missouri to play BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups. This two story building was once a brothel back in the previous early century before being converted into a live music establishment. Here the band performed before a full house and the St. Louis Blues Society. In the morning they were heading back to Springfield, Illinois to play The Third Base. Always a fun time at this small quaint and popular bar. BB’s Lawnside BBQ in Kansas City was the next stop on the tour, and what a great place to be for live entertainment in the state of Missouri. The band has filled this iconic popular BBQ Musical Juke Joint every time they’ve been honored to perform there. Last stop! Was a debut for the Central Iowa Blues Society at Lefty’s in Des Moines. OJATA was honored to share the stage with BMA nominated Albert Castiglia and his band. It was a wonderful time had by all that came out to Lefty’s. Looking forward to returning.
The tour was another successful one for the band. A fun run filled with many great memories with friends, fans and club owners. OJATA wishes to thank each and everyone that joined them at the shows, as well as the many that helped to make each show a memorable one for both the band and the fans. They could never show enough appreciation for the continued love and support given. Here’s to the 2020 Spring Tour!!
Photos Courtesy of: Tom Joyce, Peggy Stevinson Bair, Barbara Henry, Mark Audi and Orphan Jon