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!!Winner: "Best Self Produced CD" In The Pike Peak Region!!
"Versatility is the key to success". BJ Estares and Route 61 practice this truth by performing in any format requested; Acoustic solo, duo or trio, Electric Power Trio, the standard Route 61 Electric Blues Quartet and up to 6 pieces by adding the best piano and sax players in the region. Just tell us what you need, we can make it happen!
Blues Singer / Songwriter BJ “Beej” Estares sold his first song in 2005 to friend and mentor Big Jim Adam. "No Man At All" was first recorded by Jim on "Live at Jimbo's”. Through the last eight years, Beej and his band, “Route 61”, have experienced steady growth in popularity through versatility and creativity in the Pikes Peak Region.
Early honors include openers for The Ronnie Baker Brooks Band (solo) at the Crystola Inn and Tommy Castro at Stargazers Theatre with the Route 61 Acoustic Trio. In 2013, BJ and the Route 61 acoustic trio opened for two time IBC winner Lionel Young at Stargazers. BJ and the full Route 61 ensemble performed all original tunes from the first CD release “Full Time Student Of The Blues” at the Pikes Peak Center’s Studio B Showcase in 2012 and were invited back in 2013 to perform cuts from his latest endeavor, the “all original” release “Easy Street”. A steady schedule of performances at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub, the Pike Peak Brewery and other small venues has also helped foster a wider fan base in the area.
BJ Estares released “Full Time Student Of The Blues” in 2010 on the Disk Dog Noise label. With long time friend and blues recording artist Jim Adam as mastering engineer, this CD features a dynamic performance by pianist John Stilwagen on the title track (an original cut written by BJ).
Featuring 7 originals and 5 covers, this Collection has garnered critical acclaim locally through air play on KRCC’s “Blue Plate Special” and from a world wide fan base though internet radio. In 2013, Reverb Nation honored BJ Estares and Route 61 as featured artists when the title track achieved a high score in a radio airplay survey of original songs. More importantly, Beej received his first royalty check from CD and track sales of “Full Time Student…”
2013’s project, “Easy Street” shot out of the gate with immediate airplay on the “Blue Plate Special” and is now distributed fully by “CD Baby” (as is “Full Time Student of the Blues”). “Easy Street” shines with guest performances by jazz guitarist Rick Greene, pianist Bryant Jones and sax player George Whitesell. With “all original” songs, five of them acoustic solos, “Easy Street” took early accolades from the Pikes Peak Blues Community as “The Best Self Produced CD” in the region for 2014.
Jumpin’ Johnny Jyvaas
Here’s what people are saying about the 2010 Disk Dog Noise release of
BJ Estares And Route 61 “Full time Student Of The Blues” :
“WOW!!! I love it! Great job. “ ~Amy Whitesell, Booking Agent: A Music Company
“Killer Tone! Killer Chops! You're killing me, man......Ya got that NICE phrasing!..... Serious Old School Chops. Dynamite!” ~RickHall: The Rick Hall Trio
“Great tracks here! Will share and will be coming back for more!” ~SUCKERPUSH
“The Tip Jar (You can't Take It With you)…….HOT” ~Richard Johnston Music
“MAN!!! You guys are so good! A total inspiration...keep it up!!!” ~James Mecale
“We need some of this in Kansas City…. o yea!” ~anonymousmuse: Bluebone Brothers
“A Jazzy Blues feel this track has and thats what I am into listening to ...Great Track” ~Justine Vickery
A short list of memorable past performances
BJ opened for The Tommy Castro Band at Stargazer’s Theatre with the Route 61 Acoustic Trio.
“You guys are great!” ~ Tommy Castro
BJ performed solo, opening for Ronnie Baker Brooks Band at The Crystola Road House.
“I’m from New Orleans and that’s the best set I ever heard!” ~ Ronnie Brooks Fan
BJ performed solo regularly at Cucuru Gallery Café.
BJ Estares and Route 61 headlined at Pikes Peak Blues Community’s “Paint the Town Blue” three times.
BJ Estares and Route 61 headline at Town Center 1st and Main Summer Concert series.
BJ Estares and Route 61 Power Trio perform as the featured guest band at Starburn’s Showcase at Stargazers Theatre.
BJ Estares and Route 61 performed as one of three featured bands at The Pikes Peak Center’s “Studio Bee” for two years in a row.
BJ performs twice as a guest artist in The Jim Adam Acoustic Americana Showcase at Stargazers Theatre.
BJ performs three hour sets of all-original music yearly at Coyote Coffee Den in Penrose, Colorado.
BJ Estares and Route 61 help to raise over $17K for special needs kids organization “SKSF” two years in a row at Memorial Hall in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
BJ Estares and Route 61 headline regularly at Hillside Gardens Summer Concert Series.
“That’s the best turn out for a season opener we ever had!” ~ Owner, Hillside Gardens
BJ Estares and Route 61 headline regularly several times a year at The Secret Garden.
BJ Estares performed live on KRCC’s Blue Plate Special twice in 2013.
BJ opened for The Lionel Young Band at Stargazer’s Theatre with the Route 61 Acoustic Trio.
BJ Estares and Route 61 currently headline regularly at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub in Colorado Springs.
BJ Estares and Route 61 currently headline regularly at Pikes Peak Brewery in Monument, Co.
BJ Estares and the Route 61 power trio ended the 2013 season with a headline performance at Bronco Billy’s Casino in Cripple Creek, Co.