Hello, Blues Fans! It is my absolute honor to announce that BJ Estares and Route 61 has been elected by the venerable judges enlisted by the Pikes Peak Blues Community to represent the Pikes Peak Region at the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. 4 days, count 'em, 4 days of Blues, brews, great food and FUN!! And, oh yeah, we get to jam at some of the hottest venues on Beal Street!! Yes! Oh Man! We'll be "Walking in Memphis! With our feet 10 feet off of Beal!", baby! Also, if we can work it out, I plan to take the band to the famous Sun Studios to record our set! That, my friends, will be a TOTAL GAS! Oooh, I hope I can make that work. But, in the mean time, we have a lot of work to do. Here's the schedule for the rest of August: August 23rd, this Saturday, the boys and I, along with special guest, Nick Chimento on sax, will be laying down the blues at the Blue Moose Tavern (formerly "Pine Gables") in Green Mountain Falls. Music starts at 8:00pm and goes until midnight. Thursday, August 28th, Michael and I will be performing a duo at Motif on Colorado Springs' west side, 2432 W. Cucharras. Music at 7:30 (or there abouts). Friday, August 29th, (that's right, 2 in a row!) At Cucuru Gallery Cafe, 2332 W. Colorado. I'll be soloing on my new Taylor Guitar (yes, just one more...). 7 to 10pm. See you all there, Beej
Just back from spectating at the IBC in Memphis. What a blast! So much talent from bands and acoustic acts from around the world. The history of the blues soaked into my bones. Thanks to the Pikes Peak Blues Community for everything they do to help Colorado Acts.
Buy your copy of "Easy Street", the newest release by BJ Estares and Route 61 on CD here
Paul Stookey said “Puff The Magic Dragon” was written as a children’s song that he could sing to his young family. Yet, the sixty’s being what they were, everyone was convinced it was about smoking weed. Therefore, I figured that since Crack Cocaine was written in the first person, listeners might think it was about me and since the music was paradoxically up beat rag time, my sarcasm might get lost in the theme. Now don’t get me wrong, I was a child of the sixty’s. But I never tried coke, and since November 24th, 1974, I haven't had anything stronger than a good single malt scotch on ice. Believe me, it’s not about me.
So, as one might guess, I had a lot of trepidation about recording this song. I wrote it because I was angry about the crack heads who spent one summer breaking into my work truck and personal vehicles. I’m generally a hard working guy, you know? I would get home from work, pop a brewski and watch Dr. Phil while waiting for the news to come on. Invariably, the good Doctor would be counseling the enabling mother of some nefarious young drug addict. I was livid over my helplessness and this did nothing to ease my discouragement. In the fall there was news of a couple that were arrested while breaking into vehicles in a near by neighborhood. I thought, “Hey they might be the culprits”, and my problems ended as well.
Over the following weeks the story unfolded about the young couple. They were living with his mom and were thieving to feed drug habits”. In the month following, lyrics and melody started flooding into my head. They would not stop! They became and ear worm. I had to write them down to get them off of my mind. Then, of course, it needed music, so I put chords to the melody. There it was. I played it for a few close friends and got both negative and positive responses. Nonetheless, I vowed never to record it.
Years later I started recording the scratch tracks for what ultimately became the “Easy Street” project. During the sessions several friends and family members kept after me to record Crack Cocaine. Ultimately, I caved to their requests. So, there you have it. Love it or hate it, it’s just a part of life in the inner city.
Pikes Peak Blues Community (PPBC) October 21, 2013 near Colorado Springs, CO Congratulations to BJ Estares and Route 61! Our winner in the “Best Self-produced CD” in The Pikes Peak Region for 2014
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 currently headlines regularly in duo and solo performances at Cucuru Gallery Café. BJ Estares and Route 61 headline at Pikes Peak Blues Community’s “Paint the Town Blue” for two years in a row. 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 perform as one of three featured bands at The Pikes Peak Center’s “Studio Bee”. BJ performs regularly 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 performs yearly at the Pikes Peak Fine Arts Festival solo, duo and trio. BJ has performed several times at the Common Wheel Fine Arts Festival in Manitou Springs, Co. BJ Estares and Route 61 performed original music at Pikes Peak Center’s Studio Bee. 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 at Hillside Gardens Summer Concert Series two years in a row. “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, You two were great. And the music was a wonderful fit for the event. I will definitely be keeping your information for the future. Thanks so much for a fun night. Jamie Bequette Nature Center Supervisor Bear Creek Nature Center
Hey, Hey, Everybody! "Full Time Student Of The Blues" release party June 10th 6:30pm @ Secret Gardens on the West Side of Colorado Springs. Finally after much whailing and gnashing of teeth...our new CD is available! YES! I have boxes and boxes of them stacked to the cieling in my office. Get em while supplies last!. I want to give a shout out to Randy Hawke for hanging in there with his creative bass lines, Lenny Perreault for percussion excellence, Doug Stepaneck keeping us all in real time on the trap set, and Bryan Curl for his smooth guitar rythms and cool harmonica. Also, John Stilwagen for the awesome piano on the tile track, "Student Of The Blues", Alison Grant Winters for the sweet BGV's on "The Tip Jar Song (You Can't Take It With You), and my baby, Kim Grant Estares for BGV's with hes sis, Alison and friend, Bryan on "I Don't Have To". And last, but not least, to recording engineer Rick Greene at North Star Studios for his production assistance and a great place to work and Big Jim Adam for his friendship, guidence and super human Mastering abilities. Complete with 5 covers and 7 original tunes, "Full Time Student Of The Blues" was a true labor of love and trial of everyone's patience. But here it is nonetheless, and it sounds great thanks to all the aforementioned folks. Now it's time to hit the road and get these things out of my office! We're taking all the gigs we can get, so check out the schedule and come out to support live music in the Pikes Peak region. See you there! Beej