The Lyons Jam has taken over Oskar Blues every Tuesday night for 10 years. Organizers think it’s the longest-running jam in the state, and with a track record like that, they’re most likely right.
The jam is a Colorado music staple, and by all accounts, last week’s jam was “pretty mellow,” according to organizer Garian Vigil. But this week’s jam can’t occupy its normal venue because of the widespread floods that have wrecked much of Lyons and forced an evacuation of the mountain town.
See photos below of Planet Bluegrass’ Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in August.
But that’s not stopping these pickers and players, who are keeping with the Oskar Blues brand and holding this week’s jam — a benefit for Lyons-based musicians — at one of the brewery’s Longmont posts, CHUBurger.
“A lot of (Lyons) people are in Longmont with friends,” Vigil said. “Most folks I know are not at the shelters. Some are in Fort Collins, and some here in Boulder.”
A Lyons resident, Vigil has been in and around Lyons throughout the flood, and she said funds are needed to help the city, and its musicians, recuperate.
“There are several musicians who lost everything, including Danny Shafer, Gary McCrumb, Dave and Enion Tiller (Taarka),” she said. “I think Alex Johnstone (Spring Creek) doesn’t know the status of his house yet … The Tillers had a recording studio behind their house. It’s gone. Most musicians have had to evacuate, and some had to leave equipment behind.
“Last I saw, Oskars was OK. The Wildflower Pavilion is still in the middle of a rushing river, as far as I know. I have some pictures that I posted that show Planet Bluegrass stuff strewn past Main Street.”
It’s impossible to put a number on this kind of destruction, especially this soon. In the meantime, fellow musicians are gathering to help mobilize their community, their ideas, their music.
“I think the biggest impact is that we are all spread out now. We are a tight-knit community, and no one wanted to leave. This is a place where music happens almost every night of the week in venues and in homes. Music is healing, and we need to come back together with our music.”