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Roger Clyne Talks Music

In The Phoenix Metro

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Roger Clyne And The Peacemakers Are Legends In The Southwest Who May Know Better Than Anyone What The Area’s Music Scene Was And Can Be: Catch Them Saturday, Oct. 18 At Downtown Phoenix’s Pressroom

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Oct. 15, 2014 — Roger Clyne has pretty much done everything that a Phoenix-based musician can hope to do. He’s packed shows all over the Phoenix metro as well as going on international tours, and putting on his own festival. He even has his own brand of Tequila just for good measure. But something he has not done is play downtown Phoenix’s newest venue, The Pressroom, 441 W. Madison Street, Phoenix.
But he is going to remedy that on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. with a blowout performance at the brand new spot.

“It’s a new venue, and I want to support all live music venues. We have played the Marquee several times and they are populated with great acts, and we have played the Crescent Ballroom and they get great acts. Now with the Pressroom we are trying to put it on the map,” said Clyne.

Clyne implied that getting a new Valley venue on the map is of great importance right now because so many great Tempe venue’s have closed lately like The Sail Inn, Long Wongs, and Big Fish Pub.

“It distresses me a touch. I like to see live music more than anything and to see the stages drying up is disconcerting. But when I see a duo band playing some originals and some covers at Sixth Street and Mill at Casa, I know live music hasn’t lost its place in people’s hearts, it just lost a few stages for the moment,” he said.

Clyne is no stranger to the changing tides of music in the Valley of the Sun, and Tempe specifically. In his two decade music career he has scene many venues open and close. As well as being witness to the complete overhaul of Tempe’s MIll Avenue from a live-music haven, to the corporate bars with “piped in music,” that are there now.

“I don’t think they are interested in live music. Right now business models are favoring the easiest path. In the short term it gets some type of music into their venue, but it doesn’t bring any heart or soul. It’s just a sign of the times, it’s easier and more economical to pipe in stuff, but it won't always be so,” said Clyne. “I’m not sure if it would be the fix all catalyst or anything. But I’d sure like to see Hayden Square open back up and bring those Thursday night concerts back in. That was an apex moment when everything was going really well. Then when it closed because of noise laws that’s when things started to slip a little bit. There’s enough music that if we opened Hayden Square back up it might make a difference.”

With a new album out, The Independent, and more than 150 tour dates booked, the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 are looking like prosperous times for the veteran performer, even if it isn’t looking good for live music in his home town.

According to Clyne the new album has “fewer story songs, and less metaphorical subject matter.”

He described the album as being more narrative based and more personal than much of his earlier work.

“I noticed when my peers hit 40 there was a certain disillusionment about facing mortality. Looking back at where your dreams were as opposed to where they are. I took the pressure off my life by sharing with a community how I feel and I found myself as part of a community and not alone,” said Clyne.

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at jmoses@moderntimesmagazine.com.
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