2018-04-15 / News

‘It moves your soul to its core’

Musicians aim to preserve, celebrate the blues each Thursday
810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com

The band Mojo Hand performed Thursday evening at the Hitch-N-Post in Lapeer Township. 
Photos by Jeff Hogan The band Mojo Hand performed Thursday evening at the Hitch-N-Post in Lapeer Township. Photos by Jeff Hogan LAPEER TWP. — It is said that the blues is the mother of American music, and each Thursday night at the Hitch- N-Post in Lapeer Township a group of blues musicians has made it their mission to preserve high-quality blues music and provide a place for fans of the genre to relax and enjoy the show.

In place at the Hitch-NPost is a council, said guitar restorer and budding musician Robert Adam, whose task is to “vet” incoming blues acts to ensure open mic blues nights feature high-quality, talented and passionate acts.

The Master of Ceremonies, and final vote when it comes to approving incoming acts, is long-time Lapeer-area blues guitarist Leroy June. “After we made him MC and I gave him a guitar, he played with more passion than I’ve ever seen before,” said Adam. It’s June’s job to facilitate each Thursday’s blues night, and according to Adam, “keep the magic there.”

“The hardest thing is preventing the ‘train wreck,’” said Adam. “A guy comes in with his Marshall stack, slugs a few ales, and you get that train wreck on stage and before you know it the jackets are going on and they’re walking out the door and they’re never coming back.” The council, featuring area professional musicians, will act as gatekeepers to the Hitch-N-Post stage, and they’ll act as a promise to blues fans that the music heard at Hitch- N-Post will be top quality. “There’s a system in place that ensures that the music is going to be great, then once we established that then we don’t have to worry about empty seats,” said Adam. “All these people are professional musicians and have a voice on this council. Everyone has a voice to say how best to move forward and together they should be able to work out a flexible schedule.”

Ensuring a standard of quality in music will allow the Hitch-N-Post to establish a reputation among blues fans of a venue that can’t be missed. “If you think you’re going to come here and slam a few beers and head to the stage, no — but I’m happy to work with anyone to make it happen,” said Adam.

The transition is one from a typical open mic night to a sort of “blues invitational,” and once the ball gets rolling, said Adam, the crowds will come, and with bigger crowds will come even more musicians looking to ply their blues trade on stage. “As long as everyone gets what they want, everybody wins,” he said. “Once you have a blues invitational and musicians are adequately compensated, we’ll be able to get musicians from other venues that want to be a part of the magic.”

For Adam, naming June the leader of this newly-formed council was a no-brainer. June is a lifelong resident of Lapeer County, and is known in the music scene as a legend, bringing authentic sounds to the area for more than three decades. A veteran performer, has hosted the monthly open mic night at the Hitch-N-Post for 15 years, and through that has seen many musicians learn their trade. “I want to see Leroy get the recognition he deserves for carrying on the tradition of truth, especially when it comes to blues,” said Adam. “It’s about the love were trying to create in the Lapeer area that benefits everybody. I’ve been there for it, and I tell you what, it moves your soul to its core.”

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