Molly Blooms feels the blues
February 14, 2014
When many people think of the blues, they think of emotive guitars and vocals in a smoky shack or bustling nightclub.
Molly Blooms Restaurant at Kimball Junction is changing that image with its open-mic blues jams that are held every Monday from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m.
A house band featuring Morgan-based guitarist Tom Reinerth and 21 Blue members Kasey Coyle and Jeff "JC" Call backs the performances.
The fact that Molly Blooms is a family eatery makes a big difference, said Reinerth.
"The ideal thing is that it’s not a nightclub, so all ages are welcome," Reinerth said during a phone call to The Park Record. "That means even people who are younger who know how to play the guitar can come in and jam."
The main objective is to get more people to play, he said.
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"They can just show up with a guitar, and we’ll figure it out," Reinerth said. "In fact, they don’t need to have a guitar. We’ll just plug them in with something."
Coyle said she would like to see more Park City-based musicians sign on.
"We’re trying to give people an opportunity to come out and see some Park City talent, because there is a ton of it," she said. "A lot of restaurants up here have their own network of players, which doesn’t really expand out from there. So an open-mic blues jam is a great draw to bring people out of their shells."
Once musicians start coming in regularly, Coyle would like to take the jams a step further.
"We would eventually like to get some sponsors to bring in national blues artist to jam with us as well," she said.
The origins of the Molly Blooms open-mic blues jams emerged when Reinerth attended on of the restaurant’s dueling piano concerts.
"I had hosted a couple of blues jams before and I talked with a couple of people at Molly Blooms and suggested a blues jam, he said. "Everyone’s eyes lit up and we went with it."
The first task was to assemble a small house band, and that’s when Coyle came into the picture.
"I’ve been singing with 21 Blue for about a year," she said. "We’ve played quite a bit down there, but I wanted to break into the Park City music market."
Coyle knew some people at Molly Blooms and dropped off a demo recording.
"It was the right time, because they were thinking about starting up a blues jam and asked if I would like to be involved in it," she said.
During the jam, Reinerth, Coyle and Call will perform together and then do some solo works.
"All my tunes are original versions of ancient music," Reinerth said, laughing. "That’s the way the blues works. You basically just steal it."
Reinerth began playing music right out of high school, and the influences of the 1960s and 1970s music was key
"One year, a friend told me of a place called the Centrum up at Port Townsend, Washington," he said. "It’s an old blues camp that is held at Fort Warden State Park, which was originally used to protect Puget Sound."
The fort’s barracks are used for different types of artistic retreats that are basically schools, he said.
"They have a jazz program and a dance program," Reinerth explained. "Anyway, they have a blues program that I have been attending every summer."
The weeklong session involves hands-on workshops with "true-blue" blues players.
"These are guys that are from the deep South and sometimes they’re 85 to 87 years old," Reinerth said. "Every night there are concerts and dances and at the end of the week, all the instructors will head to the area clubs and play blues all weekend long."
Coyle’s introduction to the blues came after she cut her teeth on the singer and songwriter folk genre for over a decade.
"Last year, a friend of mine who played with me during an open-mic session introduced me to his blues band," she said. "It fit my voice and it seemed to be a genre that called to me."
Coyle, whose early influences included Jewel and the Dave Matthews Band, before opening up to include Bonnie Raitt and the late jazz great Ella Fitzgerald, said she feels great about the Molly Blooms blues jams.
"Molly Blooms is a community-centric restaurant," she said. "People who go there are local and are there for a good time and good food, and now, good music."
Molly Blooms Restaurant, 1680 Ute Blvd. at Kimball Junction, hosts an open-mic blues jam every Monday from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. For more information, visit molybloomspc.com. For more information about 21 Blue, visit http://www.facebook.com/band.cave .