Thursdays are free to locals at Harry O’s
Junior is back at Harry O’s.
The long-time resident musician and songwriter is bringing "locals back" to the stage that is often known for private clubs, parties and DJ-spinning tracks.
It’s a stereotype Junior, who also works as Harry O’s production manager, wants to change.
"We don’t want an attitude of ‘it’s only a DJ club.’ It’s not just a place with girls dancing on stage," Junior said. "We are making it more for the community, to represent the locals."
Junior and Transportation will play at Harry O’s Thursday night with an all-star lineup of local bands including members from Muddpuddle, A-Frame, Shaky Trade and Somer Lei, who Junior said has "sweet vocals."
It’s a kick-off winter party, coinciding with Junior’s birthday that will set the stage for a weekly show put on by his band. For locals and those who have purchased one of Park City resorts’ season ski passes, it’s free.
"It’s the best place to see live music in town. If we can do it for free, that’s great," Junior said.
The band used to play every week but Junior said they "took a hiatus" so, in a sense, this is also a reunion that will be packed with energy.
"This is our first time back, it’s my birthday show and we’re going to get rowdy," Junior said.
Last year, Junior said there were more than 500 people who attended and he expects a similar crowd.
"We just want to have fun and want locals to come back every week," Junior said. "We’ll have a different crowd and it will be new every week."
Junior and Transportation will play every week but they will also invite other national and regional acts to headline its show, such as Itols, who will play on Dec. 14. Junior’s goal is to make the weekly show original and innovative.
"There’s so much hip-hop dance stuff," he said. "This music is fresh and palatable; it brings out a lot of different influences."
Junior wants his show to be unique among the other shows in town.
"We wanted it to be a show, not just a band on stage playing," Junior said. "We can offer more in this venue."
Junior and Transportation may play the same song in consecutive shows, but it can sound entirely different the second time.
"We let the sound and other things influence us during the performance," Junior said. "We knew we wanted a production show and we knew we wanted audience interaction."
Their sound is what Junior claims as "jam rock" with an emphasis on the song lyrics. His type of music is unique enough to satisfy fans of many music genres.
"I write songs that people can relate too," Junior said. "People in country, DJ, rap and jam band like our stuff. People 35-plus like this music, it has a classic rock feel."
Junior’s lyrics, which he says drive his music, come from the turmoil of his past. Much of the lyrics are spawned from a breakup with his wife.
"She left and I threw myself into music, and that (incident) comes out in it," Junior said. "The way I wrote and arranged the music, I wanted them to relate to it and feel it. That’s a huge bonus in my music everyone can relate to it."
Junior said all of his band members play with similar emotion and the audience can relate, not only to the lyrics, but to the performance on stage.
"Emotion pours out on stage, people feel it, whether subconsciously or not," Junior said. "It’s a different type of night. In other venues, they don’t get this show."
The band, which consists of bass player and five-year resident Dave Knose, lead guitarist Jason Sawyer and drummer Jon Olsen, is receiving some national attention as well. Their song, "One of Those Nights" was used for the film "I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer." The movie helped "open some doors" Junior said.
"We’re above what we’ve been," Junior said. "We’re all confident. We’ve had continuity with our band and we are getting up for this year."
Their recent success has become a pleasant surprise for Junior.
"It’s been faster than normal," he said. "I’ve seen a lot of bands in Utah that are way beyond my talent, but they’re not in the right opportunity."
He credits his success to the chemistry among band members. It’s something he believes audiences will notice.
"We want to have fun beyond ‘I hope I play every note perfect.’ It’s our attitude," Junior said. "We have a loose groove, we don’t lay a burden on each other, we haven’t had egos. It’s worked out great."
Junior and Transportation’s self-titled album, recorded from live music is available at Orion’s Music stores. They will perform Thursday, Dec. 7 with other local band members in a return to local’s night at Harry O’s. For more information, call 655-7579.
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