Thursday , July 10, 2014 - 4:10 PM
After getting the go ahead from the city, Jared Allen threw caution to the wind and opened the rooftop of Alleged to live music on Thursday nights.
The bar has never featured live music on the roof level until this summer. Allen, along with his brother and bar co-owner Mike, created the Thursday Night Live concert series as a way to “spread the love” between the tri-level bar.
Geeks Who Drink, a weekly trivia game, is featured on the second floor every Thursday. Allen aimed the timing of the live music just right, so people don’t have to chose between trivia and a concert.
“We did our first live music on the roof for our one year anniversary, and just had a lot of fun with it,” Allen said, adding that initially he was worried about noise ordinance issues. “But then we went down the street and listened from there and everyone we have playing is generally on the lighter end of the spectrum, it’s not too aggressive musically, and we don’t let it run too late.”
The series features mostly mellow music, as Allen put it. Some locals as well as touring acts are booked through the remainder of the summer.
But at first, Allen said he doubted the bar’s ability to work as a venue.
“We’re big live music junkies, but we didn’t ever know if we were ever a venue that was big enough or on par to bring in a lot of great acts,” he said, “but when we started looking into pricing and like the types of bands that play Urban or Kilby, we realized that we have the capacity that could book those artists.”
So far, the concert series is a success, and Allen said he is excited for the possibilities of booking national artists for next year’s season.
One of the bands Allen said he is most excited to see play his bar is Gleewood, an acoustic-folk rock trio from New Mexico. Gleewood will play the rooftop on July 17 at around 9 p.m.
Gleewood features Jhett Schiavone, who runs the operation with his guitar and deep baritone voice. But he shares the vocals with his wife, Callie Sioux Schiavone, who also plays bass. Third man Myles Erdmann provides the percussion. The couple added the drummer this past winter, completing the lineup.
Before taking on Erdmann, the Schiavones traveled across the American southwest in a Chinook camper. The duo went on a series of mini-tours before heading back to the small village of Ruidoso, N.M., to meet up with Erdmann and head out on the road again.
“We started back in November with our album release, and Jhett and I just kind of traveled around as a duo for a little while, and just went everywhere we could to find good places to play in the summer as a trio,” Callie Schiavone said, calling from Pagosa Springs, Colo.
Jhette Schiavone said he and his wife plan on making Utah their second home after traveling up here last January to plan a concert series in Park City. The temptation of snowboarding between shows also appeals to the couple.
“We’ve had so many crazy experiences,” Schiavone said, laughing, with Callie Schiavone chiming in. “We had the opportunity to put together an indie music series this last year at Sundance Film Festival on Main Street at the Atticus, and that was cool, man. We met so many big time musicians and actors, and we actually put it together.”
So far the ol’ Chinook has proven to be trusty, and the duo was only snowed in once this past winter.
“We were going up to Wolf Creek to snowboard the next day and got snowed in,” Callie Schiavone said. “We’ve had some crazy experiences like that, but we really love mountain towns.”
Falling into place
Erdmann was in high demand as a drummer before he cut his ties to tour with Gleewood full time. He had a night job, and prior commitments to other musicians. But when he heard from a friend that Schiavone was looking for a drummer to jam with, Erdmann turned his car around to meet with him.
“We kind of worked together off and on, and I really enjoyed it,” Erdmann said. “As far as other musicians that I was playing with, I kind of had to give them a certain amount of time. I had prior commitments, but I was always interested in what Jhett and Callie were doing.”
Things started to fall in place naturally for the trio once they were at the studio and started to hash out the tunes heard on the album. That’s when Gleewood became solid.
“It’s been working out pretty good for me,” the drummer said. “I’ve played with a lot of different musicians, and these two are by far the most organized, nicest. They are so good at planning. The whole product that they’ve put together in such a short amount of time really baffles me. It’s really amazing.”
Callie Schiavone laughed, and called Erdmann “a road-travelin,’ jobless bum like the rest of us.”
Heritage and love as centerpieces
Both of the Schiavones are fourth generation New Mexicans, and use that heritage as a centerpiece for their music. Elements of other cultures far from the dry Southwest deserts have weaseled their way into Gleewood.
Celtic and jazz influences can be picked out in some songs by the duo, even some rock n’ roll components. It’s the melting of the hippie, acoustic songwriting style of Jhett Schiavone with Callie Schiavone’s country melodies that create Gleewood’s unlikely sound.
“Me and Callie, we feed off each other’s input, so it’s only natural for us to write music together,” Jhett Schiavone said.
Much like their music styles blending and chasing each other through the songs, the husband and wife also have a knack for finishing each other’s sentences.
“When we were dating, I always just encouraged Jhett to play, and I knew that he was good,” Callie Schiavone said. “And the next thing I know, I just started singing with him a bit and picked up the bass and it’s just, ever since our relationship began it’s been a huge...”
Jhett Schiavone picked up where his wife left off almost immediately.
“... learning experience and a huge part of our relationship. Being on the road with somebody you love is really, not many people are blessed with that kind of opportunity. And we feel very fortunate that we are in a situation that allows us to do that.”
Contact reporter Raychel Johnson at 801-625-4279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @raychelNEWS.
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