The blues is the name bestowed upon the music genre that began in the southern United States from combining elements of jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. The Bone Thumpers are a newly formed Coachella Valley band keeping the old blues sound alive by channeling the Chicago, Delta, Piedmont and Texas methods. Recently completing the recording of a demo that is presently being mixed, these seasoned musicians are prepared to carry the torch and keep the blues flame burning brightly.
Down to the Bone
The inspiration behind the name ‘The Bone Thumpers’ comes from an earnest desire to affect people’s emotions. “We wanted our music to reach your very core, to resonate all the way to the bone and really move people.”
The Bone Thumpers are Glenn Woods on bass and vocals, Jimmy Hayes on guitar and vocals, Richard Espinoza on drums and percussion, and Bad Jim on lead vocals. Bad Jim initiated the forging of the members, “I put up a flier in a local music store and Richard called me to join. Jimmy and I played in another band for a while and I coaxed him over. With the help of another band, The Mighty Delta Tones, our blues brothers, we found Glenn and The Bone Thumpers were born!”
The Bone Thumpers have an impressive history of musical collaborations. Woods has performed with Jane Doe and Feisty Joe. Hayes has performed with the bands Cheektones and Carnuba out of Prescott, Arizona. Espinoza has performed with many local bands and Bad Jim sits in with The Mighty Delta Tones on occasion and has written and recorded with guitarist Tracy G of Dio fame.
Living the Desert Life
Richard, Glenn, and Bad Jim have all called the Coachella Valley home for at least 15 years.
Jimmy is the newbie, only living here for the last six months. “We all came here for work. We fell in love with the winter season. We absolutely love the freshness of the music scene out here.” All of The Bone Thumpers maintain ‘day jobs’. “There are no boundaries with music. We all think music and blues all of the time. Working allows us to do what we love which is music,” insists Bad Jim.
In talking about original music, Bad Jim shared his excitement by saying, “We all write music. We are currently working on new, original songs. These songs are going to be worked into our set lists in the next couple of months.”
Some of the more influential artists The Bone Thumpers share are Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Dell Graham, John Coltrane, John Lee Hooker, Mississippi John Hurt, Doyle Bramhall Sr., and Top Jimmy & The Rhythm Pigs. Above all, there is no doubt who has made the most significant imprint on their lives. “The most important life influences on us are our families; our wives and kids,” shared Bad Jim.
All the band members agree that in order to be an effective blues player you have to maintain a level of musical ability, an emotional connection to the song, and a substantial degree of confidence.
Blues and Beyond
It is accepted that there are few blues bands based in the Coachella Valley. The blues is also somewhat of an overlooked and neglected musical form. The Bone Thumpers intend to encourage and promote the blues in the valley. To bestow the blues to the next generation the band plans to keep it in its truest form while paying tribute to the old masters. One of the greatest compliments they were given was following a recent performance when a very talented musician approached them as they were breaking down their gear and professed, “You played all of my favorite songs, songs I haven’t heard anyone else play. Those guys are all gone, but you guys are keeping it true, you’re keeping the flame alive for them!”
The Bone Thumpers hope that potential fans respond positively to what they are attempting to accomplish. “We want people to leave wondering when we are going to be playing again, so they can come and have a blast! We want to bring a smile to people’s faces later on in the week when they remember the fun they had watching us. Hopefully we can inspire people to delve into the blues a little more and realize what a wonderful genre of music it is.”
To collectively state their attitude towards their musical journey in a spiritual sense, Bad Jim says this, “Blues is about feeling; it is about what’s in your soul.”
Whether you’re already a fan of the blues or are prepared for a course in Blues 101, The Bone Thumpers want you!
The Bone Thumpers will be performing at Kokopelli’s Kantina at 57154 29 Palms Highway, Yucca Valley on March 22, 2013 from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.
Find them soon on Facebook and www.BoneThumpers.com
You can reach The Bone Thumpers at 760-835-8247. Ask for Bad Jim.