200 W. Second St
Pomona, CA, 91766
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
In recent years, the tale of Blind Melon has taken a dramatic turn – from an abrupt and tragic end, to a rebirth and reconnection with their legions of dedicated fans. No matter how you slice it, the group was responsible for some of the most memorable and puresounding rock music of the ‘90s, and with their reformation in 2007 with singer Travis Warren, Blind Melon have picked up with their fans, exactly where they left off. Blind Melon originally formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California, when five transplants from other states crossed paths – singer Shannon Hoon (from Indiana), guitarist Christopher Thorn (from Pennsylvania), and guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, and
drummer Glen Graham (all from Mississippi). With a buzz created around the band shortly thereafter due to Hoon’s appearance on Guns N’ Roses’ 1991 release, ‘Use Your Illusion’ (and specifically, the hit single/video, “Don’t Cry”), a recording contract soon
followed with Capitol Records. The group’s now-classic self-titled debut followed in 1992.
The album saw the group fit in perfectly with the then-burgeoning alt rock/grunge movement, due to their stripped-down, rootsy sound, as evidenced by such standouts as “Tones of Home” and “Change.” But it was the song “No Rain” that became a smash on
radio and MTV a year later, and Blind Melon became one of rock’s feel-good ‘overnight success stories.’ As the album scaled the charts, plum opening gigs piled up over the next year – Guns N’ Roses, Neil Young, Lenny Kravitz, and the Rolling Stones, as well as an unforgettable appearance at Woodstock ’94. Despite high expectations, the group’s sophomore release, 1995’s ‘Soup,’ was panned by critics upon release. Over the years however, the album has rightfully become recognized as one of the decade’s most
underrated rock gems, spawning such standouts as “Galaxie,” “Toes Across the Floor,” and “Mouthful of Cavities.” Barely over two months after the album’s release, Hoon died while on tour from a drug overdose, at the age of 28. The four surviving members
regrouped and issued an outtakes collection, 1996’s ‘Nico’ (named after Hoon’s then baby daughter, and spawning such further Melon classics as “Soup” and “Soul One”), as well as the Grammy nominated home video, ‘Letters from a Porcupine.’ An attempt to
find a replacement for Hoon was abandoned, and in 1999, the group officially went their separate ways. Smith and Thorn subsequently formed a short-lived group, Unified
Theory, featuring Dave Krusen of Pearl Jam and Chris Shinn of Live, as well as opening up their own recording studio (Wishbone), and becoming much-in-demand producers, working with such artists as Anna Nalick, Critter Jones and Under the Influence of
Giants. Thorn also played in Live and Awol Nation and Smith has released two full length solo records under the moniker “Abandon Jalopy”. Stevens, having moved to New York, appeared in a pair of groups, Extra Virgin and Tender Trio, while Graham, who also settled back east, outside of Chapel Hill, North
Carolina, played with Jimbo Mathus and his Knocked Down Society, Joe Tullos, and The Harmony Four in addition to founding The Meek and The Jakeleg. Also during these intervening years, interest in Blind Melon continued to grow further, due to the
emergence of the jam band scene – which many feel the group helped create -while such compilations as 2002’s ‘Classic Masters’ and 2005’s ‘Tones of Home: The Best of,’ as
well as 2005’s ‘Live at the Palace’ CD and ‘Live at the Metro’ DVD, racked up impressive sales. Add to it an ever-growing Blind Melon online community of fans, and it was clear that there was still an unmistakable demand for the band. It was precisely
around this time that Smith and Thorn were asked to produce a few tracks for Texasbased singer/songwriter, Warren – who also happened to be a die-hard Blind Melon fan. Working with Warren on his demo, Smith jokingly said to Thorn that Warren “could sing
Blind Melon songs in his sleep.” The idea was born. The four remaining members – who hadn’t been in the same room in years – came together to be reacquainted with each other, and to meet with Warren. Soon after, it had become apparent that they had finally located Blind Melon’s new singer. With Stevens and Graham reclaiming their spots as well, Blind Melon was back in business. Setting up shop at Wishbone, the reformed band spent most of 2007 writing and recording. But before issuing a new album, the group decided to introduce their newest member via a highly successful and completely sold out club tour in late 2007. If the strong response from fans at these shows is any indication,
the group’s upcoming shows and forthcoming new music will continue to spread the word even further.
After a short hiatus in 2009, Blind Melon has again returned to the stage playing cities all over the globe including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and more. The band continues to play a handful of special shows each year, looking forward to what the
future will bring.
“Humanity,” said Dostoevsky, “is a mystery. It must be unravelled.” On his latest album, My Spirit Sister, Utah-based Americana artist Joshua James attempts to do just that, laying bare a narrative catalogue of his unraveling of the complexities and imperfections inherent in us all. “There is for each of us a constant search for love,” says James. “We look to our families, spouses, and friends for support, but sometimes we must look into the dark that covers the night, searching for acceptance. These songs stem from that.”
Joshua James was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he found solace early on in old records. James moved to Utah for university, where he began writing songs while studying nursing. “Leaving your home, your family, and living somewhere without the support of that structure is going to cause you to change,” he says. “I suppose it caused me to expand my view of the world, people, culture, god, the pursuit of a "career,” money and its affect on a man.” These themes and the hard-edged, stark landscapes of these states seep into the compositions on My Spirit Sister, which are stunningly beautiful yet somehow perilous and harrowing in execution. James draws on inspiration from the untidy and unseemly parts of ourselves that we tend to hide even from the people closest to us. He may find more questions than he answers, but his ethos of working to be honest about his own weaknesses led to a chillingly engaging record.
The critical reception to James’ previous albums, ranging from Paste Magazine who named him one of the next 25 Artists You Need To Know and NPR who said “James specializes in lyrics that cut right through listeners with their sincerity and honesty,” left him without much to prove moving into his new album. This gave James’ the space to experiment more and to expand his sound. “The progression from the first album to this one is quite sonically and expressively different,” he says. My Spirit Sister has a dark mystery to it, reflected both thematically and sonically. Referencing the frailty and weaknesses of humanity, the songs are about “the things that come up in our lives without warning, lovers and relationships.” Where a lesser songwriter might simply explore the pain in this darkness, James makes peace with it, bringing a strong, cold undercurrent of hope and aspiration beneath it.
“I’m in constant flux with "being true" to myself, perhaps we all are, but this record really feels like an honest endeavor to me. I enjoy the connection that can exist when becoming vulnerable and the easiest way for me to do that is through song.” This sense of vulnerability is palpable on My Spirit Sister. Here, Joshua James proves himself to be a mature songwriter, blending the line between what is fictional and what is confessional like a painter mixing watercolors. He’s been an artist to watch for years now, but with his new album, he’s finally arrived.