Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers have played two shows at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe and a pair in Mexico since the pandemic restrictions began to life.
Clyne admitted they were “euphoric.”
“It’s a return to a sense of purpose,” he said. “The idea of community is amazing. I always get nervous before a show. It’s back to butterflies now.”
Clyne will have nerves once again on Sunday, July 4, when he and his band headline Peoria’s All-American Festival, featuring the Valley’s largest Independence Day fireworks display.
“I just went there today to walk the grounds and do a promotional video,” he said. “It’s going to be ideal for the Fourth of July.
“I’m going to make this a fun set. We have a lot of beloved ballads, the cold beer, high-tempo numbers. We’ll just tear it up. We’re going to focus on fun and picking and grinning. We’re going to enjoy ourselves. That’s what the day is for.”
After a successful virtual All-American Festival at Home last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, Peoria is moving forward with an outdoor festival at the Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Avenue.
To ensure all festival attendees enjoy a safe and healthy event, this year’s All-American Festival will be a free, ticketed event with the most current COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place, which may include social distancing, mask wearing and hand-washing recommendations.
There will also be several food trucks, waterslides, three bands and a fireworks finale.
Formed from the ashes of the Refreshments, Dead Hot Workshop and the Gin Blossoms, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers emerged in 1999 as a Southwestern supergroup specializing in post-grunge, pop Americana.
After the Refreshments disbanded, Clyne and drummer P.H. Naffah retreated to Tempe, where the two composed a slew of new songs during a weeklong excursion through the Sonoran Desert.
Intimate shows at local bars followed, and the pair steadily pieced together a lineup of local veterans that would soon comprise Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.
By 1999, Clyne and Naffah were joined by ex-Gin Blossoms guitarist Scott Johnson, former Dead Hot Workshop guitarist Steve Larson and bassist Danny White.
That same year, they released an independent song, “Honky Tonk Union.” After 11 albums and national and international tours, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers were inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame on July 2, 2019.
Peoria Arts and Events Manager Marylou Stephens is tickled she landed Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers for the festival.
“We are so honored to have such a talented group with a hometown favorite like Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at our All-American Festival this year,” Stephens said.
“While we had a wonderful virtual event last year, we’re ready to host our traditional Independence Day celebration and provide a safe and family-friendly event in Peoria once again.”
Rob West and Mickey and the Motorcars will open for Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.
Mickey and the Motorcars began 17 years ago and has helped shape Austin’s roots-rock resurgence that has played out over the last two decades. With their new album “Long Time Comin,’” the Motorcars have cemented their place as elder statesmen of that alt-country scene.
West has made a name for himself in Arizona as a former professional golfer and fun-loving country star. From rocking party tunes to emotional ballads, West’s music is an honest reflection of life’s trials and tribulations. In 2019, he released his debut album, “Arizona.” The All-American Festival will be the third time West has performed for fans in Peoria.
Clyne is pleased the world is opening again.
“I didn’t do anything during the pandemic,” he said. “I hardly created any music during the shutdown. I was just treading water. I was numb, paralyzed, befuddled — all those words.
“I thought it was just me. What I’m hoping is that was an incubation period. The music and poetry will start flowering.”
To him, the pandemic was “shocking.”
“Hopefully now that the storm is mostly in the rearview, everybody will start playing again,” Clyne said. “I just like watching human beings create music for other human beings.”