It’s a blue Half Moon | VailDaily.com

It’s a blue Half Moon

Andrew Harley

Special to the DailyFrom left: sax player Brad Thomas, bassist Chuck Thomas, lead vocalist and guitarist Clay Evans, drummer Jason Jones and percussionist Nick Prince hit Half Moon Saloon today at 10 p.m.

It’s not so much blues, or bluegrass, for that matter.

Bluestring, a Georgia-based band, brings its rock with hints of funk, jazz and Latin music to Half Moon Saloon today at 10 p.m. in West Vail.

“It’s a rock band, and we’re very focused on vocals and song and the structure of songs,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Clay Evans. “We call ourselves a “song-prov’ band because our performance is centered around songs, and we improvise in live settings.”

Evans started the band five years ago with a fiddle/mandolin player, who has since moved on.

The current band includes Evans, Brad Thomas on saxophone and vocals, Chuck Thomas on bass guitar and vocals, Nick Prince on percussion and vocals and Jason Jones on drums and vocals.

“I consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded with these guys and players,” said Evans. “We’re really gelling well now, and we’re connecting on a lot of different levels.”

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Brad Thomas joined the band three-and-a-half years ago, and he’s the primary soloist in the band, adding a lot of the Latin and funk influences to the band’s sound.

“Brad’s a super player and a great improviser,” said Evans. “He brings in different melodies every night. He’s kind of taken over the role of lead guitarist, using effects on the baritone sax, delays and octave stuff. He can play the baritone and tenor at the same time, and he really holds down the lead role in the band.”

Jones was the last member to join of the current band. He provides a solid background for grooves to live off of and adds high harmonies to the vocal spectrum.

“Jason leads a lot of the jams and holds down the grooves,” said Evans. “He loves rock now. This band has kind of made him into more of a rock drummer.”

Chuck Thomas and Jones have played together for a long time before they ever joined Bluestring.

“Chucky and Jason are super tight. They’re kind of like a rhythm section that comes as one piece. They feel each other out really well on stage,” said Evans. “Chuck holds down the groove well. He keeps it going by staying in the pocket a lot. He plays a fretless bass on a lot of songs, which I think is a beautiful sound reminiscent of some Paul Simon stuff.”

Prince primarily plays the congas, but always has a large selection of other rhythmic toys, including tambourines and shakers.

“Nick added a whole new element to the band. He added a lot of the Latin influence into the mix,” said Evans. “Nick has always been sort of a cheerleader. He’s a huge motivator for me, giving good feedback into the stuff I’m writing.”

Evans writes all of the lyrics.

“I think too much about myself; I’m too introspective,” said Evans. “I’m into expressing myself through music. The most rewarding thing, for me, is when people come up to me and relate to my lyrics.

“To make people smile and dance, there’s not much better in life.”

Andrew Harley can be reached via e-mail at aharley@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext.

Kind of blue

Bluestring

Today, 10 p.m.

Half Moon Saloon, West Vail610.