Thanking the community for their loyal patronage, Mountain Hardware cooked up some satisfying country music in their parking lot with the Jarette James Band Friday, October 14th, 2022. With the San Bernardino Fire Explorer Scouts serving up hotdogs off the bar-b-que, Wrightwoodians from all over the neighborhood came out for Mountain Hardware Customer Appreciation night with their chairs, blankets, ice-chests, furry friends and families to feed and enjoy some truly foot-stomping, good old country music.
Hailing from Wrightwood, The Jarette James Band, sounds as tight as six years playing together can get. Right from the start of the sound check, the punchy sound of Scott Tomashek’s kick-drum and the low growls of Mark Eshelman on the bass out in the open could be felt clearly. Dialing in the audio in this temporary venue, sound engineer Sean, and Jarette James himself, put the finishing touch on the sound mix. The Mountain Hardware parking lot never sounded so good. Walter Foley and his modern country lead guitar technique rounded out the four-piece band nicely.
While Jarette James strummed his acoustic 6-string along with the band for sound check, the parking lot was filling up with people seating themselves around bales of hay stacked up for impromptu seating. The audience could tell they were in for a treat with the first few chords. Most thought the short, pre-gig rehearsal was the real thing. Jarette announced they would be back to start the show after a brief awards ceremony. This was good since the parade of igloos and folding chairs was beginning to arrive in the hardware store parking lot, now looking more like a small amphitheater. Besides, the wieners were grilling, the line for dogs was filling, and the audience was chilling.
The awards ceremony was for Mountain Hardware owner Mike Troeger and his efforts and contributions towards the Camp Cajon project in the Cajon Pass. Mike has been known for his generosity in other events, such as the AC-100 Endurance Races. This “Customer Appreciation Concert and Hot Dogs” is a fine example of his giving nature. Now, let’s give it up for The Jarette James Band!
Nothing sounds better than a well-honed musical act, and the Jarette James Band fits the bill. “Jarette is a perfectionist,” Said Terese Paz, a long-time friend of the band. “They have a really good sound,” she exclaimed. “They play the Sheriff’s Rodeo every year,” Terese said, “I guess you could call me a groupie!” she added boldly. “There’s country boys, and country girls, getting around on the farm,” were some of the lyrics playfully shared in one of the song selections. One of the crowd pleasers was Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker, and along with a strong cover set of country and country-rock tunes, Jarette, an accomplished songwriter, also shared a few of his tunes such as “Country Lovin,” “That’s That,” and “Blink of an Eye.”
At the onset of the very well-rehearsed show, the audience was mostly enjoying the concert, sitting out in the open air, surrounded by the pines, enjoying each other’s company when there was a hint of some dancing by the bandstand. “That guy is always up there dancing, and I’ve been coming here for thirty years!” stated Dave Cook, a long-time resident and loyal customer of Mountain Hardware, noticing a vintage neighbor dancing up a storm. Although from California, the Jarette James Band knows how to kick up some country music appreciation, and you know, some of us may go home with a little bit of a drawl. Yawl, come back now, Ya hear!
Special Thanks to the San Bernardino Fire Explorer Scouts and Fire Department and the wonderful staff at Mountain Hardware. Thanks again, Mike Troeger.