On Saturday, June 10, the G&R Campground in Houston will again be the site of June Jam, a large outdoor concert that is in its 45th year. The event, which began as a charity concert, will feature well-known local bands, food trucks and vendors.
“The last few weeks are always crazy,” Lynn Fowler, Vice-President of the June Jam said. “Somehow, it all comes together.”
June Jam began out of tragedy when friends of the founders were electrocuted while working in Magnolia. Music lovers and musicians, a group of friends got together to put on a concert that would raise money for the families of the victims in 1978. The concert was such a success, it continued and has remained a popular event for 44 years. Even in 2020, the organizers did not want to miss a year, so a scaled down version was held in October. The overall theme of the event is music with bands of multiple genres providing entertainment, but there is still a charity component to the festival.
“Rather than choose just one charity, what we’ve been doing is we’ve been doling out money throughout the year. We have donated to Toys for Tots, Heroes for Hooters and the Houston Fire Department. They do so much for us and are all volunteer so, I mean it’s not that they’re getting paid for it. They all volunteer,” Fowler said. “So, we gave a donation to them. We have provided funds to individuals on a one-on-one basis as well.”
Fowler also explained that the June jam organization does not give funds directly to a recipient. For instance, if the person needs medication, they pay the pharmacy or if they need help with a hotel, they pay the hotel. One of the reasons is to prevent someone who receives assistance from them from losing any benefits they are already receiving. Fowler pointed out that even $10 in extra income could cause someone to lose a benefit, which is why they prefer to pay the provider and not the person they assist.
Last year, the organization constructed a new stage that is called the Lighthouse Stage as the top is adorned with a lighthouse. This brings the permanent stages at the event to two. Fowler explained that although there were always two stages, one was not permanent and only covered with a tarp.
“Our gates open between 10:30 and 11 depending on how long that line is, because they clog up that road up,” Fowler said. “We try to start bringing people in to avoid having them tailgating on private property.”
Bands featured at the event include Every Day People with Kagan Nuss, a powerful young band with strong harmonies with a sound similar to Sly and the Family Stone. The band was formed by Brian McDaniel in late 2020 and they put their own touch on the songs they perform. The Jim Cochran Band, formed in 2015, is a favorite in the area. They will perform classic rock, old school R&B, funk, Motown and even some new country favorites. All members of the band, which includes Jim Bob Cochran, Jimi Brown, Wayne Rogers and Chris Foltz, have their own solo careers which makes every show they perform unique.
The Alicia Maxwell Project, featuring Alicia Maxwell, Joe Casamento, Bill Dube and Joe Geiger began when the four got together for a jam session and realized how much chemistry they had. The band will cover a wide range of music including blues, rock, soul, funk and their own music. A local favorite, lower case blues, will make another appearance at June Jam. Featuring Jake Banaszak, B.J. Muntz and Paul Weik, the band takes blues to another level. They play a lot of original music mixed with cover songs. They hold multiple wards, including being named “Best Blues Band in Delaware” by Out and About magazine. They were also inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012.
The East coast’s premiere Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, High Noon, will also perform at June Jam this year. They not only bring Lynyrd Skynyrd to life, but they also perform songs from the Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, .38 Special and the Marshall Tucker Band. JJ Rupp will bring his modern country flare and will definitely perform songs from his EP “Wild Things,” which landed in the Top 30 on the Billboard Charts. This will be his debut on the June Jam stage.
The headliner for the day will be Triple Rail Turn, a highly popular band who has appeared on the stage at the last five June Jam’s. Fowler explained that they are the most requested band at June Jam each year. The band features a dynamic stage presence with three lead singers and a show that is always outstanding.
Fowler says tickets are still available and can be purchased at Music and Arts in Camden or Middletown. Tickets will also be available at the gate or can be ordered online as Will-Call at the gate. Tickets are $34 each.
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