Sharon Sullivan

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December 13, 2012
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A musician's venue in Grand Junction

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Jazz guitarist Steve Williams has performed there. So has Cool Jazz, a group comprised of four Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra members.

John Winn, Paul Jensen and a host of other local musicians have also played at the new venue, referred to as On Stage at Back Porch Music, 995 Independent Ave.

Back Porch Music store owner Dwight Erickson said he opened the venue earlier this fall as a "service to musicians." His intention is not to compete with concert promoters, or to book big name acts - the cozy, intimate setting only seats 49, he said.

Other events that have been held there include a promotional event by Wayne Johnson, formerly of the band Manhattan Transfer, and a current member of Bette Midler's Las Vegas show band. Johnson was there primarily to demonstrate Taylor Guitars.

Several local bands performed one Saturday during store hours.

"We usually have a couple of events a month," Erickson said.

During business hours, musicians can use the space for free. After hours, there's a fee to use the room. Erickson has even rented the venue for a wedding reception.

Erickson installed a stage, and brought in tables after seeing similar venues at stores in other towns, he said.

In the store at the front of the building, Back Porch Music sells string and percussion instruments, and PA systems and teaches music lessons.

One of the instructors, Michael Van Middendorp, will use On Stage at Back Porch Music to conduct his Build Your Band classes in January.

Van Middendorp will hold auditions Jan. 5, for 10-13-year olds, and 13-17 year olds. Van Middendorp will then work with the youth for eight to 12 weeks (depending on students' skill levels), in creating bands that will ultimately perform at the venue.

Telluride-based musician Jeff Pine used the room to rehearse for a John Denver tribute show he performed in Aspen earlier this fall.

He was impressed with the space, and ended up booking a show there, Erickson said. Pine will perform a Christmas show at On Stage at Back Porch Music, Tuesday, Dec. 18 (see accompanying story).

Back Porch Music is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

For more information visit Back Porch Music on Facebook, or the website

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 13, 2012 04:48PM Published Dec 13, 2012 04:38PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.