Canceled: Yarn spins a pair of shows at Steve’s this weekend

Editor’s note: This event is canceled.

After more than a decade of touring, playing over 1,000 shows and logging more than half a million miles, Blake Christiana and the band Yarn have earned the right to be called road warriors.

The band, which hails from Raleigh, North Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York, plays upwards of 170 shows a year and has graced the stages at South by Southwest, Rhythm and Roots, and Meadowgrass, among others.

“With a little band like ourselves, we’re not getting the record sales anymore, so you’ve got to sell tickets and T-shirts,” he said. “But that’s what it’s all about; that’s where you really communicate the most to the audience and to your fans. Being onstage and having a full house, there’s nothing better than that.”

Yarn will play two shows this weekend at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale, both Friday and Saturday nights starting at 8:30 p.m.

Christiana said that the best part about being on the road is meeting people and making friends. He said he’s been most surprised by the generosity of fans and their willingness to open their lives up to the band.

“When we first started out we were staying in a lot of people’s spare bedrooms and sleeping on their couches, and they were cooking us food,” he said. “Those people have become our best of friends. To me that’s the biggest surprise. People are really generous and really cool.”

Yarn honed their musical chops with a Monday night residency at the legendary Greenwich Village nightclub Kenny’s Castaways in 2007-’08.

“Pat Kenny had passed away by the time we were doing it, but his daughter (Maria Kenny) was running the club,” Christiana said. “When we started we didn’t even have a band name, we were just up there practicing tunes.”

“What was cool was everyone who was coming through was going back to wherever they were from, and we see them sometimes at shows and they’ll say, ‘Hey, I saw you at Kenny’s Castaways in 2008.’”

What followed were several studio albums including Yarn (2007), Empty Pockets (2008), Come On In (2010), Almost Home (2012), Shine the Light On (2013), This is the Year (2016), Lucky 13 Vol. 1 (2018) and Lucky 13 Vol. 2 (2019).

Although Yarn’s music has been described as “Americana” and “roots rock,” Christiana says it doesn’t fit easily into any one genre.

“It just kind of took its shape from all the members in the band,” he said. “What we’ve grown into today, it’s all a melting pot of the four of us and our visions coming together.”

Christiana said his own influences run the gamut from ’80s rock’n’roll to Townes Van Zandt, and from Tom Waits to Simon & Garfunkel.

In 2012 Christiana collaborated with a musician who is familiar to Roaring Fork Valley audiences — John Oates. Yarn was playing a show in Nashville and introduced their song, “Annie” as sounding like “a Hall and Oates tune.”

“John Oates was backstage and we hadn’t met him yet, so I told that story, that we were trying to write a Hall and Oates tune, and he just sat sidestage where we could see him with a big smile on his face,” Christiana said. “Right after that we talked and he said, ‘Let’s get together and write some tunes,’ so I went down to Nashville. We wrote a bunch of stuff — we had a pile of tunes.”

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