Flat Top Reed: Rootsy, blues music at Grand Junction’s Radio Room Feb. 8 | PostIndependent.com

Flat Top Reed: Rootsy, blues music at Grand Junction’s Radio Room Feb. 8

Sharon Sullivan
Flat Top Reed and long-time collaborators will perform at the Radio Room, Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. From left: Seth Strickland, John Anglim, Paul Harshman and Danny Arellano.
Submitted photo |


WHAT: Flat Top Reed performance

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Radio Room, 1310 Ute Ave., Grand Junction

COST: $8 advance; $12 door

INFO: 970-241-8801, ext. 223; or http://www.kafmradio.org

The Flat Top Reed duo of Paul Harshman and John Anglim will come full circle when they take the stage at the Radio Room, Feb. 8.

The two musicians met more than a dozen years ago when Harshman was a real estate agent and Anglim was on the search committee for a new home for Grand Junction’s KAFM community radio station. Harshman was showing the building at 1310 Ute Ave. (now the home of KAFM).

Anglim said he remembered seeing the space that is currently the Radio Room, and realized immediately it would make a good live music venue.

Soon after they met, Harshman, who plays guitar, invited Anglim, a harmonica player, to join him at a regular coffee house gig; the two clicked — both musically and as friends. They’ve been playing music together ever since, Anglim said.

The Radio Room was one of the first places Flat Top Reed performed.

Joining Flat Top at the Radio Room will be long-time collaborators Seth Strickland, on bass, and drummer Danny Arellano. Hugh Plumleigh, on keyboards, will also perform with the group that night.

Harshman plays guitar and is lead vocalist; Anglim plays harmonica and sings back-up vocals.

During KAFM’s spring fund drive last year, Flat Top Reed participated in the Battle of the Bands fundraiser where local bands performed live on-air in a competition to see who could bring in the most listener pledges. The prize was a gig at the Radio Room.

Flat Top Reed beat out Stray Grass by a slim margin, and so KAFM executive director Tedi Gillespie gave both bands opportunities to perform in the venue.

“It’s particularly sweet that here we are celebrating KAFM’s 15-year anniversary in March,” Anglim said.

Anglim described Flat Top’s music as “absolutely rooted in the blues.”

Flat Top often borrows from old traditional blues music for much of what they do.

“What I really like to do is put our own interpretation on (traditional songs), Harshman said.

Harshman has a particular affinity for the North Mississippi Blues tradition — a style he learned from visiting the Mississippi hill country, he said.

Flat Top’s modern-day influences include Americana artists such as James McMurtry, Greg Brown, Todd Snyder, and blues musicians Alvin Youngblood Hart and the late R.L. Burnside.

The Feb. 8 concert will be recorded — part of the prize for winning the Battle of the Bands contest. The group hopes to release that CD later this year. Flat Top’s third CD, a compilation of their favorite previously recorded songs, will be for sale at the show.

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