Jon Gindick is performing a live stream at June Lake’s T-Bar Social Club on Thursday, May 28 at 8 p.m. PST. LINK The following is an interview between Jon Siembieda on Tahoe Onstage and Gindick as part of a series catching up with artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, to see what they are doing for creative output in these times.
How have you been holding up in quarantine?
Jon Gindick: It’s been an interesting time — I have had a chance to reflect and review, clean up old messes and reprioritize. I have written three songs about the experience and any day that I am working on a new song is a good day.
You have a live stream Thursday night (May 28) at the T-Bar Social Club in June Lake to benefit June Lake Cares. How did this show come about? What can you tell us about June Lake Cares?
June Lake Cares is terrific. They help the workers, the unfortunate who live up here. Often these are the same people who provide honest labor for the locals and tourists until their health goes bad, or they lose employment. I’m really glad to be doing something in their name.
You’re known for your harmonica music camps. Can you tell us a bit about them for those that aren’t familiar?
In 2000, I started Blues Harmonica Jam Camps, five-day musical workshop/experiences that get people playing blues harp, singing, writing songs, repairing harps, even playing guitar or bass. We hold these camps in Clarksdale, Mississippi and encourage everybody, beginner through experienced to come play, learn, and get more deeply into the blues. We have six coaches, a band, and stage for about 30 people. Small and inclusive. Our next camp in September is sold out. We are having a June Lake Workshop in October, and a Mississippi Jam Camp in November. My website is http://www.Gindick.com.
Have you written any new songs during the pandemic? What have you been doing to keep busy?
Yes, I have written three songs during this time. The humorous “Don’t Sneeze in My Face, Grace,” then love boogie song, “Lock Me Down With You,” and lastly apocalyptic “Ship of Fools,” which is about the world my daughters will inherit.
Where’s the first place you’re going after quarantine is lifted?
T-Bar Social Club, June Lake, California. I love the place.
What are your musical influences?
Folk music, blues, top 40 melodies from when I was growing up. I explore artists on YouTube, looking especially for live performances, and often learning songs that were part of the landscape as I was coming up. As a writer, I am especially influenced by Dylan and way he wrote and performed in the early days. I also play harp and guitar at the same time, but my harmonica is more like a horn, or a lead guitar. Harmonica is my main instrument. My guitar is a cross between blues and folk.
Do you have a message for musicians and artists on the search for creative inspiration?
Buy my albums! Actually, I do think they could be inspirational. … The other thing is to keep a notebook, a journal, a friend that you enjoy writing in, and that you can tell everything to. Go on thought dreams, and explore poem scapes. Some of that stuff will turn into songs. Oh, you can hear my stuff at http://www.jongindickband.com.
In your opinion, what’s the best thing people can do to support the arts during these times?
Be encouraging. That’s for all times.
Where can people keep up with your live streams, new album, and band activities?
I will be streaming from the Jon Gindick Facebook page at 8 p.m. PT Thursday Night. Accompanying me will be drummer, Pete Gallagher. Here’s the LINK.
— Jon Siembieda