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Stagecoach 2009: Jon Linn Band gets fest rolling

April 25, 2009 |  3:44 pm


Backstage at Stagecoach:

Is it a blessing or a curse to land the first performance of the weekend at a mammoth music event like the Stagecoach country festival, just now under way in Indio?

On the down side, 80% of the crowd isn't here yet, and those who did poke their heads in on the so-called Palomino Stage, where the Jon Linn Band kicked off the music, were there more out of curiosity than anything else.

On the plus side, anyone who's after live music early on has precisely one choice.

It took Linn only a moment or two after his 40-minute performance to call it: "Blessing," he concluded backstage, his face beaming a broad grin -- part joy, part relief. "Most of the people in this band haven't played a big stage like this, and they're a little nervous. It's probably good they aren't waiting a long time and hearing all the other bands. That'd just add to the nerves."

Linn is a guitar maker by day, based nearby in Pioneertown. He said his group rarely plays locally. "It's hard if you're not a big name," he said. But the act is building a following in the Midwest and, of all places, China, with its Lynyrd Skynyrd-inspired Southern rock.

He was pleased with the welcome the group got from the Stagecoach early birds.

"Our other singer turned to me when we finished and said, 'That wasn't so bad.' "

--Randy Lewis

Photo: Getty Images