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Paradise Found: The Jamie McLean Band’s Sonic Odyssey 

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Jamie McLean plays the national anthem at Big Sky PBR. OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO


Imagine that sweet sound of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll infused with a raw energy, streamlining an infectious groove that spreads throughout the crowd. Captivating audiences across the world from Madison Square Garden to Japan’s Fuji Rock, the Jamie McLean Band makes their way to Big Sky this summer, set to perform at the PBR after party on July 21. Founded by Jamie McLean, former member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the band is ready to bring their energy to the Big Sky Events Arena for their fans.

“Bring your dancing shoes,” McLean said. “We’re definitely going to get the crowd moving and shaking.”

Before forming the Jamie McLean Band, McLean honed his skills with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a group from New Orleans, LA. However, after Hurricane Katrina, he felt a strong desire to create and release his own original music. Stepping away from New Orleans and the Dirty Dozen, McLean embarked on a new journey with the Jamie McLean Band, touring, recording and releasing their unique blend of bluesy, rootsy rock ‘n’ roll. Influenced by icons such as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, as well as modern acts like Lukas Nelson and Dawes, their music is an enthralling fusion of classic and contemporary styles. 

Jamie McLean Band’s association to Big Sky PBR started by a chance encounter with a fan during a tour with Dickey Betts from the Allman Brothers. Recognizing the band’s exceptional sound, the fan suggested they perform in Big Sky, Montana.

“The first person I was introduced to was Eric Ladd, who really loved the music and brought us out for PBR a number of years ago,” McLean said. “It was really all thanks to Eric Ladd and just believing in the music.”

Attendees at the Big Sky PBR event can anticipate an unforgettable experience during the band’s performance. Known for their ability to get the crowd moving, the band will bring their honest and soulful rock ‘n’ roll to the stage. Feeding off the audience’s energy, the Jamie McLean Band creates an electric atmosphere that is sure to make the weekend a celebration of epic proportions. 

When it comes to preparing for a show of this magnitude, Jamie McLean likes to keep it simple: “I usually have a cold beer and try not to get nervous,” McLean said.

Recognizing the challenges of performing at a high elevation, they prioritize rest and hydration to maintain high energy levels throughout the weekend. 

For the Jamie McLean Band, the essence of performing live lies in the interaction with the crowd. Witnessing smiling faces, fans singing along and seeing people have a good time are the most rewarding aspects of their live shows. McLean shares that, “Getting out there and seeing people enjoying themselves is really what makes it worthwhile for us.” The energy exchange between the band and the audience elevates the experience, he explains, making every performance memorable–it’s this connection and the shared joy of live music that drives the band’s passion for performing. 

Reflecting on past performances, the band has had its share of outstanding moments. One standout memory was when McLean performed the national anthem on guitar.

“Doing the national anthem in front of the Big Sky crowd was a true career highlight,” McLean said. “I’ll always remember that, and I’ll be doing it again this year so come early and come watch the guitar fireworks.”

Exciting projects lie on the horizon for the Jamie Mclean Band. They recently released a live album titled, “Live at the Bitter End” which showcases their talent on stage. With their home away from home being the Bitter End, New York City’s oldest rock club, the live album perfectly captures the band’s energy. Furthermore, they plan to return to the recording studio at the end of this year to work on a new record. 

Live music at PBR plays a vital role in enhancing the experience for attendees. McLean expresses that music is the “common denominator.”

“It brings everyone together,” he said. “I can’t imagine life without music … Bringing everybody together to have a great time is a pretty beautiful thing.”

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