Christian Coleman has been a very busy man for the past 20 years. After falling in love with blues music at a young age, Coleman dedicated his time to learning and eventually creating his own style of blues. These days Coleman is playing around Salt Lake as the frontman for Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band. When he and his three bandmates aren't performing or practicing, Coleman is working as the music director for the Hive Gallery.
Blues music isn't prevalent in Salt Lake, so we thought it would be a good idea to get to know Coleman and his Blue Zen Band a little better. Listening to his music, it is obvious that the band has truly captured the essence of good blues music. The guitar solos are accompanied by lonely sounds echoing from the keys and sexy beats by the drums that capture your attention and transport you back in time to a smoky bar in Chicago, allowing the music to make you feel every emotion on the rawest level.
We ask Coleman to tell us a bit about his band, what inspired him to form it and why you should check it out.
How long has Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band been making music?
I've been making music as a solo artist and in a variety of bands for over 20 years. All the experience I have acquired helped inform this project, and created a strong foundation that has launched this band forward in the short time we have been playing together. There have been prototypes of this band since 2010, but it really blossomed in the last year, after meeting Omar, Joe and Mills.
It's a name I've been saving until the right moment for around 15 to 20 years. I was listening to blues music before I even knew it, through '60s and '70s rock bands like Jimi Hendrix Experience and Led Zeppelin. When I discovered Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Elmore James, it was like "Wow!", such a powerful awakening. It changed everything within me, and the blues became my passion and my cause. Then in my youth, when I had more time to read, I discovered the Tao Te Ching. I never meditated or did yoga, but the Tao really registered with me. It just made sense, so I fused the two, Blues and Zen, and that came to represent my philosophy.
What makes The Blue Zen Band different from other local bands?
Bands are like snowflakes, no two are the same, but I will say, I never hear any local bands that sound like us. We play with an intensity that is our trademark and treat every gig with the reverence that it deserves, as if it was our last. I think our passion, desire and love for playing sets us apart.