Band on fire
Comeback group Easy Street plays on with Jim Blazer at the helm.
Pictured are Easy Street band members, standing, Dr. Doug Moore, Cayla Butler and Randy Ess, and, seated, Jim Blazer, Scott Musick and Casey VanBeek.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Doug Moore
Jim Blazer’s name fits him well — he seems smooth, calm and collected, but inside, he’s “ablaze” with music.
While Blazer is a businessman by day (he’s director of marketing for Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Products), his band, Easy Street, has been a lifelong expression of creativity by night. The band began playing in 1986.
“Easy Street’s original band played at Pickles Place at 51st and Yale for a full year while I was in law school at TU,” Blazer says.
“We had Bill Davis as our lead singer, we had three horn players, and we were an eight-piece group. We had a great time. Knew several of the guys clear back to grade school, junior high and high school, and then all of us went off on our own careers.”
Blazer, a Tulsa native, went down a successful path in marketing that has lasted 31 years, but music made an unexpected reappearance in his life in the early ‘90s.
“The new Easy Street resurrected about 18 years ago with two of the guys I grew up with,” he says. “I was getting requests from buddies who remembered us and said, ‘I wish you guys would get together to play the high school reunion.’ We just made it a more polished group and decided to really fine-tune it.”
Easy Street plays primarily ’60s and ’70s rock at private parties, charity and golf events, and weddings across Oklahoma, Blazer says.
While some of the members have enjoyed full careers in music, Easy Street is comprised of people with diverse backgrounds, including one physician.
“I play keyboard, and Scott Musick and I do harmonies,” Blazer says. “Our lead singers are Casey VanBeek, Randy Ess and Cayla Butler. Our guitar and mandolin player is Dr. Doug Moore, who is an ER doctor, and he has three clinics in Tulsa.”
While they take the quality of their music seriously, Blazer seems to be in touch with his motivation behind playing. He says the band members care about each other and “we do it for the joy of music.”
“Cayla Butler,” he adds, “has brought a whole new genre to our music. She has soul.”
Blazer says he has found meaning through his creative and professional expressions.
“My faith, my family and my friends make me a passionate person,” he says. “I’m a person who loves the Lord and still loves to boogie. I just grew up knowing that music would be a part of my life.”
Easy Street’s next Tulsa show is expected to be in early 2013 at the River Spirit Casino, 8330 Riverside Parkway. For more information, visit www.riverspirittulsa.com.