Maybe you know musician John Sherdon from his annual summer Chama Patio Sessions series at Rio Chama Steakhouse or maybe you simply know him from being a well-informed local DJ aficionado. Either way, Sherdon's been honing his work on the decks for nearly 20 years. This Saturday June 9, alongside longtime local collaborator DJ Mayrant and New York City-based DJ Jim Stevens, Sherdon takes over the newly-opened and instantly popular Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery for Root Down (7 pm. Free. 2791 Agua Fria St., 303-3808), a potentially ongoing series suited to fans of all electronic music styles, electronic or otherwise.
How long have you been at this at this point?
Since 1999. I was into music as a teenager and I used to make mixtapes and mix CDs for friends. A close friend brought his turntables and mixer over to my house one summer, and I started playing my friends' records. You have that moment where it clicks and you get two records to sound great together.
Were you always into electronic music?
I was listening to electronic music probably since I was 15 or 16, but I was also into ska—I'd go to ska shows in Albuquerque, like Pietasters or Reel Big Fish or Mighty Mighty Bosstones—but I've never really liked pigeonholing myself into one genre. I love classical music; I grew up listening to Yo Yo Ma and playing the cello. I liked '60s and '70s rock, Motown—I listen to everything. And I found this conection to electronic music because it was a way you could incorporate all these other genres into a danceable beat.
Will people familiar with Chama Patio Sessions be familiar with Root Down? How does it compare, if at all?
I would say most of my music is under the main umbrella of house music. It breaks off. Sometimes I'll play deeper, sometimes more techy, sometimes true, upbeat house. … It might be more progressive. They all have a different sound to them, and I don't know if we really need to label all these sounds into these sub-genres. I listen to artists and labels that I love, that I've listened to over the years, and if I like the way it sounds I'll pick up the needle and drop it on a record, listen to the bass, listen to the hook, the breakdown; if I connect, it's something that's representative of me. We're figuring that space out a little bit. [Tumbleroot is] known for acoustic performances, more in the vein of folk and rock and, really, I'm trying to put in music that actually has some of those elements along with an electronic beat. People who come to hear us play, they know what they're gonna get, but I'm trying to connect with an audience that's already there by adding in some of those elements.