The Junction Allstars Ode to the Branding Iron Bar
Did your bar hopping in the 1980s and 90s ever lead you to a small bar in Orchard Mesa? That room was a hot music venue for years. A Grand Junction band put together this tune as a tribute to this long-since-gone establishment.
Do you remember the Branding Iron? It operated on the corner of 27 Road and Highway 50 at what is called the Landmark Building. It was in business for years featuring bands like Ralph N' Clyde, The Junction Allstars, and Shot Gun. If memory serves, the location ceased doing business as The Branding Iron somewhere around 1995.
This room ran live bands five nights a week. Seriously, five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday. I first became familiar with the place when they hosted Sunday night Jam Nights. Speaking as someone with an interest in live music, I really appreciated the Branding Iron's efforts to keep local bands working.
Grand Junction musician and former Junction Allstars member Mark Shortess helped to produce a song about the Branding Iron:
'The Branding Iron' was another collaborative effort between Ronnie Reed and the Allstars. This is a live recording of the Allstars doing 'The Branding Iron' song. Ronnie and the Allstars started hanging out at Hot Rod Recording Studio together tweaking, and recording his tunes. Ronnee was a gifted songwriter and we enjoyed working with him. Rob West on saxophone, Steve Moser on Drums, Greg Achord on Guitar and Mark S on Bass and Vocals. - Mark Shortess
What's going on nowadays with the location? After the Branding Iron closed, another bar, the Thunder Mountain Tavern, opened in its location. That bar operated for a number of years.
Back in September 2018, I shared a post with information regarding future plans for the site. At that time, I spoke to a City of Grand Junction representative about an application that had been submitted requesting the demolition of this multi-unit building. In its place, a new 7,225 square foot store was to be built. According to the information I was given at the time, the applicant was O'Reilly Auto Parts.
As of February 2020, the old Landmark Building looks pretty much like it did two years ago. In the meantime, it's fun to listen to the "The Branding Iron" song and enjoy the old photos included in the video.