Jammin’ at JoBoy’s: blues and brews

By on August 24, 2016
Overload Junction jams at JoBoy’s.

Overload Junction jams at JoBoy’s.


They make a great gose, which is now on tap, and JoBoy’s Brew Pub in Lititz may be best known for its southern-style barbecue and flagship brews like Lititz Springs Lager, Manheim Red, and Hopitude IPA, but every Wednesday night something special happens.

From 6 until 9 p.m., JoBoy’s is home to Overload Junction, a Lancaster-based blues band. I stopped in recently to check them out and was quite impressed. For a rockin’ band, they have a quiet demeanor at JoBoy’s. They make a perfect accompaniment to a great dinner and night out with a few friends. They just started playing a rendition of the 1970s Melanie hit “Brand New Key.” Love it!

I caught up with Overload Junction front man John Brown before a recent show to find out what makes the band click.

“We wanted to put together a blues project, something a little more unique than what was out there at the time,” said Brown, who started the band in 2013.

A transplant from Maryland, and now resident of Lancaster County, he set out to find a group of musicians who were dedicated to blues music.

“The blues have always resonated with me,” said Brown.

He found Ethan Lesher, described as “the quiet one” to play bass and “Memphis” Mike Roy to be “the loud one” on drums. He might be the loud one, but Roy uses electric drums at JoBoy’s, which helps maintain a respectable level of volume. Lesher, also the youngest member of the group, is a 2009 graduate of Manheim Township and still lives close to Lititz.

“JoBoy’s is a great atmosphere. We can play the material we like and people seem to really enjoy what we do,” said Brown.

During my first encounter with the band, they turned out a great rendition of an Eric Clapton tune while I sipped a porter at the bar. They followed up with a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Brown said he listens to all kinds of music, and if I would look at his Spotify account I would find everything from new age to metal, and pop to female vocalists.


Overload Junction is (left to right) John Brown on guitar and vocals, Mike Roy on drums, and Ethan Lesher on bass. (Photos by Stan Hall)

Overload Junction is (left to right) John Brown on guitar and vocals,
Mike Roy on drums, and Ethan Lesher on bass. (Photos by Stan Hall)


When he moved JoBoy’s from Manheim to Lititz in 2014, co-owner Jeff Harless wanted to create his restaurant around a blues theme; it paired well with his signature barbecue. Music-themed decorations adorn the interior. Harless even plays guitar, while his wife and business partner, Jo, plays the piano.

Brown wanted to add the band is looking for local management. Like many other musicians, he calls booking shows the bane of his existence. So, if anyone out there is looking to work with Overload Junction contact Brown through their Facebook page. Or, just head over to JoBoy’s on Wednesday.

Cheers, and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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