Blue Haven plays to give blues a positive image for listeners |

Blue Haven plays to give blues a positive image for listeners

Jarid Shipley
Appeal staff writer

Citing the unpredictability of blues and the constant highs and lows of the music they play, the guys in Blue Haven are just happy to enjoy the ride.

“My favorite song changes from night to night. Blues is so emotional, and it changes. It’s a roller coaster, and some nights some songs are better, so it’s hard to pick my favorite,” vocalist and guitar player Rich Maloon said.

The Reno-based band consists of Maloon, Mike Thompson on guitar and harp, Mike Komadina on bass and Pat Dodson on drums. The band plays Friday at Dick’s Winghouse Sports Bar.

The band has seen a number of successes since its formation in 2000. It has recorded three albums and has a strong following overseas. Domestically, it continues to see its playing schedule fill up – which for Haven was the plan all along.

“We want to continue to play more and more, keep being on stage and making music,” Maloon said.

The band chose the name “Blue Haven” in reverence to a comfortable space they hope to create for their audience.

“Haven is a safe place, a haven, like a home. Blue was chosen as kind of a style we are in, and less about the mood of our music,” Maloon said. “We play blues, boogie blues as well as rock and dance stuff. We kind of cover the whole range with what we play.”

Even when he is not playing, Maloon spends most of his time around stages as a technician on call for the area.

“I don’t mind it; it gives me plenty of time to play music, which is the best part,” Maloon said.

He credits his addiction to music to a guitar received shortly after his 14th birthday.

“It was my grandfather’s guitar, and I started picking on it and it evolved into playing all the time,” Maloon said. “Music has become my passion.”

When he’s not on stage, Maloon said he fills his CD player with great guitar and slide-guitar players, as well as some of the classic acts.

No matter where Blue Haven plays, from bigger venues to more intimate settings, their mentality remains the same – entice people get to up to dance.

“I hope they get an uplifting feeling and have a good time that is memorable to them. We want them to have a positive experience when they hear us play,” Maloon said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.