Top 4 (Mostly) Vinyl DJ Nights in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events

johnny volume yucca tap room.jpg
Benjamin Leatherman
DJ Johnny Volume, one of the resident DJs for Valley Fever at the Yucca Tap Room

In the Valley, there is clearly no shortage of places for nightly booty-shaking to a myriad of local DJs. From Scottsdale's glam clubs bumping EDM to Phoenix's dives roaring punk and garage. If you think you don't dance, there's a night playing a tune that's sure to prove you wrong.

Yes, these days, all it takes to be a "DJ" it seems are a canny sense of pop and a deep enough iTunes library. But amongst all the tech convenience, metro Phoenix has maintained a solid crop of folks holding it down the old-fashioned way -- two turntables and a microphone ("Where It's At" if you will...sorry). Beat matchers, selectors, whatever you want to call them, the DJs on this list stick to wax, and cull from genres as diverse as country, hip-hop, electro, funk, world, blues, and whatever else they can get their hands on from years of crate-digging.

Without further ado, we present our five favorite (mostly) vinyl DJ nights.

See Also: Best Underground Dance Night Phoenix 2010 - 602'sdays at Bikini Lounge
See Also: Best Country and Western Night Phoenix 2013 - Valley Fever, Sundays at Yucca Tap Room

4. Valley Fever, Yucca Tap Room, Tempe

In 2006, veteran Phoenix DJs Dana and Johnny Volume were longing for some solid country. George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard -- what old-timers would call "real" country, the outlaw stuff: rough around the edges, and finding more in common with the attitude of punk than the country found on radio stations today. Coming up empty-handed, the two decided to start something of their own.

For the past eight years, every Sunday has brought true, roots country to Tempe's Yucca Tap Room. Dana and Johnny Volume remain the residents, but over the years the duo has brought in numerous guests on the decks, along with dozens of live bands ranging from locals Flathead and Hashknife Outfit, to rising nationals like Possessed by Paul James. Expanding occasionally to such venues as Crescent Ballroom and Rips Ales & Cocktails, Valley Fever has always maintained its presence at Tempe's fabled Yucca. Through the magic of vinyl, Valley Fever is preserving the spirit of Arizona's outlaw western past.

Location Info


Yucca Tap Room

29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

Bikini Lounge

1502 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

The Monarch Theatre

122 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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let's also give credit to all of the vinyl only dj's that keep these nightclubs burnin.





darrell d


johnny d


DeeJay Smite
DeeJay Smite

More than a bit of a stretch to connect Sun Records to Biscuits and Buttermilk, although I'll give you this. I did drop Billy (The Kid) Emerson's 1965 recording of "Every Woman I Know" on Tarpon Records for the first time last night after landing a copy for $6.50. A good start on the article would have been to mention that "Biscuits and Buttermilk" is the title of a latin soul track recorded by local greats Freddie & Henchi, who had origins as Those Fabulous Jokers, who I have pictures of from mi madre's 1967 Phoenix Union High School yearbook. Also of interest to note is that the dj aesthetic is nonconventional. Imagine the short break off James Brown's "Dead On It" looped up live and then chopped murderously on my ride or die Pioneer 500 efx while at the same time cutting and mixing King Hannibal's "The Truth Shall Set You Free" over the top. The night is all about digging deep though. Small, independent, limited run, lost soul and funk classics released only on 7" that are painstakingly tracked down, paid for and brought to the desert table. Afro-Funk-Psych from Benin to Mali to all over Africa. If you love Latin Funk this is the place for you as well. I just wanted wanted to give a more accurate and detailed description. If you would have mentioned Chess or King instead of Sun would have made sense to me. Final score C- for high school journalism. P.S. No Palace and the Beat Swapmeet? WTF?!

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