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A symbolic passing of the keys by Ashley and Davey Jones to new owners Jordan and Britta Covert. Baby Tirana Covert is fascinated. / Laura Austin Photo

Moe’s Music traditions to continue with new owners

By Laura Quezada News Review Staff Writer–

The sign outside of Moe’s Music reads, “Closed for now. We will be back in July. Don’t panic.” It was a time of celebration when Davey Jones and Ashley Jones announced, “Moe’s will live another day,” and that Jordan and Britta Covert are the new owners. The buzz around town is folks asking, “Is it going to change? Are they going to do the same things?” Well, we can relax now. Jordan says, “What inspired us to buy this place, instead of just letting the space eventually fall to someone else for different purposes, was because we wanted the same thing. We wanted it to be what it is and to continue.”

The passing of keys we see is symbolic; the official change takes place on June 1. They are not only exchanging keys, but they are also exchanging passwords so that their followers can continue to share on Facebook’s “Moe’s Music Group.” Followers can keep informed on the “Moe’s Music” page, and everywhere they are online.

For those unfamiliar with Moe’s, here is an overview: Moe’s is many things. There are the concrete, tangible aspects of a music store with vinyl, CDs, band merch, and accouterments for instruments. It is also a venue with a stage, lights, sound, comfy chairs, and a dance floor. It isn’t a bar; it isn’t a club; it is a family environment.

The intangibles are what endears this place to its patrons. Asked what their favorite part of running the store had been, Davey says, “How many times did we have young kids? I mean, where else can you play in Ridgecrest?” Ashley adds, “We’re talking about teenagers that came in and found their very first voice on this stage that we built.”

She elaborates with a story, “An autistic kid and his uncle came in, and the gentleman just wanted to shop for vinyl. We didn’t have a show going on or anything. This kid clearly wanted to touch everything, and his uncle was just overwhelmed. We set him up with a drum kit. Davey played the lights for him, the kid had a handful of his favorite songs, and Davey just put those songs on (the speakers). This kid sat there for hours; his uncle had to drag him out. It was just beautiful to know that we were able to facilitate moments like that.

“Younger kids coming in to watch their parents play; we loved seeing that. The youth of Ridgecrest was able to be a part of a huge part of the music community that was created around us.”

Davey agrees, “Really, that’s what it is. It’s that combination of the look on a kid’s face when they come in, they see a drum kit up there and go play the drums, and I’ll turn the lights on, and their eyes light up. It’s magical, the number of bands that have sprung up because of our open jams.”

One may be familiar with Jordan and Britta Covert, well-known classically trained musicians who are very active in the Ridgecrest music world. A hint at his versatility and love of music was evident in April 2022 at Open Mic at the Historic USO Building. After performing three pieces as a classic tenor/guitarist, he sat in and played piano in a rock and roll jam session. He loves heavy metal.

In a News Review story in April 2022, we referred to Jordan as “Ridgecrest native, Jordan Covert, Composer, and Private Music Teacher” We can now music store owner to that list. We also introduced his wife, Britta. “While pursuing further music experience and education, Covert saved his money and indulged in a European journey. After spending a week in Spain, he headed to Vienna, Austria, to participate in a master class. The student next to him, a lovely young woman, was also a composer from Las Vegas. Over the next several months, their mutual love of music opened their eyes to their other common interests.”

They are now married and the proud parents of a lovely baby girl, Tirana.

The Coverts are working on plans for a Grand Re-opening, perhaps in July. They have ideas of what they can add to Moe’s, but none are concrete. They may move their music lessons on-site. Jordan says, “We want to expand our music supply section a little bit to help facilitate, for example, orchestral strings and maybe instructional books to some measure. We want to expand what we do with the schools as well. We haven’t approached them about that yet.”

We haven’t seen the end of the Jones’ at Moe’s. Davey will likely be contracted to handle light and sound. Ashley will be training on the ins and outs of the store and is available to “convince bands to come and play.”

We have a pretty good idea of what is next for the Coverts. A lot of work and learning storekeeper duties. Ashley will teach Britta to clean records, a job she is happy to relinquish. Ashley will go full-time at her hair salon, Mane Envy which she co-owns with Audra Williams. Davey will continue his full-time work on the Base and perform throughout the desert in his two bands, Zero Given and Kill ‘em with Kerosene.

However, you can catch Britta and Jordan when they open for the 5th Annual Music Festival tomorrow at 11 am. Stick around and catch Davey and Zero Given at 7 pm. (See the May 12 edition of the News Review: ) Or you might check out CLOTA’s production of Clue, for which Jordan is the Musical Director. (See Page 8 today)

The Jones children have mixed feelings about the changes, “I think they’re really mixed about it.,” says Ashley. “You know, my little man is definitely a music lover. And he loves tinkering with all the broken parts that we’ve thrown to the side room, and so I think he’s gonna miss that. I think the first time they don’t have to wake up early on a Saturday to be down here, they’re going to realize exactly why we’re doing this.”

Ashley says in parting, “We are happy that Moe’s lives on, and, like Jordan said, this doesn’t fall to something else because we did work really hard to build something beautiful. And it wasn’t just us.” Davey interjects, “You will quickly learn it takes a village.” Ashley continues, “ I’ve never seen a group of more mismatched people that have just come together for one cause. It’s been absolutely beautiful to watch. We just facilitated it, and I would hate to see all of that crumble and go away. I think Moe’s is in very capable hands. We’re happy to guide as much as or as little as needed.”

Britta responds, “We are really grateful to Ashley and Davey for building up this community. We really are. I like working with them.” She turns to Ashley and Davey and says, “I’m glad that we can have Moe’s for you guys. You can just walk in and enjoy it.”