Four Performance Stages!
- Sean Healen
- Higher Ground
- Timothy Hill
- Lone Piñon
- Liz Madden
- NM Music Awards Songwriter’s Initiative
- Paw Coal & the Clinkers
- Polyphony Marimba
- The Porter Draw
- Red Light Ramblers
- The Rifters
- Sabinal Sisters
- Sage & Jared’s Happy Gland Band
- Shlomo and the Adobes
- Singing Pilgrims
- Special Orchestra
- Zoltan Orkestar
- …and more
Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott
Mt. Taylor Stage: 4:30 pm
Highly regarded writer/singer/multi-instrumentalists Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott first joined forces in 2000 to record the deep and scintillating Real Time, which was widely acclaimed on release and has since become recognized as a towering achievement in Americana annals. O’Brien, who hails from West Virginia, was steeped in bluegrass and country, while Scott, from nearby Kentucky, straddled country and rock ‘n’ roll. “Tim and I both felt like we met at Hank Williams,” says Scott. “Both of us can push the country button and be there,” says Tim of their common ground. “We just stretch toward each other till we intersect.”
Following that album, O’Brien and Scott became an in-demand touring act, hitting the road together whenever their schedules allowed. Meanwhile, the two multitaskers have conducted their parallel careers as solo artists and sidemen, cutting similarly wide swaths across the roots-music landscape. They’ve continued to release solo albums while leading their own bands and lending their talents to world-class musical aggregations — notably including O’Brien’s stint in Mark Knopfler’s touring unit and Scott’s foray with Robert Plant’s Band of Joy — as well as having their songs covered by the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Dierks Bentley, Nickel Creek, Kathy Mattea, Faith Hill, Guy Clark, Sam Bush, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, Trace Adkins and Tim McGraw. Along the way, Scott received a pair of Grammy nominations, and his composition “Hank Williams’ Ghost” was honored as the 2007 Americana Song of the Year, while O’Brien’s Fiddler’s Green won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2005.
For all those who made Real Time an enduring part of their lives, and who hoped that these two rarefied artists would one day conjure up the magic they’d made together — something Scott describes, with the requisite glint in his eye, as “bigger than the sum of our parts, and our parts are pretty good to begin with” — the long-awaited Memories & Moments will not disappoint, and that’s an understatement.
On the level of seamlessly infused tradition, the new album picks up where Real Time left off. “When Tim and I get together, we push each other’s Appalachian roots buttons,” Scott points out. “My Kentucky comes out, and so does his West Virginia. It happens naturally, it’s not a strategy. We know Southern gospel, Jimmy Rodgers and the Carter Family, and not just a little — it’s in our DNA. And when me and Tim sing close harmonies, that brother blend, like we do on Hank’s ‘Alone and Forsaken,’ neither of us is behind the other; we both stand up and deliver.”
A song from Memories & Moments, “Keep Your Dirty Lights On,” received a 2014 Grammy nomination for Best American Roots Song. The song, which they wrote about the hot-button issue of mountaintop removal by coal companies, reflects their roots and current concerns.
Tim and Darrell are also doing a workshop, "Call and response / Listening and Standing on the Edge" in the Workshop 1 Tent at 1:30 pm. Known for their spontaneity in performance, they will demonstrate and discuss getting in the zone where anything can and does happen.
For more info: timanddarrell.com
Birds of Chicago
Sandia Stage: 4:30 pm and 9:30 pm
Birds of Chicago is a collective based around singer/songwriters JT Nero (of the Chicago rock and soul band, JT and the Clouds) and Allison Russell (of the Canadian urban folk band, Po’ Girl).
JT Nero is a strange and distinct songwriter - he lists Mark Twain and Sam Cooke among his biggest influences. He is a poet of the everyday and the absurd, the lonely, the hopeful and the semi-hopeful. He’s got a fractured￼country soul croon, full of doo-wop ghosts and old time religion. With the Clouds he’s a rock n’ roll preacher — with Birds of Chicago he digs deeper into darker, often fantastical nuances of his work.
There’s not much Allison Russell can’t sing, which is no surprise to many loyal Po’ Girl fans. She’s got a bit of the speakeasy chanteuse in her, a bit of old R&B, but with a delicacy and clarity of phrasing that Ma Carter or Loretta Lynn would surely approve of. She plays banjo, ukulele, guitar, and clarinet. She’s also a top shelf whistler. She writes gorgeous, unpredictable songs, and makes other people’s tunes - often Nero’s - her own with startling ease.
The JT Nero/Allison Russell combination first struck gold on the JT Nero solo release, Mountains/Forests (No. 2 on the American UK Critic’s List for 2011.) Realizing their chemistry, JT and Allison formed Birds of Chicago as a vehicle for their shared musical vision, and have since toured virtually non-stop. Recent festival appearances include Delfest, Kerrville, Strawberry, High Sierra, Joshua Tree Roots Festival, and more. Radio sessions include KUTX in Austin, Daytrotter, Audiotree Live, and more. The eponymous CD Birds of Chicago enjoyed over 10 weeks in the CMJ Top 200, peaking at #95. Experience what critics are calling “two of the most compelling new voices on the Americana music scene.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
JT and Allison will also present a workshop on Arranging Songs for a Full Band at 2:30 pm in the Workshop 4 indoor venue.
For more info: birdsofchicago.com
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
Mt. Taylor Stage: 7:30 pm
One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.
Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.
In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.
“His tone of voice is sharp, focused and piercing. All that and he plays the guitar effortlessly in a fluid flat-picking perfected style. He was a brilliant entertainer…. Most folk musicians waited for you to come to them. Jack went out and grabbed you….. Jack was King of the Folksingers.” Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One
There are no degrees of separation between Jack and the real thing. He is the guy who ran away from his Brooklyn home at fourteen to join the rodeo and learned his guitar from a cowboy. In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Jack became so enthralled with the life and composer of “This Land Is Your Land,” “The Dust Bowl Ballads,” and a wealth of children’s songs that he completely absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, “Jack sounds more like me than I do.”
In 1954, along with folksinging pals Frank Robinson and Guy Carawan, Jack journeyed south through Appalachia, Nashville and to New Orleans to hear authentic American country music. He later made this the basis for his talking song, “912 Greens.”
In 1955 Jack married and traveled to Europe, bringing his genuine American folk, cowboy and blues repertoire and his guitar virtuosity, inspiring a new generation of budding British rockers, from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton.
When he returned to America in 1961, he met another young folksinger, Bob Dylan, at Woody Guthrie’s bedside, and mentored Bob. Jack has continued as an inspiration for every roots-inspired performer since.
Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie Mcghee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree.
He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.
In 1995, Ramblin’ Jack received his first of four Grammy nominations and the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, for “South Coast” (Red House Records).
In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Jack the National Medal of the Arts, proclaiming, “In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin’ Jack has himself become an American treasure.”
In 2000, Jack’s daughter, filmmaker, Aiyana Elliott produced and directed “The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack,” her take on Jack’s life and their fragile relationship, winning a Special Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival.
Through it all—though agents, managers, wives and recording companies have tried—Jack resisted being molded into a commercial commodity. He played his shows without a written set list or including any songs that did not ring with his gut feeling of what mattered to him.
Ramblin’ Jack’s life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune. Ramblin’ Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people.
At seventy-seven, Ramblin’ Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal. You’ll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.
And this year, you’ll find him at the Albuquerque Folk Festival!
For more info: ramblinjack.com
Spencer & Rains
Jemez Stage: 3:30 and 7:30 pm
Spencer & Rains play old time music. Tricia Spencer is a Kansas ﬁddler who grew up learning the tradition of old-time music from her grandparents. At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of ﬁddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars. While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and ﬁddling contest throughout the Midwest and hanging around listening and learning from Pete McMahan, Ceril Stinnet, Lymon Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters in old-time and is highly sought after as a performer, dance ﬁddler, and instructor. Howard Rains is a native Texas artist and ﬁddler living in both Austin, TX and Lawrence, KS whose twin obsessions are painting and playing traditional American ﬁddle music. Howard plays rare, old traditional ﬁddle tunes learned from friends, family and old recordings. His release “The Old Texas Fiddle” reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas ﬁddling. The New York Times has called Howard “an authority on old Texas-style ﬁddling.” As much known for his painting as his ﬁddling, Howard has painted many of great old time musicians, both living and gone.
Together, Spencer & Rains play old time ﬁddle tunes and sing old songs in the style of their home states while also exploring other American regional styles of ﬁddling. Both multi-instrumentalists deeply absorbed in traditional music, Howard and Tricia preserve, present, and teach old time music while at the same time making it their own. Not only do they love to play dances, festivals, and house concerts, Spencer & Rains are highly sought after as instructors and love to teach old time music at camps, workshops, and private lessons.
Spencer & Rains are also doing a workshop at the Workshop 4 Indoors venue at 11:30 am. In Fiddle Chording or How to Play Tunes You've Never Heard, Tricia Spencer will teach her technique for chording fiddle tunes, an ideal method for learning tunes on the fly. Fiddle chording also allows a fiddler to focus on bowing rather than those pesky notes and opens up a new way to play old time music in jam settings. Howard Rains will provide guitar accompaniment and humorous commentary.
For more info: spencerandrains.com
Sandia Stage: 5:30 pm
Greg and Jere Canote are identical twins whose music is all about having a good time. They do, you will. It’s steeped in vintage Americana — forgotten fiddle tunes, swing classics, and quirky novelty songs — but with their own twists (and a few of their brilliant original takes on the world around us). They’re fabulous musicians, moving effortlessly among fiddle, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and various hybrids, and their genetically-matched voices recall brother duets from the Blue Sky Boys to the Everlys.
NPR listeners will remember the Canote Brothers as the affable side-kicks on “Sandy Bradley’s Potluck” for 13 years. The brothers have recorded a number of albums, including “Thinga Ma Jig,” an album of novelty tunes and other fun songs that Canote says is akin to their greatest hits record. In performance, the brothers play up the full effect of their sounding and looking alike, with little tricks like passing a guitar pick back and forth between their identically creased foreheads. And though the pair doesn’t really tell jokes on stage, the Canote Brothers’ concerts are known for their humor.
For more info: canote.com
Sandia Stage: 2:30 pm
Tina Gugeler first heard a hammered dulcimer in 1986 while living in Ketchikan, Alaska. It quickly became her passion and soon it seemed everyone on the island had heard Tina and her band, BearFoot. She played on the docks for cruise ship tourists, for weddings and dances, and at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau.
Since moving to the Denver area in Colorado in 1990, Tina has become a full time musician, performing solo and in small combos with fiddle, guitar or piano, and in several local contra dance bands. Along with her busy performance schedule, she teaches students on the dulcimer and bodhran.
Over the years, Tina has won many local and regional competitions and in the year 2000 she won the U.S. National Hammered Dulcimer Championship.
She appears on recordings by Denver’s High Strung and the dance band Contrafusion
Tina Gugeler is also doing a workshop at the Workshop 2 Tent at 11:30 am.
For more info: tinagugeler.com
James T Baker & Raven Redfox
Sandia Stage: 1:30 pm
Delta blues artists with the voice and feeling to bring blues into the 21st century.
James T Baker sings old-time blues, and writes his own songs. The Santa Fe Reporter says: “Baker achieves a wholly unique sound…to create a pure and heartfelt expression of melancholy…a love letter to the giants in his field.”
James and Raven will also be leading a jam at the Jam with the Band tent at 10:30 am.
For more info: ravenredfoxblues.yolasite.com/
Black River Falling
Unplugged Outlet: 11:30 am
Formerly known as Snake Oil Market, this quartet began as a trio in 2006 to create and perform original music for the Tricklock Theatre Company production, “Black River Falling.” They performed with the production on tour in Germany and Poland, and reprised the play for several theatrical runs since then, most recently to sold-out houses this past November as part of Tricklock’s 20th season. The band now consists of Casey Mráz on banjo, Erin Phillips Mráz on fiddle, Joshua Gingerich on guitar, and Peter Lisignoli on bass. They combine their backgrounds in bluegrass, old-time, cajun, country, and jazz to create new music that sounds as old as the hills they didn’t grow up in.
Sandia Stage: 11:30 am
Breaking Blue is an original Albuquerque folk band who was around long before Breaking Bad was a hit TV show. They feature clawhammer banjo and the unexpected classical flute as well as strong female lead vocals from two vocalists balanced by bass and percussion. Their newest album Per-fi-dy features original songs, traditional tunes, and even a historical song based on an old letter that has become a small part of New Mexico history.
For more info: breakingblueband.com
Sandia Stage: 3:30 pm
“Cheap Shots” is an energetic six-person acoustic band that draws upon an eclectic mix of Old Time, Celtic, Contra Dance, Folk, Country, Blues, Bluegrass, Swing, and Rock. Intertwining instrumental and vocal music (including original songs), the band features hammer dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, banjo, bass, and the occasional Bodh ran (Irish drum). Cheap Shots won the Old Time Band contest at the 2006 Santa Fe Bluegrass Festival, and the group’s singer/songwriter, Jimmy Abraham, who has two CDs to his credit, won the 2005 Songwriting Contest at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS.
“Cheap Shots” has been together since 2004 and with Jimmy Abraham since 2006.
For contra dances, the band enjoys playing New England and Southern style contra music.
The six band members include
- Jimmy Abraham on fiddle, harmonica, guitar, and vocals
- Pat Aruffo on fiddle
- John Brinduse on keyboard, some guitar, and percussion
- Bill Balassi on guitar and mandolin
- Peter Esherick on hammered dulcimer and mandolin and banjo
- Erika Gerety on bass, mandolin, and vocals
Cheap Shots (sometimes known as “Cheap Shots and the Licorice Stick”), is occasionally joined by clarinetist Gary Libman on traditional style swing and Klezmer music.
For more info: folkmads.org/cheapshots.html
Mt. Taylor Stage: 3:30 pm
Steve Cormier is touring again. After a number of years off, in which he took to teaching college history and acting in film and television, the singing bug bit him, hard it seems and he’s at it again. Cormier’s music is mainly old and traditional cowboy fare. He also writes songs that reflect his take on life. He tells stories of his nine years as a ranch and farm hand, along with simply lying to see if he can get away with it. Age has added wisdom to his performances, sort of. They reflect being older, and perhaps, understanding a little more of why we are the way we are.
Steve is also presenting a workshop, "Cowboy Ranch Work Songs and Not So Cowboy Work Songs" at 12:30 pm at the Workshop 5 indoors venue. Steve will cover traditional open range and ranch songs from the late l9th and mid 20th century and also a Hollywood tune or two to show the difference between the work songs (19th and mid 20th) and play songs (Hollywood).
For more info: stevecormier.net
Unplugged Outlet: 4:30 pm
Eagle’s Whistle, consisting of Andy Moss (pennywhistle, concertina and vocals), Michael Coy (fiddle, bouzouki, mandolin and vocals) and Donna Coy (guitar, bodhran and vocals), has been playing Celtic music off and on in the Albuquerque area since the early 90’s. Throughout the years they have accumulated a wide range of songs and tunes from Ireland and Scotland and other Celtic traditions. Eagle’s Whistle was the first band to perform at the original O’Niell’s on Central Avenue near UNM. They have also played at Pete’s Cantina, Two Fools Pub, and at various Celtic Festivals, private parties, grower’s markets and weddings, and have been featured several times on KUNM’s Home of Happy Feet. Listeners are transported back to the pubs of Ireland when they hear the strains of pennywhistle and fiddle playing familiar tunes, and the lovely voice of Donna Coy singing haunting ballads.
Felix y Los Gatos
Jemez Stage: 9:30 pm
Felix y Los Gatos is an Albuquerque-based roots band, and is widely considered to be New Mexico’s best party band! They play great dance music, and put on an exciting and riveting live show, blending elements of swing, zydeco, blues, Tex-Mex, cumbia, and roots Americana. They have been featured at Thirsty Ear Festival in Santa Fe, the Taos Music Festival, Telluride, Trinidaddio, Socorro Fest, Silver City Blues Fest and Globalquerque!
They have opened up for, and shared the stage with the likes of Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, FishBone, Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, BeauSoleil, Ozomatli, Bside Players, Grammy Award Winner John Popper of Blues Traveler, Grammy Award Nominee Tab Benoit, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, and many others.
Guitarist vocalist Felix Peralta is a blues guitar powerhouse whose fans include Austin Tx legend Wayne the Train Hancock and local Albuquerque royalty Chris Dracup.
Their squeeze box player has been in over 15 professional studio recordings including John Popper and Albuquerque’s very own Honey House featuring Hillary Smith.
Felix y Los Gatos are currently playing at many popular venues throughout the Southwest, including Saint Clair Winery, Zinc, Scalo, Savoy Bar & Grill, Monte Vista Fire Station, Route 66 Casino, The Cowgirl, The Ranchers Club, El Farol, The Tin Star, Evangelo’s, Santa Fe Band Stand, Buffalo Thunder Casino, The Taos Inn, Taos Mesa Brewery, El Camino and Stray Dog Cantina. They have as played far north as Denver as far east as Tulsa, west into Tuscon and south in El Paso becoming a regional favorite. That caught the attention of a professional booking agent from Road Dawg Touring and now they are a Nationally Touring Band.
Felix Y Los Gatos is fast becoming a top blues festival act. They have been featured on the Travel Channel and their music has been caught on Food Channel and MSNBC.
For more info: facebook.com/FelixYLosGatos
Sandia Stage: 7:30 pm
Journalist Mel Minter writes that Floozy’s debut album Open Can of Super Days (Flophouse Records) “is a big wet kiss of an album—exhilarating and dangerous, messy and calculating—a lipstick-smeared excursion into electro-acoustic folk-punk, with a shot of Thelma and Louise.”
Floozy, an all-female acoustic trio from Albuquerque, New Mexico formed in the fall of 2011. Their first full-length album, Open Can of Super Days, was released in 2012. A review in the music section of the December 2012 ABQ Arts Magazine touted their music: “You are going to want to pop the top when your eardrums hear what I have already had the pleasure of soaking mine in.” Floozy played a sold-out show for their CD release at Albuquerque’s Outpost Performance Space in February 2013, and they’ve been featured in the Albuquerque Journal, on Albuquerque’s local morning show The Morning Brew, on KUNM radio in Albuquerque and KBAC in Santa Fe. Floozy opened recently for Eric McFadden (George Clinton), and previous shows include the Santa Fe Summer Bandstand Series, the Driskill Hotel in Austin, the New Mexico State Fair, Corrales Harvest Fest, Albuquerque Cultural Conference, Carnuel Road Parade and Fiesta, Marigold Parade, and Wells Park Harvest Fest. The band is recording a new album and went back to play in Austin in March during South by Southwest.
For more info: floozynation.com
Goddess of Arno
Sandia Stage: 6:30 pm
Goddess of Arno is a 4-piece ensemble of talented women who have been involved with Balkan folk music for over 20 years together. The group focuses on the music of the southern Balkans - Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, with an emphasis on the music and styling of the Rromani (Gypsy) people of these areas. The musicians of Goddess of Arno love the exotic rhythms and scales, which the southern Balkans absorbed from the Ottoman Empire, and the passion of the Rromani music, which also offers opportunities for instrumental improvisation.
Goddess of Arno was originally formed as accompaniment to Svirka, Women’s Balkan Chorus (a fixture on the ABQ folk music scene since 1979), and in 1994, developed its own identity - known for exciting dance parties and concerts. The group has performed throughout the southwest and in 2002 released its full-length CD, Balkan Dance Party!! The CD was nominated for two New Mexico Music Industry awards in the categories of “Best Production” and “Best Instrumental”, and won the “Best Instrumental” category for the recording of “Beranche.”
For more info: arnoproductionsnm.tripod.com/GoddessofArno
Jemez Stage: 12:30 pm
Sean Healen is an award winning singer/ songwriter. With music and lyrics reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, and a style at once intricate and eloquent, Sean is rapidly achieving the national stage. Sean’s recent project Crown Of Coal was recorded and produced by legendary producer Malcolm Burn (Dylan, Emmy Lou, Iggy Pop etc..) Sean’s previous CD Floodplain was recorded and produced by John Kurzweg (Creed, Jewel, Puddle Of Mudd etc..) Floodplain won Best Rock CD 2009 at the New Mexico Music Awards. The award was juried by regional and national judges. Sean’s most recent project was produced by multi-platinum producer Scott Mathews (Cash, Orbison, Costello). Scott and Sean recorded three singles at Tikitown, featuring Chuck Prohet on guitar and some backing vocals.
Sean has performed double bills with many, including John Hiatt, Michael Franti, Kelly Joe Phelps/Corinne West Duo,The Bodeans, Chuck Prophet, The Gourds, James McMurtry, Jackie Greene, The English Beat, The Iguanas, and Junior Brown. Sean was recently featured by the New Mexico Music Commission in a video at a Music In Film conference in Santa Fe at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. The video featured a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, LeAnn Rimes as well as featuring other notable New Mexicn musicians and songwriters. Sean was honored recently to perform at the exclusive reception for Oscar Winner Ryan Bingham, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely after their performance at the Lensic in Santa Fe.
For more info: cdbaby.com/Artist/SeanHealen
Jemez Stage: 2:30 pm
Founded in 1998 and based in Northern New Mexico, Higher Ground Bluegrass plays original, contemporary, and traditional music, informed by the American traditions of folk, bluegrass, country, and rock and roll.
Fred Bolton (Oak Ridge, TN) plays guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals. Dave Devlin (Long Island, NY) is on mandolin and dobro. Ken “Duke” Weddington (Burlington, NC) plays the banjo, guitar, mandolin, sings lead and harmony vocals, and is a prolific songwriter. Pat Mahoney (Carmel, CA) plays fiddle and sings lead and harmony vocals. Laura Leach (Albuquerque, NM) plays bass and sings harmony vocals.
Higher Ground Bluegrass has recorded four CDs: Bluegrass Classics (2013), Miles and Miles (2008), People Places Memories (2004), and Black and White – Faded and Torn (2001).
Higher Ground is also presenting a workshop on bluegrass harmonies at 12:30 pm at the Workshop 5 indoor venue. This workshop will cover some basics of singing as well as illustrating basic harmonies.
For more info: highergroundbluegrass.com
Mt. Taylor Stage: 1:30 pm
Singer/composer Timothy Hill is an amazingly gifted and versatile singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist and a dynamic and engaging performer whose broad range of experience with jazz, folk, and world music gives his music a richness and depth rarely heard today. Timothy has, among other things, mastered the art of harmonic (throat) singing. Hill was praised in The New York Times as “a virtuoso of the Tibetan chanting technique”. He has produced three CDs of his music, This Bright World, The Human Place, and Spirit’s Body.
If you'd like to try some harmonic singing, be sure to check out Timothy's workshop at 10:30 am in the Workshop 4 indoor venue.
For more info: timothyhillmusic.com
Unplugged Outlet: 1:30 pm
Lone Piñon plays traditional music from the region known as El Rio Grande del Norte, along with Mexican Son Huasteco and Missouri fiddle tunes. Lone Piñon is Jordan Wax on violin and accordion, Greg Glassman on guitar, and Noah Martinez on guitarron.
For more info: facebook.com/lonepinon
Mt. Taylor Stage: 6:30 pm
With a voice that leaves a lasting impression with its deep emotion and energy, recording artist/songwriter Liz Madden is a classically trained vocalist who comes from a family lineage steeped in Irish traditional music. Primarily a Celtic/Folk singer, no genre can really encapsulate Liz as she moves with ease both as a singer and songwriter through most genres of music.
With a recording career that has spanned more than fifteen years, Liz has twelve albums to her credit. She has written and recorded with artists such as Richard Cottle (Seal, Wham, Eric Clapton), James Graydon (Emma Bunton), Paul Barrett (U2, Sinead O’Connor), Nigel Clark (Hue & Cry, Carol Kidd) and Fionan de Barra (Moya Brennan, Runa). Globally Liz’s compositions and voice have been featured on hundreds of compilation albums and used in Film (Unborn but Forgotten) and TV, most recently by FUJI and OKSUSU TEA for their Asian TV Commercials. As a songwriter Liz has now started to write for other artists, collaborating with various writers in the process.
As a performer, Liz has headlined events worldwide including the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, the Lisdoonvarna Festival, the 7th Folk and Art Festival China, Feile Bride and various music festivals globally including the World Music Festival Israel where she performed with the Ra’annana Orchestra. Liz was honored to be the only artist asked to perform at the inaugural Nobel Women’s Initiative Conference for an international audience which included five of the Nobel Peace Laureates. Most recent performances include Emerald Voices Chicago, the ABQ World Music Festival and a private performance for the US Air Force. Formerly one half of well known Irish duo Rua, Liz is now a member of the world music group, Shishonnah, with USA singer Jenne Lennon and producer/songwriter Roland Labana.
An accomplished musical theater performer, Liz has played lead roles in shows including Side by Side(Sondheim) and the musical cabaret “Whine Women and Song” in the USA. She was formerly a lead performer with the Drawing Room Opera Company. A voice teacher for over fifteen years, Liz has taught privately and coached workshops. She has prepared hundreds of students for auditions, performances and exams.
Liz has been involved with many charities and has performed for or released singles in support of Bee for Battens, The Variety Club of Ireland Children’s Charity, Children in Crossfire and Chernobyl Children International. She was actively involved in her local and federal government in the creation of better housing for low income families in Arkansas where she used to reside.
Liz is currently working on three new recording projects and is in preparation for upcoming performances.
You can also jam along with Liz in the Hosted Jam tent at 3:30 pm.
For more info: lizmadden.co
New Mexico Music Awards Songwriter's Initiative as part of the AFF
Mt. Taylor Stage: 11:30 am
Hosted by Jose Ponce, featuring music by Jose, Melissa Klein, and Shawn Loudermilk.
Jose has been a solo artist for the past thirty-five years and a twenty-five year member of the touring group The Windsor Creek Trio. Author of three books, “Lunch Hour”, “53-Coming of Age in the 70’s” and “From Father to Son…” and owner of Jason’s Music Publishing concentrating on new and emerging authors. Producer of the New Mexico Music Awards. This program recognizes excellence in recorded music within the state of New Mexico and is the longest running program of its kind in the state. Co-founder of the Eric Larson Endowment at the University of New Mexico honoring the memory of NMMA founding member Eric Larson. A current member of the New Mexico Music Commission and immediate past president of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop.
Melissa met her banjo while spending the night on an old wooden sailboat in Kona, Hawaii. After hours of listening to sailor Emmett melodiously plunking her favorite Paul Simon tunes, the two (girl and banjo) fell in love and have been playing together ever since. Melissa is an up and coming singer songwriter who writes original folk tunes. Lyrical and vibrant, Melissa’s music possesses a resonance that is not easily forgotten. Melissa was born on Long Island, NY and graduated from Penn State, where she competed as a Division 1 gymnast and graduated with a degree in Integrative Arts. Melissa has since traveled around the United States, to Hawaii and Africa exploring worlds and sharing her music. She is currently working on her first album, The Wind it Grew Legs, and planning a US tour for the summer of 2014.
Albuquerque singer songwriter musician Shawn Loudermilk’s Blues run deep. All the way back to Morgan City, Louisiana where Shawn spent his formative years listening to blues and Cajun and rock n roll music from his neighbors front porch and later even camping out on the streets of New Orleans until Hurricane Andrew blew his camper literally down the road… Shawn has opened for many Blues greats including Tad Benoit, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Blasters, Michelle Shocked and Blues Guitar Guru- Tinsley Ellis deemed Shawn’s particular Style as “Down Home New Mexico Blues” Shawn plays and writes his own songs and also does cover tunes, jazzy down home slide acoustic, rough smooth loud soft funky but always deeply infused with …da blues.
Paw Coal & The Clinkers
Mt. Taylor Stage: 12:30 pm
With over 100 years of pickin’ between them, Paw Coal & The Clinkers bring enthusiasm and energy to Bluegrass, Old Time, and Americana music. The band hails from the “greater Madrid-Cerillos metropolitan” area of New Mexico on the turquoise trail just outside of Santa Fe. Paw Coal (Joe Dietrich) started his musical journey in Pennsylvania coal mining country playing bluegrass and old time banjo with The Buffalo Chipkickers, doing field work for Bob Doyle, a student of Sam Bayard who wrote the bible on American fiddle music, Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife. Paw plays banjo, guitar, and the fiddle he got from Sam back in the day.
Eric Carlson sings, picks guitar and banjo, and has performed throughout the Southwest as a solo artist and as a member of other groups for many years. Eric received a New Mexico state grant to study clawhammer banjo with master banjo-er and Rounder recording artist Tom Adler of Santa Fe. Paw and Eric both studied the New Mexico old time fiddle music of Cleofes Ortiz. Eric was president of the Santa Fe Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival for two years and now teaches traditional folk music at the Academy for Technology & Classics in Santa Fe.
Peter Singdahlson is the bass fiddle player. “Uncle Pete” has performed with many bands and local artists over the years, starting with the Wood Bridge String Band, and as an original member of Albuquerque’s own Bluegrass Pelicans—the Pelicans took first place at the 10th Annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival (now known as RockyGrass) in 1982. Uncle Pete has a long list of collaborations since including, Joe West, Claude Stevenson, and Ben Perea.
John McNair grew up in Northwest Wisconsin playing plectrum banjo in a family band that played the old-time dance music of the area==polkas, waltzes, and WWII-era dance tunes. Since then, John has transferred his old-time plectrum banjo style to mandolin, and plays a little guitar when Paw plays fiddle and Eric plays banjo. John is also on the Board of the Southwest Traditional and Bluegrass Music Association serving his second year as Secretary.
Paw, Pete and John were members of Family Coal, a showcase band at The Meltdown a few years ago, before starting up Paw Coal & The Clinkers. Eric recorded The Clinkers’ first album, I Still Cry for Blue before officially joining the band. Eric is working on a new recording and selected tracks are available at www.pawcoal.com.
For more info: pawcoal.com/paw-coal-and-the-clinkers.html
Shade Tent B: 12:30
Polyphony Marimba is a nationally touring marimba ensemble based in Santa Fe, NM. Formed in 2010, their music vibrantly conveys a deeply personal contemporary sensibility, while drawing from the ancient rhythms and melodies of southern Africa. Touched by the compelling beauty of Zimbabwean music, songs of this region are always part of the set. Their goal is to be true to the music, while giving it their own voice and extending the tradition with other musical influences.
In their short history, they have logged more than 200 gigs throughout the eastern U.S. Reaching thousands of new fans who invariably respond with a surprised and joyous appreciation of their music, they have sold over 2,000 copies of their debut CD “Polyphony Marimba”. Performance highlights include: headliner at Zimfest 2012 in Moscow, Idaho; performances in Washington Sq. and Harlem, New York, return gigs at Joe’s Cafe in St. Louis, and attracting huge crowds busking in Asheville, NC, Washington D.C. and even the Chicago Zoo!
Polyphony Marimba’s founder and leader, Peter Swing, first experienced marimba music in 1987 attending a marimba concert in Portland, Oregon. Soon afterward he attended his first workshop with the Zimbabwean teacher Dr. Dumisani Maraire. Maraire was not primarily interested in teaching the traditional songs of his people: he challenged people of non-African heritage to understand the music from the inside out, and play as Africans do. He said, “In order to play our music properly, you must live it.” Swing immediately responded to this profound approach; within five years he was teaching the music himself, and directing Boka Marimba, the band in which he learned the music. In 1996 Swing moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to begin the life of a full time musician. As a marimba teacher and instrument builder he and his family began attracting many people to the joyous and fun music of Zimbabwe. This led to the formation of several bands and classes, out of which the members of Polyphony Marimba emerged. His son Raven Swing, having grown up in the music, now plays a leading role musically and contributes original compositions to the band’s repertoire.
For the last 15 years, Karyna Boyce, the band’s booking agent and singer, has been immersed in marimba, drum and dance of Africa. Harlin Pierce spent his twelfth birthday performing with Bobby McFerrin; on his fifteenth he was in the recording studio with Polyphony Marimba. Currently studying seven different instruments—and playing them well—his favorite is the marimba. His father Anton Pierce, a recent addition to the band, has a deep history in music. Beginning as a lead singer in a rock band in college, he moved through many musical idioms, including directing several choirs. Eric Bauer, a long-time player of the mbira music of Zimbabwe, brings a deep understanding of this tradition to the band, having spent time in Zimbabwe studying with masters such as Tute Chigamba. Keenan McDonald has been playing marimba since he was 7 years old, being first drawn to it when he was a toddler hearing marimba classes at a nearby church. Jaden Rivers and Dylan Moon both got their start with classes Peter was teaching at their school: their inate musical ability combined with a strong desire to play marimbas at a professional level, landed them a position in Polyphony Marimba.
Polyphony Marimba emerges from a village environment, and this is reflected in its unique multi-generational membership. In the village too, musical instruments are built by master craftsmen; so in this band Swing has crafted a new set of marimbas, the first in North America in the key of E flat. Maraire considered his students to be pioneers, both carrying forward the traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe as well as writing their own songs. Polyphony Marimba is the embodiment of this. In spite of— or maybe because of— persistent challenges, their music is stronger than ever and they are excited to share it around the world with anyone ready to hear, dance and join in with the uplifting experience they create.
They will begin with a special performance by mbira players Peter Swing from Santa Fe (band leader of Polyphony Marimba), Eric Bauer from Los Alamos, and special guest artist Musekiwa Chingodza from Zimbabwe.
For more info:polyphonymarimba.com
The Porter Draw
Sandia Stage: 9:30 pm
The Porter Draw is an Alt-Country, Americana band from Albuquerque, NM. They have been key contributors to a flourishing New Mexico roots music movement since 2007 and have shared the stage with such greats as Greensky Bluegrass, Reverend Horton Heat, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and Cadillac Sky. Fitting in at country honky-tonks and rock n’ roll clubs alike, The Porter Draw have built a reputation for high energy, sweat-drenched shows coupled with tight harmonies of wistfully delicate lyrics of longing, heartbreak, and the American experience. They'll sing high lonesome with the bluegrass boys, command the stage like The Boss, and surprise you with raucous vocals you haven't heard since your older sister made you listen to The Clash.
For more info: theporterdraw.com
Photo by Wes Naman
Red Light Ramblers
Jemez Stage: 11:30 am
Red Light Ramblers is a four-piece band that offers an organic blend of old time, bluegrass, Irish, fiddle, Cajun, and folk-esque tunes for your dancing and listening pleasure.
Their musicianship and delightful four-part harmonies have brought the Ramblers opportunities to play at numerous Albuquerque venues such as O’Niell’s Pub, The Range Café, Shade Tree Customs Cafe, Anasazi Fields Winery; for nonprofit groups such as the Wild Earth Guardians, Vista de Oro Wildlife Refuge, Corrales Arts in the Park; and for larger events including the Albuquerque Folk Festival, the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest, the Bacon Festival, and others. The musicians are Barb Belknap (mandolin, melodion), Erika Gerety (bass), Mike Hill (fiddle, guitar), and Marc Robert (banjo, bass, guitar). Always ready to have a good time, they welcome the opportunity to play and share the joy of foot-stomping, down-home music.
For more info: redlightramblers.com
Dance Tent: 7:30 pm
The Rifters formed in 2002 in the fertile and creative music scene of Taos, New Mexico from members of two popular bands already active in the area. Jim Bradley and Don Richmond of Hired Hands, and Rod Taylor of the Rounders, who had all known one another for years playing in the acoustic dance-oriented Americana music scene of northern New Mexico, decided to join forces to form The Rifters. Putting out more music than it seems should be right for three guys on stage, the Rifters employ a wide range of acoustic and electric instruments, combined with soaring three-part harmonies, to provide a mesmerizing variety of music from driving blue-grama-grass to ethereal desert beauty. The years of playing to the dance crowds in their northern New Mexico homeland has given their music a toe-tapping rhythm that is engaging and undeniable. With a pedigree of bands like Hired Hands, the Rounders, and South by Southwest among them, the Rifters are truly a musical voice of their region of high desert vistas and mountain majesty.
And just what sort of music do The Rifters play? From the liner notes to their self-titled first CD, released in July of 2004 on Howlin’ Dog Records: “It’s music that comes from where we come from – both from the high desert and mountain landscape of our home and from the background and experiences of our lives – sort of a laid-back high-energy gentle giant old blue-buffalo-grama-grassy, cowboy, folky, shake-a-leg with a smile sort of thing. A rift is a split or a gap, sort of the like the Rio Grande Rift that we all live on or around. But this music is more about bridging gaps. For us the music is what ties all the different times and places together. We hope you enjoy it.”
The Rifters released their second CD The Great River in 2011 which has been enthusiastically received by fans, friends, and critics alike. It’s a collection of both original tunes and songs by other writers that the Rifters have put their own stamp on and made their own.
In May of 2013 the band released a live CD, titled Live at the Sagebrush, featuring songs recorded over a period of a year at one of their favorite haunts, the Sagebrush Inn in Taos, New Mexico. From the liner notes of the CD - “Three voices and three sets of hands playing various combinations of instruments form the sound of the Rifters, captured here just as it comes off the stages of the “clubs along the Sangre de Cristo” to quote an Eliza Gilkyson song. And for decades, the Sagebrush Inn in Taos, New Mexico has been a place where you could hear the southwestern folk-Americana music of northern New Mexico, and also a place where you could see the dancers that form such a part of the ecology of the vibrant area music scene. The Rifters have played there regularly since their formation in 2002 and for many years before in their former bands The Rounders and Hired Hands. We decided to record our shows at the Sagebrush through 2012 and early 2013 with the idea of releasing a live album that carries a hint of the energy that happens there.”
The Rifters are:
Rod Taylor on guitar, mandolin, and vocals. Rod lives in Cimarron, New Mexico and is also head of cattle operations at Philmont Ranch. In other words, he doesn’t just look like a cowboy. Although Rod is well known for playing traditional western music at cowboy poetry gatherings, his musical influences run from The Beatles to The Allman Brothers to old blues to Willis Alan Ramsey and back again. Rod’s rich lead vocals provide one of the most immediately recognizable elements of The Rifters’ distinctive sound.
Jim Bradley on bass and vocals. Jim is a long-time Taos resident and is a native New Mexican, born in Las Cruces. Jim’s powerful rhythmic and percussive playing provide the pulse for The Rifters’ energetic acoustic rhythms. He has played his Fender bass from Alaska to Manhattan and many places in between, from the mountain bars to the big festival stages with touring national acts. Jim holds down many of the high harmony vocals in the Rifters’ rich vocal arrangements, and with the release of “The Great River” has begun to stretch out into some lead vocals.
Don Richmond on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, pedal steel guitar, harmonica, accordion, trumpet and vocals. Don was a founding member of the near-legendary Colorado band Tumbleweed (1973 – 1990) and the Colorado-New Mexico band Hired Hands (1992). Don lives in Alamosa, Colorado and also owns and operates Howlin’ Dog Recording, one of the most respected acoustic-oriented recording studios in the region, and has appeared on dozens of recordings by many of the region’s top artists, as well as numerous projects under his own name and with his former bands. Don’s multi-instrumental skills help provide the variety and excitement audiences enjoy in a Rifters’ performance. He also covers lead and harmony vocals.
The Rifters are at home at a barn dance with the hay and the horses, in a mountain town bar or honky-tonk, or on a festival or concert stage. Their choice of moving and powerful material, both original and by others, their impeccable musicianship, and their strong three part vocal arrangements combine to make The Rifters a crowd-pleasing musical experience.
Mt. Taylor Stage: 10:30 am
The Sabinal Sisters hail from Sabinal, NM where they met 15 years ago and began a lasting friendship. From the first moment they opened their mouths to sing together, they realized they had a something special. Beth, with her Irish ancestry has a deep, rich tone that is complemented by Joyce's harmonic voicing. They have compiled a large bank of songs to choose from including folk, rock, country, western, jazz standards, and even blues and hymns. Listening to the "sisters" is an intimate experience.
You can also join the Sabinal Sisters in a jam featuring cowboy swing and 60's folk songs at the Jam with the Band tent at 4:30 pm.
For more info: facebook.com
Sage & Jared's Happy Gland Band
Sandia Stage: 12:30 pm
Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band is a band of whimsy and unbridled glandulosity. It’s a band that will make you reconsider how grossed out you are about the endocrine system. Sage plays ukulele. Jared plays upright bass. Their glistening songs of mundanity, desecration, celebration, and perspiration appear on their CD, Flooded Away.
For more info: sageharrington.com
Shlomo and the Adobes
Jemez Stage: 12:30 pm
Shlomo and the Adobes is a fun group who play Klezmer and other Eastern European music for Road Scholar programs (Elderhostel) as well as other venues. They combine a hard driving rhythm with wonderful melodies, story- telling, and dance music. The band consists of:
- Shlomo Adobe (sometimes called Gary Libman)
- Pierogi Adobe (sometimes called Terry Bluhm)
- Toby Adobe (sometimes called Bruce Thomson)
- Moby Adobe (sometimes called Wayne Shrubsall)
- Jacoby Adobe (sometimes called Jimmy Abraham)
- Hot Flash Adobe (sometimes called Erika Gerety-Libman)
They are a lot of fun to watch, listen to their stories / jokes and their music, and dance to them.
Unplugged Outlet: 10:30 am
Natasha Coffing and Jeanne Page are pilgrims on a musical journey sharing their story through heart-felt ballads and toe-tappin’ fiddle tunes in Celtic, traditional, gospel and original Americana genres.
For more info: facebook.com
Mt. Taylor Stage: 2:30 pm
Special Orchestra®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to help persons with developmental disabilities share in the joy of making music. Using similarly tuned instruments (key of C), special orchestras can start playing right away! The New Mexico Special Orchestra, the pioneer ensemble of Special Orchestra, Inc., has been helping people with special needs make music since 1999.
For more info: specialorchestra.org/joinus.htm
Mt. Taylor Stage: 7:30 pm
Wildewood is the culmination of three people’s love for American roots music and a testament to the power of narrative working alongside diverse instrumentation to create moving stories. The songs are full of emotion echoed by swaying harmonies, whining steel guitars, and driving percussion. Together, Meredith Wilder, Greg Williams and Alex McMahon cover musical ground spanning folk, rock, country, blues, and something outside those boundaries entirely.
The trio formed in early 2011 and has found a comfortable niche in Albuquerque’s growing Americana scene. Meredith Wilder’s singing is angelic and poignant as she weaves storylines with diverse chord progressions and melodies. Greg Williams’ percussion work is nothing less than tasteful and his harmonica and piano playing adds texture and contrast. Alex McMahon moves between electric and acoustic guitars as well as pedal steel guitar to fill out the sound with drive and twang, while occasionally singing alongside Meredith.
Wildewood has recently released their first full-length album. The album was recorded entirely in Greg Williams’ south valley home, and was mastered locally in Albuquerque. It has the charm and intimacy of an inviting living room, and the delivery and punch of a professional album. The band is hoping to tour outside of New Mexico to support the album.
For more info: wildewoodband.com
Mt. Taylor Stage: 8:30 pm
Zoltan Orkestar has been filling Albuquerque dance floors for more then four years, with their brand of high energy circus swing, and a quick dash of country twang you’ll be on the dancefloor before you know what hit you. Comprised of top notch musical talent, the group is composed of Glynda Szekely on vocals, who comes all the way from Michigan to share her legendary voice. Glynda is affectionately known as “the hummingbird of the gods”. Zoltan Szekely plays fiery guitar. Zoltan has an impressive musical resume, including a stint in the New York musical “Chutzpah” as well as touring Romania with Al Dimeola’s drummer Csaba Cserey. Zoltan, being a jack of all trades, is also featured as a musician in the Disney movie “The Lone Ranger” and will be playing washboard in Seth McFarlane’s new movie “A Million Ways to Die in the West” coming out next summer. On accordion is John Keith, who often appears on stages across the nation with greats like Eric McFadden as well as the Polkettes. Upright bass is handled by Michael Grimes, a regular in Albuquerque jazz clubs. Michael has played with many greats including Bernadette Seacrest. Together they are an unstoppable well-oiled and witty machine known as Zoltan Orkestar.
Zoltan Orkestar will be playing mostly oddball originals usually written in a state of frenzied mania by Zoltan. Stylistically eclectic these songs range from wild Eastern European circus polkas, to gypsy swing, waltzes and jazzy ballads. Favorite subjects include clowns, emperors, and the grandiose dreams of ego-maniacs as well as some love songs and jazzy revelations. The program will also include some bluegrass adaptations and New Orleans style jazz classics.
For more info: zoltanszkly.wix.com/zoltanorkestar