Archive for Music

Buffett, Margaritas Hold Storm At Bay

by John Weckerle

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band in Albuquerque

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band in Paradise – Albuquerque, October 20, 2015.

This week, two thirds of the denizens of New Mexico Central Headquarters embarked on a local adventure centered around Tuesday’s first-time-ever Albuquerque performance by Jimmy Buffett and the seemingly immortal Coral Reefer Band (Senior Parrot Correspondent Wilson conceded that he could not produce ID proving that he was of age, despite having reached the age of 42 in Correspondent Years in June, and it would be less fun without access to the entire experience).  Given the opportunity, the remaining 67 percent decided to turn the experience into a mini “staycation” and, aligning with a few similarly minded people, decided to make a night of it, and then some.

The day started out with – well, work.  Your editor and Senior Music Correspondent Lucy took the latter half of the day off, and met with part of the crew for lunch at BJ’s (Winrock, behind the Macaroni Grill) for lunch and a beginning to the festivities.  We were not unpleasantly surprised to find that wine was 50% off and that draft beer was $3.50.  We’re not in the habit of seeking out lunchtime happy hours, and we don’t know whether this is a daily event, but those planning a pre-pre-concert interlude might want to check in ahead of time and see if this is a worthwhile stop on the tour.  Unlike a number of nearby chain restaurants, BJ’s has not fallen victim to “menu simplification disorder” (another article forthcoming) and has a diverse menu with tasty options available for devout carnivores and non-meat-eaters alike.

Following lunch, we checked in to the Sheraton Uptown – pricey, but we got a bit of a deal, we think – enjoyed another beverage or two, and headed off to the Parrotheads of New Mexico party at the Casino at the Downs, located at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds (by way of the hotel shuttle, which was part of the all no-driving strategy for the evening).  Overall, this was a good event, although we will note that the Downs needs to do a better job in ensuring that their events are adequately staffed; the bar was understaffed and wait times for drinks and even light snacks such as French fries were far longer than they should have been.  With respect to entertainment, the venue faces serious challenges regarding acoustics, which would require some sound engineering attention, and as a result the performers perhaps did not fare as well as they might have otherwise (would really like to have had the steel drum audible) – although, in the end, everyone seemed to have a great time and that is what it was all about. Still, a little bit of in-house sound engineering help for performers might help the venue in situations where the entire audience isn’t actually focused on going somewhere else.  And to be clear: thank you, Parrotheads of New Mexico, for setting this up; it was a blast, and helped enhance the mood.

We then got on the bus to the show – thanks again, to our in-state Parrotheads for setting this up – got out of the bus, and noted that it was still raining when we arrived at the Isleta Amphitheater (formerly the Journal Pavilion), and that the rain was falling just a bit harder.  We got into the venue after a rather weird, and probably unconstitutional, separation into lines by gender and a rather detailed pat-down for the men by patters-down who seemed perhaps a bit more nervous than one might expect.  With the rain getting just a bit heavier, we visited the concession stand just inside the gate, ordered margaritas – it was, after all, a Jimmy Buffet concert and his first headlining in New Mexico – and paid for them…

And the rain pretty much stopped right about then, and didn’t return at any time during the show.

»» Buffett, Margaritas Hold Storm At Bay

Dates, Headliner Set For Wildlife Music Festival

by John Weckerle

The 11th Annual Wildlife Music Festival, scheduled for July 20 and 21, 2013, will feature the internationally known Lisa Haley and the Zydekats, an Americana/Cajun/Zydeco band featuring original tunes, Louisana Bayou, French Celtic, R&B, and Jazz music.  According to the band’s bio:

Since beginning in 1995, Lisa Haley & the Zydekats are today the world’s most joyful Americana/Cajun/Zydeco band.

She is charted on Billboard and nominated for the GRAMMY®

Lisa’s newest album, “Joy Ride” is submitted for GRAMMY® 2013.

Her original tunes and Louisiana Bayou, French Celtic, R&B and Jazz rhythms represent Zydeco for Hollywood Bowl Summersounds, Sir George Martin’s film “Rhythm of Life,” GRAMMY® Museum, and festivals in over 20 countries.

With two women in her four-piece band, this fourth-generation fiddler, dancer and vocalist is an adventure sure to make us laugh, cry…

and above all, DANCE!

Among her fans are Keb’Mo’ and Little Richard.

The festival, an Albuquerque area tradition was initially a collaboration between Wildlife West Nature Park and the Town of Edgewood focusing on bluegrass, but the Town abruptly pulled its funding in 2008.  Thanks to the efforts of the Park’s founder (Roger Alink), its corps of dedicated volunteers, local and national supporters, and event producer Richard Eager of Eager Image, the event rebounded quickly to become one of the major music festivals in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.  In recent years, the festival has expanded to include a broader variety of musical traditions.  Past events have included nationally known acts including the Claire Lynch Band, John McCutcheon, the Byorn Berline Band, Pat Donohue, the Bill Hearne Trio, Alan Munde and Gazette, Sweet Sunny South, April Verch, the Trillium Marimba Ensemble, and the Boulder Acoustic Society – all joined by some of the best New Mexico and regional acts to be found.  The introduction of a band that includes Zydeco – a typically fast-tempo American roots musical genre – in its repertoire is sure to delight fans of nearly all genres, as Zydeco has incorporated many of them throughout the years.  Of course, attendees can expect plenty of the event’s traditional genres, including bluegrass, as well.

The Park and Mr. Eager are working to finalize the lineup for the festival, which will be posted on the Park web site and reported here.  For more information on the festival, check out the Wildlife Music Festival page. For more information on Zydeco, check out the Wikipedia article on Zydeco.  Samples of the band’s music can be accessed through their web site, and examples of Zydeco music can be found by searching for “Zydeco” on YouTube.

Chuckwagon Supper Schedule, Music Festival Acts Announced

by John Weckerle

Summer’s just around the corner – assuming that the corner doesn’t get blown away – and Wildlife West Nature Park has been busy getting ready for this summer season’s festivities.  Acts have been booked for this year’s Chuckwagon Supper series, which will feature regional bands Holy Water & Whiskey, the Sons of the Rio Grande, and George Bullfrog and the Turquoise Trailers.  The schedule, which begins with the season opener featuring Holy Water & Whiskey on June 11, can be found on the Park’s Chuckwagon Suppers page.

The 9th annual Wildlife West Music Festival will be held July 29-31, and promises to be yet another great event.  Headliners The Hot Club of Cowtown, “Zen Cowboy” Chuck Pyle, Finders and Youngberg, and Grayson will be joined by regional acts Holy Water & Whiskey, Railyard Reunion, Juniper Hill, the Squash Blossom Boys, the Adobe Brothers, Coyote Crossing, and Bootleg Prophets.  For descriptions of the headline acts and links to many of the bands’ web sites, see the Wildlife West Music Festival Page.


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

by John Weckerle

No, really…

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain!