Some of the world’s top performers visit the Land of Enchantment, often beginning or ending their tours here. It’s a place where artists come to spend some down time between tour dates, often lingering for a few days to relax or record before moving on to the next city.
Some of the top name acts on earth are making their way through New Mexico including Big Head Todd & the Monsters, The Swingles, Dave Grusin, ZZ Top, Manheim Steamroller, Louis Prima Jr, Nelly, Prince Royce, TG Shepard, Eric Johnson, Neal McCoy, Toby Mack, Robert Earl Keen, Dweezil Zappa, Rage Against the Machine, Journey, The Mavericks, The Bothers Four, The Drifters, Maroon 5, The Doobie Brothers and many more. New acts are being added everyday.
If you’re a fan(atic), following your favorite band on tour, there is no better place to do it than the New Mexico. We have great venues, ranging from the historic to the modern and every one of them an intimate experience. Accommodations are plentiful and the weather is great. Why go to a sold out stadium show and pay a fortune for cheap seats a half mile away when you an get up close and personal with your favorite band here in a 2000-5000 seat venue? Tickets are almost always available, airfares are low and the views are spectacular.
Phil Vassar & Lonestar Holiday & Hits Tour
Friday, December 13th, 2019, 8:00 PM Isleata Resort & Casino, 11000 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque
Following fans’ overwhelming demand, Phil Vassar and Lonestar will co-headline a Christmas tour for the second year, announcing the ‘Holiday & Hits’ tour. Throughout each show, audiences will have the chance to hear Christmas standards as well as the artists’ hits, including their original Christmas single “Not So Silent Night.” Vassar and Lonestar will re-record their single with the help of some friends, donating all the proceeds to the Salvation Army.
Lonestar, comprised of Richie McDonald, Michael Britt, Keech Rainwater and Dean Sams, released their first Christmas album, This Christmas Time, in 2000. The ACM and CMA award-winning group recorded 11 songs for the Dan Huff produced project, which featured new material such as the title track co-written by Sams and the touching “Reason For The Season” co-written by McDonald. Vassar, who has headlined Christmas tours since 2009, released his first Christmas album, Noel, in 2011. The ten-track collection, co-produced by Vassar and Dane Bryant, showcases four of the ACM award-winning and ASCAP Songwriter of the Year’s original songs, including the humorous “Santa’s Gone Hollywood” and “Big Ol’ Texas Christmas,” a duet with Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson. Previously, Vassar and Kellie Pickler headlined a sold-out holiday tour.
Phil Vassar is celebrating 20 years of chart-topping hits and is taking them on the road with his “Hitsteria Tour”. His reign of signature songs include 10 No. 1 singles and 26 Top 40 hits, including Carlene, Just Another Day in Paradise, Six-Pack Summer, When I Love You, and many more. Vassar was racking up hits on the radio long before he even began his own recording career that has seen the release of six albums, two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year trophies, ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist and sold-out shows across the country. Vassar’s songwriting career blossomed in the mid-’90s when he landed a publishing contract with EMI and penned hits for Collin Raye (Little Red Rodeo), Alan Jackson (Right on the Money), Tim McGraw (For a Little While), Jo Dee Messina (Bye Bye, Alright), and Blackhawk (Postmarked Birmingham). He signed a record deal of his own with Arista in 1998 and was named ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1999. Vassar continues to churn out incisive, soulful lyrics and infectious melodies that capture the heart and soul in the unique and special way that only he can.
Big Head Todd & the Monsters
Saturday, December 14th, 2019 8:00 PM Legends Theater, Route 66 Casino, Albuquerque
Big Head Todd and the Monsters are not that big on anniversaries, so there won’t be any big hoopla over the fact that the band has officially crossed the three-decade mark. Thirty years would seem like something to commemorate, especially with the same core lineup, an achievement few other name-brand bands can boast of.
The history of the group actually stretches farther back from the 1987 point at which they took their name. The core members came together at such an early age that it’s hard to know exactly how many candles to put on their collective cake. The only personnel change in these three decades has been the addition of a fourth member, putative “new guy” Jeremy Lawton, in 2004.
While they enjoy a robust fan base around the country, their success is outsized in Colorado, where they’re practically the unofficial state band. That’s evident in their ability to sell out Red Rocks, the most revered amphitheater in the nation, where they’ve headlined 19 times. It also comes into play when the band gets asked to be a part of commemorative moments: Mohr recently sang the national anthem at a Rockies game, and the entire band took part in the parade through Denver after the Broncos took the Super Bowl.
Their honors extend beyond their home state and even home country… into space. In 2005, they released the single “Blue Sky,” a tribute to the space program, written at the behest of crew members taking to the heavens aboard the space shuttle Discovery; it was performed years later as a live wake-up call to the astronauts on the shuttle. The song had enough appeal back on earth, too, that it was picked up by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 and used to introduce her keynote speech to the Democratic convention.
That campaign usage didn’t come about as a result of any desire on Mohr’s part to take the band in a political direction. He’s not so interested in getting Big Head Todd and the Monsters caught up in that particular fray as looking at the smaller and bigger pictures, wanting to keep the material topical in some far deeper fashion.
What’s clear is that Big Head Todd is one multi-headed rock monster, easily traversing the most accessible hooks and the heaviest grooves. It’s not surprising that they would appeal to any audience or sub-audience that values durability over flavors of the moment. But Mohr has to laugh when he thinks about how little the possibility of long-term perseverance was on the members’ minds 30 years ago.
Thursday, December 19th, 2019 7:30 PM Popejoy Hall @ UNM, Albuquerque
For more than half a century, The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music. The seven young singers that make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has defined the five-time Grammy® winners since they first made waves in the 1960s. At a time when a cappella music is more popular than ever, The Swingles are recognised as masters of their craft.
In 1963, American-born Ward Swingle first assembled a group of Parisian session singers to sing Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, Jazz Sebastian Bach, launched the Swingle Singers to fame. Since then, they have won five Grammy® awards and made more than 50 recordings, with a repertoire that has grown to include a huge variety of music, including pop, jazz, folk, contemporary classical and new original songs. Recent releases include Folklore, inspired by traditional music from around the world; 50th anniversary album Deep End; and holiday collection Yule Songs vol. II.
The Swingles have appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks, including Sex and the City, Wedding Crashers, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee. In 2017, they co-wrote and performed a song for the end credits of Alexander Payne’s film Downsizing. Their prolific output of music videos has also earned them millions of views online and new audiences around the world.
The group’s versatility has led to collaborations with artists as diverse as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jamie Cullum and Labrinth. Luciano Berio was one of the first composers to explore the sound of the Swingles’ amplified voices in an orchestral setting with his groundbreaking Sinfonia, first performed in 1968. The group continue to perform the piece to great acclaim around the world, including recent performances at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall with Michael Tilson Thomas, London’s Royal Festival Hall with Vladimir Jurowsky, and Milan’s La Scala with John Axelrod.
In addition to a busy touring schedule that regularly takes them to North and South America, Europe and Asia, The Swingles present their own London A Cappella Festival at Kings Place each January in partnership with Ikon Arts Management. The festival is the first of its kind in the capital, welcoming the finest vocal talent from around the world.
Sunday, December 22nd, 2019 7:30 PM, Farmington Civic Center, 200 W Arrington, Farmington
The smooth soul of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Bublé Big Band…
All created by the human voice alone!
Hailed “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected worldwide as a cutting edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music. Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based ensemble has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature’s “first instrument” – the human voice.
From the beginning, the “pact” of these well-studied masters has been to stay true to Music, regardless of style or genre. Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (the LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (the Independent Grammy), and Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars Sheryl Crow, Boyz II Men, Natasha Bedingfield, and Ray Charles to name a few; as well as with jazz legends Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Maynard Ferguson Big Band, and many others. Over the last 2 decades, their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, and is enjoyed on jazz and pop radio worldwide.
Around the globe, audiences are mesmerized by the thrill of m-pact’s vocal acrobatics, innovative orchestrations, and commanding yet authentic stage presence. Unknowing ears of all ages come expecting entertainment, but leave enriched from an indescribable experience: the musical journey across Technicolor soundscapes produced by this “Cirque du Soleil of Song”. m-pact’s studio recordings (5 full-length albums, 3 EP’s, and several single releases) have received rave reviews and multiple awards, including Best Jazz Album, Best Pop/R&B Song, Best Male Vocalist, and Best Vocal Arrangement (the CARA Awards), Best Seasonal Album (“Indie” awards), and Best Unsigned Band (Billboard Magazine). m-pact recordings are also frequently selected for inclusion on compilations and “best-of” collections.
As m-pact enters their third decade, they are once again breaking new ground with new recording projects, music videos, and awe-inspiring live performances. The guys are hard at work on their 6th album, are booking their new symphony shows, and their multiple fine arts showcases have made them one of the most-requested acts of the year. All of this leaves no doubt that m-pact’s music will continue to reach the ears and hearts of music lovers around the world for many years to come.
Manheim Steamroller Christmas
Friday, December 27th, 2019 7:30 PM Santa Ana Star Center, 3001 Civic Center Circle, Rio Rancho
A visionary musician and businessman, Chip Davis is behind a remarkable body of work now spanning five decades. Since founding Mannheim Steamroller and American Gramaphone Records in 1974, Davis has written, arranged, and recorded over 35 albums, highlighted by the RIAA multi-platinum certified Mannheim Steamroller catalog. The best-selling Christmas music artist in history, Davis has achieved worldwide sales in excess of 40 million, with four multi-platinum, eight platinum, and 19 gold certifications in the US alone. Furthermore, Davis is the entrepreneur behind Mannheim Steamroller lifestyle product line, amateur astronomer, and dedicated philanthropist.
Chip formed the American Gramaphone record label in 1974 when no label would take on his music. Today, American Gramaphone is one of the most successful independent music franchises in history.
Mannheim Steamroller’s music styling, dubbed “18th Century Classical Rock”, is largely credited with establishing the genre of New Age music. The band’s name came from Mannheim, Germany where Mozart lived. Mannheim Steamroller is the name for an 18th century musical technique known as the crescendo.
Mannheim has sold over 41 million albums, outselling artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Billy Joel, making them one of the top 50 best selling artists during the past two decades. Mannheim Steamroller is the #1 Christmas music artist of all times, selling over 31+ million albums. The second highest Christmas artist is Elvis Presley with 17 million albums.
2019 marks the 35th Anniversary of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour, making it the longest running consecutive tour in the music industry. The hugely successful tour now requires two traveling troupes, performing concerts in an average 90 cities annually. A third troupe highlights the holiday season at Universal Orlando Resort.
Dave Grusin & Bruce Dunlap
Saturday, December 28th, 2019 7:00 PM GiG Performance Space – 1808 Second Street Second Street, Santa Fe
Sunday, December 29th, 2019 7:00 PM GiG Performance Space – 1808 Second Street Second Street, Santa Fe
Dave Grusin is a seminal figure in the world of music. Winner of multiple Grammy and Academy Awards, the scope of his work as a jazz pianist, film composer and GRP Records founder is unparalleled. His musical career has been distinguished by a mastery over a diverse range of styles, counterbalanced by a touch at the piano which makes his keyboard signature totally unique. Integrity, exquisite taste, and impeccable musicianship have consistently been the cited keynotes of his work, which has been honored by numerous industry awards as well as doctorates from the University of Colorado and Berklee College of Music. The eminent producer/director Sydney Pollack, with whom he collaborated on nine films, has summed it up succinctly with the words, “he can do anything, and he has done everything.”
Guitarist Bruce Dunlap has performed/recorded with Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Paul McCandless, Howard Levy, Glen Velez, Alan Arkin, Gary Willis, Eddie Daniels, Simon Shaheen, Victor Lewis, Eddie Gomez, Kevin Hayes, Art Lande, Bob James, and many others. “Evocative and spellbinding.” The New York Times “A tour de force, ” Jazz Times
Sunday, December 29th, 2019 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
ZZ TOP a/k/a “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” lay undisputed claim to being the longest running major rock band with original personnel intact and in 2004 the Texas trio was be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course, there are only three of them – Billy F Gibbons, (currently living in Santa Fe,) Dusty Hill, Frank Beard — but it’s still a remarkable achievement that they’re still very much together after more than 40 years of rock, blues, and boogie on the road and in the studio. “Yeah,” says Billy, guitarist extraordinaire, “we’re the same three guys, bashing out the same three chords.” With the release of each of their albums the band has explored new ground in terms of both their sonic approach and the material they’ve recorded. ZZ TOP is the same but always changing.
The band is currently on its 50th Anniversary tour.
Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses New Years Eve Party
Tuesday, December 31st, 2019, 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM Legends Theater, Route 66 Casino, Albuquerque
Louis Prima Jr. and The Witness are bringing Prima music into the 21st century. Equal parts bandleader and ringmaster, Prima Jr. brilliantly distills the finest elements of his father’s five-decade career through a contemporary filter, adding his own indelible stamp. The music is a combination of jazz, swing and rock ‘n’ roll.
Less concerned about reliving the past than about creating a future for it, Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses bring new energy and a current attitude to the masses with The Wildest Show this side of the 1960’s. Since their breakout performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (aka Jazz Fest), #TeamPrima has performed everywhere from Seattle to Palermo, from small clubs to performing arts centers, from casino showrooms to music festivals, and from Access Hollywood Live to PBS.
LPJ and the Band are currently touring in support of their second Warrior Records/Universal Music Distribution (warriorrecords.com) release, BLOW – a collection of original music (save for a couple of surprises) as eclectic and unique as each member of this powerhouse band. Building off of the success of their critically acclaimed debut CD Return of the Wildest!, the band has brought together many years of diverse musical tastes into their second offering. From the first thunderous stomps of the title track, it is evident that this isn’t your daddy’s swing music, but a raucous roller coaster ride of tail-shakin’, foot-stampin’, horn-driven smiles.
If you’ve seen them in concert, you’ll know a bit about what to expect from the musical minds of the Witnesses. As energetic and over-the-top as their live shows, BLOW continues the ever-changing musical journey that Prima Sr. began in the 30s. “With the band’s collective talents and diverse musical tastes, we wind up with a sound unique to this band, while staying true to the boisterous Prima style,” says Louis. “We didn’t set out to simply write music we thought the fans wanted to hear. We wanted to challenge ourselves musically and also challenge the listener. You can’t fool the fans by trying to force the word ‘daddy-o’ into every song. If music does not come honestly from your soul, it will ultimately be short lived.”
Recorded at Capitol Records in Studio B, where Prima Sr. recorded his hits of the 50s and 60s, the seriousness of this music is masked only by the obvious fun that was had making it. It’s been 50 years since legendary Prima music shook the walls of Capitol. A new legend is being born, and it will BLOW you away!
Saturday, January 18th, 2020 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
His 2000 solo debut, Country Grammar, was a hit, spawning a smash single by the same name, and his unique approach to music has kept his sound fresh and the hits coming. Nelly’s next four albums all made it to the top three on the Billboard chart, with the singles routinely making the top 20 and four of them going to No. 1. When the two-time Grammy Award winner isn’t creating hit songs with collaborators or on his own, Nelly ventures into film and television work, and has appeared on CSI: NY and in the film The Longest Yard.
Nelly’s debut album, Country Grammar, went platinum nine times over in the United States and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. It peaked at No. 1 on the album chart, and the first single, also called “Country Grammar,” reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and No. 1 on the rap chart. The second single, “Ride wit Me,” featured St. Lunatic member City Spud and hit No. 3.
The following year, Nelly headed back into the studio with St. Lunatics, and the group released its first album, Free City, which went platinum in the United States. Striking while the iron was still hot, Nelly released Nellyville, his second solo record, in 2002. The album hit the Billboard album charts at No. 1 and was nominated for album of the year at the 2003 Grammy Awards.
Nellyville went platinum six times over, and its first single, “Hot in Here,” was a ubiquitous No. 1 and took the 2003 Grammy Award for best male rap solo performance. Other singles from Nellyville, including “Dilemma” (featuring Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child), “Work It” (featuring Justin Timberlake) and “Air Force Ones” (featuring Murphy Lee and the St. Lunatics), riddled the airwaves, and in the week after Nellyville came out, Nelly was at No. 1 on 10 different Billboard charts.
Literally mixing it up, in 2003 Nelly broke from his studio work to release a remix album called Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention before releasing two more studio albums in 2004, Sweat (an R&B album) and Suit (a more rap-oriented album). Suit debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, and Sweat debuted at No. 2, keeping Nelly riding high in the music world. In the winter of 2005, the inevitable Sweatsuit was released. A compilation of songs from Sweat and Suit, with three new tracks, Sweatsuit launched “Grillz” into the No. 1 spot, and “Flap Your Wings” and “My Place” also burned up the charts. In 2008, Nelly launched Brass Knuckles, his fifth studio album, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The highest-charting single, “Party People,” peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the next two singles, “Stepped on My J’z” and “Body on Me,” peaked at No. 90 and No. 42, respectively. In 2010, Nelly released the album 5.0., featuring the hits “Just a Dream” (No. 3), “Move That Body” and “Gone,” the sequel to his 2002 hit “Dilemma.”
Never one to stay idle for long, the two-time Grammy winner also has two clothing lines, Vokal and Apple Bottom, and has founded a charity, 4Sho4Kids Foundation, which raises money and awareness for various children’s health issues. He has also signed on to represent several companies, among them Nike and Ford, and has appeared on several TV shows, including The World Series of Poker and CSI: NY.
Boston w/ Styx
Saturday, January 18th, 2020 7:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Tom Scholz spent a good portion of his childhood playing sports and tinkering on just about anything motorized. Upon graduating high school, Tom packed the ’55 T-bird that he had restored, headed east, and never looked back. Bitten by the Rock and Roll bug from hearing the likes of The Animals, The Kinks and The Yardbirds on the radio, Tom had begun teaching himself guitar, bass and organ. Classically trained on piano as a child, Tom always had a connection with the music from the masters that filled his home when he was young, Beethoven, Rachmonov, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Ravel among them.
In the basement of his apartment in Watertown, MA, he had constructed a studio and was recording a demo tape that would go down in the history books. After years of solid rejections and money running out, this formula finally paid off with a CBS recording contract offer for Tom and Brad in 1976. He left his job at Polaroid when the radios began playing, “More Than a Feeling.”
Scholz still keeps busy in his studio, although now he looks at the process as purely artistic. He is bombarded with more musical ideas than he can possibly harness, but chips away at them as time allows.
Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips (along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo), have performed more live as Styx since ’99 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super-Bowl appearances, Pollstar Box Office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company (to name only a few), two more studio albums and no end in sight, STYX continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time.
Spawned from a suburban Chicago basement in the early ‘70s, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late ’70s and early ’80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads.
Early on, Styx’s music reflected such then-current prog rockers as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Moody Blues. While the albums (as well as non-stop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, Styx failed to break through to the mainstream, until a track originally from their second album, “Lady” started to get substantial airplay in late ’74. Most of their subsequent releases throughout the late ’70s earned at least platinum certification and spawned such hit singles and classic rock radio standards as “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself.”
The band decided that their first release of the ’80s would be a concept album, 1981’s Paradise Theater, which was loosely based on the rise and fall of a once-beautiful theater (which was supposedly used as a metaphor for the state of the U.S. at the time — the Iranian hostage situation, the Cold War, Reagan, etc.). Paradise Theater became Styx’s biggest hit of their career (selling over three million copies in a three-year period), as they became one of the U.S. top rock acts due to such big hit singles as “Too Much Time on My Hands”. It also marked the first time in history that a band released four consecutive triple-platinum albums.
A career-encompassing live album, Caught in the Act, was issued in 1984, before Styx went on hiatus, and the majority of its members pursued solo projects throughout the remainder of the decade. A re-recording of their early hit, “Lady” (titled “Lady” ’95”), for a Greatest Hits compilation, finally united Shaw with his former Styx bandmates, which led to a full-on reunion tour in 1996. But drummer John Panozzo fell seriously ill at the time (due to a long struggle with alcoholism), which prevented him from joining the proceedings — as he passed away in July of the same year. Although grief-stricken, Styx persevered with new drummer Todd Sucherman taking the place of Panozzo, as the Styx reunion tour became a surprise sold-out success, resulting in the release of a live album/video, 1997’s “Return to Paradise,” while a whole new generation of rock fans were introduced to the grandiose sounds of Styx via a humorous car ad which used the track “Mr. Roboto,” as well as songs used in such TV shows as South Park and Freaks & Geeks.
Friday, January 24th, 2020 7:30 PM Kimo Theater, 423 Central Avenue, Albuquerque
Eric Johnson has been traveling on a prolific odyssey over the course of more than four decades. Along the way, his creations have encompassed repertoire that cross-pollinate genres which include rock, blues, jazz, fusion, soul, folk, new-age, classical and even country. “It really boils down to the music and the song at the end of the day,” he explains. “If it doesn’t have that it gets boring for me. The most important thing for me is to grow musically and make a more expansive and meaningful artistic statement with every new project.”
As another decade turns, the guitarist, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist will release a new studio offering titled EJ Vol II. This album follows its predecessor from 2016 which was simply EJ, an all-acoustic collection of songs which showcased nine original compositions and four covers. His approach was deeply honest, intimate, personal and delivered with organic emotion. The touring which followed presented the rare opportunity for fans to enjoy the artist’s performances on both guitar and piano. With EJ Vol II, Johnson presents new repertoire that combines electric and acoustic arrangements.
Among Johnson’s many accolades are a Grammy award for “Cliffs Of Dover” (a track from his platinum-certified Ah Via Musicom), lifetime induction into the Guitar Player Gallery of Greats, his listing among the “100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century” by Musician. In his hometown of Austin TX, a city full of guitarists, the readers of the Austin Chronicle have voted Johnson the city’s “Best Electric Guitarist” and “Best Acoustic Guitarist” in their yearly poll year after year. They also named him “Electric Guitarist of the Decade” and one of the top five “Musicians of the Decade.”
In 2020, Eric will tour in support of the new album across the U.S. The tour, titled “Classics: Present and Past,” will feature EJ Vol. II alongside repertoire from his prolific career.
Saturday, January 25th, 2020 8:00 PM Inn of the Mountain Gods, Mescalero
Neal has released fifteen studio albums on various labels and has released 34 singles to country radio. In 1993, he had his big break with back-to-back #1 singles “No Doubt About It” and “Wink” from his platinum-certified album No Doubt About It. His commercial success continued into the late 1990s with two more platinum albums and a gold album, as well as six more Top Ten hits. A seventh Top Ten hit, the number 10 “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On,” came in 2005 from his self-released album That’s Life.
In 2012, he released a new studio album, XII. In 2013, he released Pride: A Tribute to Charley Pride, Neal’s longtime friend and mentor. 2015 brought the Big Band Standards CD You Don’t Know Me.
Neal has been on 15 USO Tours around the world and continues to say it’s one of his proudest achievements. He is also the recipient of multiple humanitarian awards from The Academy of Country Music, The Country Radio Broadcasters and The Masonic Grand Lodge. In 2016, Neal made a move to continue his patriotic values by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance “Live” on his Facebook page every morning. He’s reached millions of viewers all over the country and around the world. Currently, he is over 1,200 days in a row and going strong.
In 1995, he founded the East Texas Angel Network, which works to enhance the lives of children of East Texas who are living with terminal or life-threatening diseases. He hosts a yearly, two-day golf tournament, auction/dinner and concert every fall benefiting the charity. To date, the East Texas Angel Network has raised over $8 million and helped approximately 500 East Texas families.
For more information, visit www.nealmccoy.com.
TobyMac Hits DeepTour
Thursday, February 6th, 2020 7:00 PM Santa Ana Star Center 3001 Civic Center Circle, Rio Rancho
With over 11 million units in career sales and six GRAMMY® awards, TobyMac shows no signs of slowing down as he delivers a deeply personal record that celebrates the richness that comes from collaboration, diversity and vulnerability. Drawing directly from his faith in God and personal experience, This Is Not A Test is an essential reminder that we only have one shot at life.
Trusting his instincts and leaning into his faith spurred this veteran artist to make the most personal album of his career with The Elements.
Processing life as an artist, husband and father of five has continually fueled his work and made TobyMac one of the most successful innovators in any genre of music with 7 GRAMMY® Awards, 6 Gold Records from his solo career, an American Music award, twice named Artist of the year at the Dove awards, BMI songwriter of the year and numerous other accolades to his credit.
TobyMac admits that in the past he’s been “the king of the features,” as he usually includes multiple special guests on his albums, but The Elements is different. “I do truly love collaboration,” he says, “but these songs are so personal, it was hard for me to imagine someone else singing the lyrics.”
“Starts with Me” is one of those very personal offerings, and yet he knew it would be even stronger with another voice. He invited Aaron Cole to join in and each man shares their unique perspective on race and family legacy.
For everyone out there in the world braving the elements, TobyMac has served up a musical invitation to stand firm and let go of the worry that can beat a soul down. To find strength in faith and love in family.
Saturday, February 8th, 2020 7:00 PM Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Ruidoso
Country music singer-songwriter T.G. Sheppard has always had an unstoppable passion for music. Dominating Billboard charts from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s, his smooth fusion of classic country, R&B rhythms, and pop production defined the urban cowboy sound. Sheppard chocked-up an amazing 21 #1 hit songs, including a string of 8 consecutive #1s in just two years’ time. His chart-toppers like “I Loved ‘Em Every One,” still pack concert halls, as does “Do You Wanna Go To Heaven,” “Slow Burn,” “Party Time,” “Only One You,” “War Is Hell (On the Homefront Too)” and his very first, “Devil in the Bottle.”
Now 40 years in, this lifelong Tennessean holds a steadfast dedication to the entertainment industry, maintaining his status as one of the most popular live concert performers in country music. His distinctive sound is a solid gift he continuously shares at roadhouses and arenas year after year. As a side gig, he’s also just taken on the challenge of being the new on-air personality for SiriusXM’s Elvis Radio.
T.G. appears at Spencer sharing all his greatest hits with his band: Kenny McLellan on keyboards, Jim Schacher on guitar, Ric Wright on drums and Donnie Delozier on bass.
Alan Parsons Project Live
February 13th, 2020 6:30 PM Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque
Grammy Award winner Alan Parsons was born into a family with an impressive history in entertainment. His great-grandfather was the celebrated actor/manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. His mother was an actress, professional folk singer and harpist and his father, Denys Parsons, an accomplished pianist and flautist as well as the author of many books. The late Oliver Reed, film actor was a cousin. His uncle, David Tree was also a film and stage actor.
He was fortunate enough to work as assistant engineer on the last two albums by The Beatles and after he qualified as a fully-fledged recording engineer, he went on to work with Paul McCartney and The Hollies among many others. But it was his contribution as engineer on Pink Floyd’s classic The Dark Side Of The Moon that really got him world attention. That soon led to striking successes as a producer – notably with Pilot’s Magic, John Miles’ Highfly and Music and Steve Harley’s (Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile. He also produced the hugely successful Year Of The Cat album with Al Stewart and two albums with American prog rock band Ambrosia.
In 1975 he met Eric Woolfson who not only became his manager, but joined forces with Alan as a songwriting and performing partner for what became known as The Alan Parsons Project. The APP’s debut album, Tales Of Mystery And Imagination based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe paved the way for a signing to Clive Davis’ newly launched Arista label and a string of hit albums, namely I Robot (1977), Pyramid (1978), The Turn of a Friendly Card (1980), Eye in the Sky (1982), Ammonia Avenue (1984), Vulture Culture (1985), Stereotomy (1986) and Gaudi (1987). A brief venture into musical theatre resulted in Freudiana in 1990.The show ran for over a year in the historic Theater An Der Wien in Vienna. Eric and Alan then went separate ways. Eric devoted his career to the musical theatre while Parsons felt the need to bring his music to the live concert stage and to continue to record ambitious symphonic rock music.
In 2010, Alan felt the need to share his extensive knowledge and expertise with the masses. With the help of fellow Brit Julian Colbeck, Alan wrote and produced a comprehensive instructional video series about recording called The Art & Science Of Sound Recording (ASSR). It features contributions from a myriad of celebrity artists, engineers and producers and is narrated by Billy Bob Thornton. There is also a companion book. See www.artandscienceofsound.com.
Alan has been supporting ASSR with a series of lectures and Master Class Training Sessions (MCTS) all over the world. It has been a great opportunity for the attendees to witness Alan at work in the studio and to participate actively in the making of a possible future hit.
Since the beginning of 2012, as well as performing live shows, Alan has kept busy in the studio doing vocals for German electronica outfit, Lichtmond, and with YES stars Billy Sherwood and the late Chris Squire as The Prog Collective. Other collaborations have been with Mexican superstar Aleks Syntek, celebrated Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen, and with Austrian chart-topping singer Virginia Ernst. Alan also produced an album titled Grand Ukulele with Jake Shimabukoro, the virtuoso ukulele player, whose YouTube video of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has received over 16 million hits. The album contains a number of orchestral arrangements by Winger frontman, Kip Winger.
In March of 2018 Alan lead an intensive Master Class weekend workshop along with Grammy Award winning arranger (and one of Alan’s band members) Tom Brooks, at Hybrid Studios in Santa Ana, California, which included a full symphony orchestra. Participating in the initiative were session greats Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East and Jeff Kollman. The session featured a rock version of the orchestral classic, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and appears on Alan’s 2019 album, The Secret.
Alan recently built a state-of-the-art studio with a Neve 5088 console at his property in California. The 2019 Ammonia Avenue Hi-Def and 5.1 Surround remixes were compiled and mastered there.
Believing in giving back to his community, Alan donated all proceeds from his 2018 Chumash Casino concert to benefit first responders and local organizations serving Santa Barbara’s Thomas Flood victims and first responders. But his generosity didn’t stop there. Alan helped to spearhead and was the musical director for the “ONE 805 KICK ASH BASH” benefit event that further supported first responders and Montecito fire and flood victims. Raising over $2 million, the celebrity appearance list included Dennis Miller (emcee), Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Seymour, Michael Keaton, Don Johnson. Musical performances included Alan Parsons, David Foster, Katie Perry, Kenny Loggins, Wilson Philips, David Crosby, Steve Vai, Katharine McPhee, Richard Marx, The Sisterhood Band, Glen Phillips, Steve Vai, Dishwalla and many others.
February 14th, 2020 7:00 PM, Inn of the Mountain Gods, Mescalero, NM
Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Get tickets for you and your loved one to see America’s Got Talent stars, Linkin’ Bridge, live at Inn of the Mountain Gods on Friday, February 14.
Linkin’ Bridge is an award-winning singing group from Louisville, Kentucky, who reached stardom when they landed in the finals of the 11th season of NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent. They’re best known for their warm harmonies and emotional performances, which are driven by their passion for music. The group formed in 2015 and is comprised of Montre Davis, a smooth crooner and baritone soul singer, Shon “China” Lacy, a rhythmic gritty tenor, Ralph “Big Rome” Kimbrough, a vocal powerhouse who sings first tenor and Elliott “The Kid” Nichols, an energetic and versatile vocalist.
The group has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and has performed the National Anthem at the Kentucky Motor Speedway for NASCAR and Churchill Downs for “The Oaks,” which both aired on NBC Sports as well the “Derby Eve Unbridled Gala” at the Galt House Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky. They also appeared at the Kentucky State Fair in August 2019 for America’s Got Talent Wave 3 event promoting the show’s November auditions being held in their hometown.
Robert Earl Keen and his band
Sunday, February 23rd, 2020 7:30 PM, Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe
“The road goes on forever…”
It’s not always easy to sum up a career—let alone a life’s ambition—so succinctly, but those five words from Robert Earl Keen’s calling-card anthem just about do it. You can complete the lyric with the next five words—the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by thousands of fans a night (“and the party never ends!”)—just to punctuate the point with a flourish, but it’s the part about the journey that gets right to the heart of what makes Keen tick. Some people take up a life of playing music with the goal of someday reaching a destination of fame and fortune; but from the get-go, Keen just wanted to write and sing his own songs, and to keep writing and singing them for as long as possible.
Now three decades on from the release of his debut album—with nineteen other records to his name, thousands of shows under his belt and still no end in sight to the road ahead—Keen remains as committed to and inspired by his muse as ever. And as for accruing recognition, well, he’s done alright on that front, too; from his humble beginnings on the Texas folk scene, he’s blazed a peer, critic, and fan-lauded trail that’s earned him living-legend (not to mention pioneer) status in the Americana music world. And though the Houston native has never worn his Texas heart on his sleeve, he’s long been regarded as one of the Lone Star State’s finest (not to mention top-drawing) true singer-songwriters.
Monday, February 24th, 2020 7:00 PM Kimo Theater, Albuquerque
Dweezil Zappa was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles the son of Frank Zappa. It was inevitable that from the moment of his birth his life would be filled wall-to wall with music (his father having listed his religion as “musician” on Dweezil’s birth certificate). Dweezil’s early years were spent largely away from the spotlight—something of a rarity for the child of a celebrity, but perfect for cultivating a close relationship with his family. Having watched his father perform concerts from the side of the stage since he was in diapers it was no surprise that he began to show an interest in music early on. At age 6, he received his first guitar, a Fender Music Master from his dad. It wasn’t until he was 12 that he began to show a serious interest in manipulating the instrument to make music.
Having primarily heard the music his father was working on or listening to at home while growing up, Dweezil soon found himself exposed to some new sounds on the radio. Besides his father’s music he began listening to the Beatles, Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Like many aspiring guitarists of his generation, Dweezil’s ear was caught in a stranglehold by the trailblazing guitar styles of Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads.
To gain more fundamental knowledge of technique and scales Dweezil was fortunate to have some assistance from one of the musicians in his father’s band at that time, Steve Vai. Dweezil became remarkably proficient in a very short amount of time due to his intense practicing sessions.
In 1984, Dweezil contributed guitar solos to both “Stevie’s Spanking” and “Sharleena” on Frank’s album Them Or Us. Dweezil also played on the Grammy Nominated cover of “Wipeout” with Herbie Hancock and Terry Bozzio from the “Back To The Beach” film soundtrack. He was asked to join Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bonnie Raitt in contributing guitar performances to Miami Vice star Don Johnson’s solo album. While Dweezil actually played on the song “The Last Sound Love Makes” it was his appearance in the video for Don Johnson’s single “Heartbeat” that would most notably link him to the project.
The current band lineup is Dweezil’s favorite so far. “This is the best version of the band I have ever had. The musicians are able to tackle the hardest instrumental passages and cover a limitless range of vocals.”
Dweezil Zappa: Lead Guitar, Vocals; Scheila Gonzalez: Sax, Keys, Vocals; Adam Minkoff: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion; Cian Coey, Lead Vocals, Percussion; Ryan Brown: Drums, Vocals; Kurt Morgan: Bass, Vocals and Chris Norton, Keyboards, Vocals
Dweezil’s most current album release (2018) is “Live In The Moment II,” a guitar solo complialtion record in the style of his father’s “Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar” discs. Live solos interspersed with studio tracks and interstitial pallette cleansers.
The Hit Men
Saturday, March 21st, 2020 7:00 PM Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Ruidoso
Hitting every note! The Hit Men: Legendary Rock Supergroup are five brilliant musicians and singers who helped make the soundtracks of our lives. You heard them on the original records and the radio, saw on TV screens and in concert. These are the artists whose talents rocketed so many songs to the top of the Billboard charts.
In this unique multi-media show, The Hit Men perform some of the greatest tunes they helped make into everlasting classics: “You’re So Vain,” “Who Loves You,” “Oh What a Night,” “Mony Mony,” “The Loco-motion,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Joy to the World,” “Don’t Stop Believing” and so many more!
Take a star-studded journey through rock ‘n’ roll history with these Musicians Hall of Fame honorees who sang, played and/or recorded with rock royalty, including Elton John, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Barry Manilow, Jim Croce, Carly Simon, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and performed with members of Journey, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, The Rascals, Three Dog Night, The Turtles, The Who and many others.
The Hit Men: keyboardist/group founder Lee Shapiro, lead guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Ryan, bassist/vocalist Jeff Ganz, keyboardist, percussionist/vocalist Russ Velazquez and drummer/vocalist, Steve Murphy.
These artist have appeared on over 85 albums, won multiple Gold & Platinum Recording Awards, Emmy nominations and the list goes on. THE HIT MEN at Spencer: Keeping the music alive…and keeping it real!
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 7:30 PM Farmington Civic Center, 200 W Arrington, Farmington
A joyous celebration of everything Irish will touch American soil this spring when the energetic, exciting young stars of Celtic Angels Ireland tour the U.S.
Celebrating their cherished heritage through Irish dance, music, and song is something these entertainers take very seriously. You’ll be enthralled from the moment the lights dim as the sweet and stirring songs of Ireland, rigorously precise dances, and traditional musicianship carry you to Ireland on wings of music.
Through their shared zeal and passion for Ireland’s musical traditions, this troupe enables their audiences to experience the Real Ireland for the price of a concert ticket.
Some of the sweetest voices under heaven make up the Celtic Angels: Victoria Kenny, Emily Carroll, Tammy Browne, Amy Penston, and Ellie Mullane – Irish to the core and seasoned entertainers all. These ladies cut their teeth in such musicals as West Side Story, Grease, and in Jury’s Irish Cabaret.
Prince Royce- Alter Ego Tour
Friday, March 27th, 2020 7:00 PM Route 66 Casino, Albuquerque
In the past 8 years, multi-platinum award-winning, singer/songwriter Prince Royce has become a bona fide Latin superstar, scoring 17 #1 radio hits and winning more than 80 awards and recognitions including: 22 Latin Billboard Awards, 19 Premio lo Nuestro Awards, 19 Premios Juventud Awards, 6 Latin AMAs, and 12 Latin GRAMMY nominations.
Royce has a massive fan base with over 55 million followers on social media and he has sold out many of the most prestigious venues in Latin America and the United States. In February 2019 Prince Royce made history becoming the first and only tropical music artist to perform at the Houston Rodeo at the NRG Stadium where he attracted more than 55,000 euphoric fans.
All of his albums have been certified multiplatinum. His latest album, FIVE, was released in February 2017 and is Royce’s fifth career album. The record debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Latin Albums chart and earned Royce the highest first-week sales of any Latin album in the two years prior to the release. The album has been certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA in the United States and has garnered multiple international certifications. FIVE, made the Top Latin Albums list at Billboard’s coveted end of the year issue and Billboard also named Royce one of the Top Latin Artists of 2017.
Some of his collaborations include: Shakira, Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Thalia, Maná, Daddy Yankee, Becky G, Anitta, Ludacris, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Farruko, and Maluma, among others. Prince Royce has also started to pursue an acting career; he co-starred as Peter in the Fox Live musical broadcast of “The Passion” in 2016 and was part of the cast of Hulu’s hit series, “East Los High”.
August 9, 2018 was proclaimed “Prince Royce Day” in New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio, in recognition of his contributions to society and for being a role model to youth in his home town. He has been induced into the Bronx Hall of Fame with a street named after him, and ran the New York City Marathon to raise funds and awareness on education in public schools and kidney disease.
Rage Against the Machine
Saturday, March 28th, 2019 Las Cruces
Rage Against The Machine announced a series of dates for 2020, including Indio, California on the two weekends Coachella 2020 has been announced. The dates were announced under the radar on their social media. Wayne Kamemoto, a longtime associate of the band just said, “The band’s social media is accurate.”
The iconic band, who formed in 1991, haven’t played together since their 2011 L.A. Rising show at the Los Angeles Coliseum. In May of 2016, guitarist Tom Morello, drummer Brad Wilk and bassist Tim Commerford teamed with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Cypress Hill’s B-Real for Prophets Of Rage.
Frontman Zack de la Rocha, who last released solo material in 2016, has reportedly been working on new solo music for some time.
At the time Prophets Of Rage formed, Morello and others involved with the new supergroup expressed publicly they were forming the new group in response to the 2016 presidential election. So it is surely no coincidence that Rage, who first reunited in 2007, a year before the 2008 election, are coming back for a series of dates, starting in El Paso, Texas, March 26, 2020, eight months before the 2020 election.
Nor is it likely coincidence that thus far all the dates that have been announced are in the Southwest and near border towns.
Liz Callaway In Concert
Saturday, April 4, 2020 7:30 PM Farmington Civic Center, 200 W Arrington, Farmington
Liz Callaway is a Tony nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer and recording artist. She made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Baby, and for five years, won acclaim as Grizabella in Cats. She has also starred in the original casts of Miss Saigon, The Three Musketeers, and The Look of Love.
Off-Broadway she received a Drama Desk nomination for her performance in The Spitfire Grill (Playwrights Horizons), and also appeared in Brownstone (Roundabout), No Way to Treat a Lady, Marry Me a Little, and Godspell. Other New York appearances include the legendary Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center, A Stephen Sondheim Evening, Fiorello! (Encores!), and Hair in Concert. Regionally, she starred as Venus in the Chicago Ovations! production of One Touch of Venus, in Elegies at Reprise! in Los Angeles, and Fascinating Rhythm at Hartford Stage. She also played Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at Pittsburgh CLO.
Ms. Callaway has also established a major career as a concert and recording artist. The award-winning Sibling Revelry (created with sister Ann Hampton Callaway) was presented to great acclaim at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Boom!, a celebration of the music of the 60’s and 70’s, also created with her sister was recorded live at Birdland and has toured the country. She had the pleasure of singing “Chances Are” with singing legend Johnny Mathis, co-starred with Jimmy Webb & Paul Williams in their critically acclaimed engagement at Feinstein’s in New York and joined Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder at Hal David’s 90th Birthday Celebration Concert at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Her extensive US symphony work includes appearances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, and The Hollywood Bowl. Worldwide, she has performed in China, Australia (with Stephen Schwartz), New Zealand, Vietnam, Iceland, Estonia, France (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris), South Korea, and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu where she premiered a new concert featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim.
Liz sang the Academy Award nominated song “Journey to the Past” in the animated feature Anastasia and is also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves and The Return of Jafar.
Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 7:30 PM Farmington Civic Center, 200 W Arrington, Farmington
There is no one else like the Doo-Wah Riders. With over 30 years of broken box office records nationwide the Doo-Wahs have a style defined as “high energy country with a Cajun Twist.” Tight musicianship and powerful arrangements of classic, contemporary, and original songs have made them favorites everywhere they go.
Preserving The Heritage since 1978, there truly has been no other band like the Doo-Wah Riders. For over 40 years they have been riding their own patch of the musical range throughout the west and across the globe. They possess the rare combination of many years of experience and youthful energy, fired up by a love for what they do. The Doo-Wahs are country, with a unique, original approach. Defined by their sound… “high energy country with a cajun twist”, The Doo-Wah Riders’ ultra-tight musicianship and unique arrangements of classic and original songs have made them favorites everywhere they go!
Saturday, April 11th, 2020 7:30 PM Farmington Civic Center, 200 W Arrington, Farmington
Vocalist Nick Drivas and award-winning ragtime piano player Adam Swanson have joined up to become The Entertainers. Touted for his incomparable work ethic and commanding vocals, Nick has charmed audiences across the country with a bevy of musical theatre productions and his intimate cabarets which play tribute to both Broadway and to the Great American Songbook. Adam Swanson is one of the world’s foremost performers of vintage American pop.
Touted for his incomparable work ethic and commanding vocals, Nick Drivas has charmed audiences across the country with a bevy of musical theatre productions and his intimate cabarets which play tribute to both Broadway and to the Great American Songbook. Nick has also been featured on an episode of “Artisodes” on PBS.
Nick is currently based in New York City. He received his BFA from the University of Central Florida. He has also attended the Songbook Academy
in Carmel, Indiana where he was fortunate to have met and have been mentored by five-time Grammy nominated Michael Feinstein.
Adam Swanson is rapidly becoming known as one of the world’s foremost performers and historians of ragtime and early American popular music. Although he is only twenty years old, he has been a featured performer and lecturer at ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States.
Adam is the youngest winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, held in Peoria, Illinois. In 2007, he appeared alongside the late John Arpin at the Bohem Ragtime and Jazz Festival in the Republic of Hungary and has also toured Switzerland. Adam has played for renowned Disney/Hollywood composer Richard M. Sherman (Mary Poppins, etc.), as well as noted film critic and historian Leonard Maltin.
Adam made his New York debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of nineteen, where he performed with multi-platinum-selling artist Michael Feinstein. Recently, Adam has recorded albums with legendary 1950s piano star Johnny Maddox, pianist Frederick Hodges of the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, former rock star and ragtime entertainer Ian Whitcomb, and even a western swing album. Adam performs every summer in the Diamond Belle Saloon at the historic Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado.
Adam has studied piano with Waleed Howrani of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a graduate of the Moscow State Conservatory and is currently in his second year of college under the tutelage of Dr. Lisa Campi, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music.
Luke Combs-What You See is What You Get
Saturday, April 18th, 2020 7:00 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
CMA and ACM Award-winner Luke Combs is a multi-platinum, No. 1 Country singer-songwriter from Asheville, NC. With brazen songwriting talent and grizzled, soul-infused vocals, Combs stormed onto the music landscape as one of country’s brightest stars with the release of his critically-acclaimed, RIAA double Platinum, No. 1 debut album, This One’s For You on River House Artists/Columbia Nashville. Since its release, the album has spent a total of 37 non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, including 16 weeks in 2018—the most of any album in a calendar year. The album’s first five singles all reached #1 making Combs the first artist ever to score five consecutive career-opening #1’s on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. Adding to his monumental year, Combs recently released his new EP, The Prequel, which features 5 new songs including lead single “Beer Never Broke My Heart.” The song debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs chart with 11 million streams—setting the record for the best first week of streaming ever for a country song. Continuing to make history, all five EP tracks are currently in Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Top 25—a feat not accomplished since Johnny Cash in 1959. Combs is also the first artist to simultaneously top all five Billboard country charts for multiple weeks: Top Country Albums, Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Streaming Songs and Country Digital Song Sales. Recently awarded Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist and Top Country Album at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, New Artist of the Year at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, New Male Artist of the Year at the 2019 ACM Awards and Country Artist of the Year at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, Combs is currently in the midst of his sold-out “Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour”—his first ever headline arena tour.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 7:00 PM The Lensic Center for Performing Arts, Santa Fe
Sometimes all you need for things to come right is a little time.
The Mavericks – masters of country-Latin rock’n’roll, born in the rich cultural mix of Miami then tempered in Nashville’s country hothouse – rode high in the country and rock charts of the 1990s with culture-crossing hits like ‘What A Crying Shame’ and ‘All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down’. Then they conquered Europe with the titanic feel-good party classic ‘Dance The Night Away’, a 400,000-seller in the UK. Yet nothing lasts forever, and in 2004 The Mavericks went on hiatus while frontman Raul Malo explored new musical avenues.
But since a reunion in 2012, this most singular of bands has re-established itself as one of the most exciting and joyfully entertaining acts on touring and festival circuit across the planet. It’s a reputation based on their irrepressible mix of country, Tex-Mex, rockabilly and Latino sounds plus a riotously entertaining, world-renowned live show. A Mavericks gig is a guaranteed party night encompassing everything from the essential ‘Dance The Night Away’ to the infectious Tejano-ska hybrid of ‘Back In Your Arms Again’ – and, on occasion, even wild cards like a Mavericks take on The Beatles ‘Back In The USSR’.
The Mavericks are true American originals, heirs to the great songwriting traditions of Cuba and Miami, of Nashville and San Antonio and Memphis. Now, on their 30th anniversary as a band, they’re back to remind the world why they’re so good.
The band are now four albums into their second phase and thoroughly enjoying the new world of the music business, where it’s all about the live performance – an arena where The Mavericks always excelled. A Mavericks show mixes the best of the past with the new material and the fans love the latter as much – if not more – than the former.
And now the band is in charge of its destiny. They run their own label Mono Mundo Recordings, deal directly with their booking agents, develop their own artists and choose their own path. They’ve long transcended the country bracket and now play eclectic festivals with artists from across the board – in 2019 they’ll again perform at Glastonbury, perhaps the planet’s most diverse musical event.
Thirty years in, The Mavericks are doing it their own way – and enjoying it. “Musically it’s way more interesting now and I love that the fans will go with us wherever we’re going,” says Raul. “We have a great canvas that we can use at will, and that’s the ultimate reward for an artist. There’s nothing more satisfying.”
The Brothers Four
Saturday, April 25th, 2020 7:00 PM Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Ruidoso
Since the early 1960s, The Brothers Four have performed with their smooth, lush harmonies, singing songs and telling stories from the Great American Folk Song Book, they are truly “America’s Musical Ambassadors to the World.”
Global million-sellers for The Brothers Four include such folk standards as, “Greenfields,” “Yellow Bird,” “Try to Remember,” “500 Miles,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” “Shenandoah,” and from the motion picture “The Alamo,” their Academy Award-nominated “Green Leaves of Summer.”
The Brothers Four were pioneers in the musical movement that came to be known as the “Folk Revival.” Today their all-acoustic presentation continues…guitars, banjo, upright bass, and, of course, the trademark rich blend of their four voices. An evening with this quartet is a time of pure entertainment, a joyful, sing-along experience!
“The Brothers Four…. In perfect harmony with the Folk Songs of America.”
Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 3:00 PM Popejoy Hall @ UNM, Albuquerque
Masters of concert presentations, Canadian Brass has developed a uniquely engaging stage presence and rapport with audiences. Each of their concerts will show the full range from trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes to new compositions and arrangements created especially for them – from formal classical presentation to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects. The hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all, fun – but never at the expense of the music.
Touring legends with an enthusiastic fan base, the Canadian Brass play to packed houses everywhere throughout the USA, Canada, Japan and Europe. They have also toured Australia, the Middle East, the Soviet Union and South America. They were the first brass ensemble from the West to perform in the People’s Republic of China as well as the first brass group to take the main stage at the venerable Carnegie Hall. On numerous occasions Canadian Brass has been invited by the Canadian Government to play for visiting heads of states, becoming one of Canada’s greatest resources and musical ambassadors.
The varied Canadian Brass repertoire features brass standards as well as a wide-ranging library of original arrangements. These include the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, Classical works, marches, holiday favourites, ragtime, Dixieland, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway and Christian music as well as popular songs and standards. Having started with a very limited base, Canadian Brass has created their own musical world by transcribing, arranging and commissioning more than 600 works, including critically acclaimed compositions from Michael Kamen, Luther Henderson, Bramwell Tovey, Don Gillis and more. They have transformed a previously neglected group of instruments with a limited repertoire into a versatile and vital ensemble that can play everything from Gabrieli to Gershwin! Canadian Brass is especially noted for their famous Holiday Concerts at Christmas time and was at the forefront of re-establishing Scott Joplin with today’s audiences through their research, arrangements and recordings of his “rags” and other works.
With four decades under their belts, Canadian Brass continues to thrill audiences around the world – and they don’t look like they are letting up anytime soon!
Canadian Brass is: founding member Chuck Daellenbach (tuba), Brandon Ridenour and Caleb Hudson (trumpets), Achilles Liarmakopoulos (trombone) and Jeff Nelsen (horn). The Canadian Brass is represented by IMG Artists in New York.
Friday, May 8th, 2020 7:30 PM Farmington Civic Center, 200 W Arrington, Farmington
The Drifters are regarded as one of early Rock and Roll’s super groups and charted with megahits like “Under the Boardwalk,” “On Broadway,” “Stand By Me,” “Up On the Roof,” and “This Magic Moment.” Rolling Stone Magazine ranks The Drifters number 81 on their 100 greatest artists of all time. The Drifters have been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and the Vocal Group Halls of Fame and over the years have been fronted by memora
This is not a tribute band but the real thing! The Drifters are regarded as one of early Rock and Roll’s super groups and charted with megahits like “Under the Boardwalk,” “On Broadway,” “Stand By Me,” “Up On The Roof,” and “This Magic Moment.” Rolling Stone Magazine ranks the Drifters number 81 on their 100 greatest artists of all time. The Drifters have been inducted into both The Rock and Roll and the Vocal Group Halls of Fame and over the years have been fronted by memorable singers such as Clyde McPhatter and Ben E. King.
Through a historical journey, which included no less than 5 legendary lead singers, including Rock & Roll Hall of Famers the late Clyde McPhatter and the late Ben E. King the group’s ongoing story has covered the entire spectrum of Rock & Roll. They were the first musical group to include string instruments into Rhythm & Blues music with their hauntingly beautiful song, “There Goes My Baby”. They were the first musical group to sell 2 million records with their pop classic, “Up On The Roof”. They were the first African American vocal group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Along with fellow inductees the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Supremes, the Drifters were in the first class of Rock & Roll legends to be initiated into the Hall of Fame. Their classic tune “Under The Boardwalk” is the most played R & B record of all time. 20 other million sellers followed.
Their songs have been penned by such historic songwriters as Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Carole King as well as “Beautiful” the NYC Broadway Show featuring her music, Jerry Goffin and Phil Spector. They have played at the White House on 3 different occasions, give a benefit concert in Berlin the day the wall fell, performed for the Pope, the Queen of England, Nelson Mandella and toured the world for the USO in 3 different war zones from Korea to Iraq.
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 7:00 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Neal Schon – all guitars, backing vocals
Ross Valory – bass, backing vocals
Jonathan Cain – keyboards, backing vocals
Steve Smith – drums
Arnel Pineda – lead vocals
JOURNEY’s rock ‘n’ roll saga started more than 35 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. Neal Schon’s musical career began at the age of 15, when he debuted with Santana as a guitar prodigy on the No. 1 album, Santana III. Ross Valory has been a grounding force in JOURNEY since the band’s formation (other than a brief hiatus in the late 80’s and early 90’s) and Jonathan Cain was brought on board in 1980, rounding out the songwriting genius behind the defining album, Escape. Since Arnel Pineda joined JOURNEY as its new lead singer in 2007, the band has released two albums and embarked on seven major tours, performing on four continents for more than five million fans.
Columbia Records signed the group in 1974 and each of the band’s first three albums-Journey (1975), Look Into the Future (1976) and Next (1977)-charted higher than the previous release. The band embarked on a grueling touring schedule, staying on the road nine months per year performing music that Schon has referred to as “a rock ‘n’ roll version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.”
Infinity, the group’s fourth album, produced by Roy Thomas Baker (Rolling Stones, Queen, The Cars), immediately went Platinum after its April 1978 release and remained on the charts for more than two years.
In 1978, Steve Smith was brought into the fold, adding his expert jazz-fusion chops to the band’s signature sound for 1979’s Evolution, their second platinum album. In October of that year, JOURNEY scored their first Top 30 single with “Lovin, Touchin’, Squeezin’.” Keeping up a prolific output in the studio and on the road, the band waited less than a year to release Departure, which reached #8 on the Billboard album chart and boasted the lead single “Any Way You Want It.” A subsequent live double album, Captured, became their fourth consecutive platinum disc.
1981’s Escape was the band’s first #1 album and spent more than a year in the Top 40, eventually becoming certified eight times Platinum. That album produced three Top 10 hits that have become amongst the best-known songs in Journey’s repertoire: “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now” and “Open Arms.”
In 1983, Frontiers reached #2 on the Billboard album chart, held back from the top spot only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Between 1983 and 1986 the band landed seven Top 20 hits, including “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” “Girl Can’t Help It” and “Only the Young,” their song for the film Vision Quest.
In 2007, Neal Schon discovered Arnel Pineda in a YouTube video of Pineda singing with Filipino cover band, The Zoo. Pineda’s tone, power and ability to sing a wide variety of material, including Journey classics, impressed Schon. After watching all the videos he could find with Pineda, Neal made an excited midnight phone call to share the news with bandmate Cain. Soon thereafter, Schon personally contacted Pineda, who initially thought it was a prank and didn’t believe that he was talking to a founding member of one of the biggest bands in rock history. Six weeks later, Pineda arrived in San Francisco to audition and, within a few songs, had secured the job.
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 7:00 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Maroon 5 has always proven popular since the release of the band’s debut album –2002’s five-times-platinum Songs About Jane, featuring classic M5 hits like “This Love”and “She Will Be Loved” that forged its pioneering template of rock, pop and R&B. In 2011, Maroon 5 built on the momentum of two unlikely forces colliding: the massive exposure brought by Levine’s status as a host of the smash TV series The Voice, and the release of “Moves Like Jagger,” which returned M5 to the top 10 after a four-year break. An international #1 single, “Moves Like Jagger” became a pop-culture phenomenon –becoming not just Maroon 5’s biggest hit, but one of the best-selling singles of all time, selling over 14 million copies. That triumph was followed up with yet another win, Maroon 5’s 2012 album Overexposed, which only made the group bigger. Overexposed unleashed a foursome of top 10 hit singles – “Payphone,” “Daylight,” “Love Somebody,” and “One More Night” – the latter of which spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record for the band.
For V, Maroon 5 has created a set of irresistible pop juggernauts raising the band’s sound to the next level. V’s lead-off single “Maps” finds Maroon 5 taking the reggae influenced vibes the group honed on Overexposed hits like “One More Night” to new heights, via an infectious pop-rock meditation on longing and obsession (“I was there for you in your darkest times/I was there for you in your darkest nights”), where Levine’s soulful ,elastic falsetto recalls none other than one of his biggest inspirations, Sting and The Police. It also reteams the songwriting collaboration between Levine and Ryan Tedder (Adele, Beyoncé, One Direction), Benny Blanco (Katy Perry, Britney Spears) and Ammar Malik (Gym Class Heroes, Lady Antebellum, “Moves Like Jagger”).
The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour
Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Born out of Northern California’s chaotic, late-1960s musical stew, The Doobie Brothers’ rugged, real and authentic approach to rock and roll made them biker bar stalwarts. But their self-titled debut album in ’71 went beyond just leather and motorcycles, revealing even more musical layers; sweet three-part harmonies and rootsy, introspective, acoustic flavors.
It all began in 1969, when a drummer named John Hartman arrived in Northern California. He was there to meet Skip Spence from the band Moby Grape and become part of a supposed band reunion that never quite got off the ground. But it wasn’t all for naught. Spence (who had also played in the Jefferson Airplane) introduced Hartman to his friend Tom Johnston, a local singer/songwriter/guitarist -and they connected. Hartman and Johnston began playing local Bay Area bars. They soon met singer/guitarist Pat Simmons, whose finger-style playing richly complimented Johnston’s R&B strumming-style, and the foundation for The Doobie Brothers was set.
Their second record, Toulouse Street, became a breakout sensation. Producer Ted Templeman helped the band craft a sound that was organic, yet radio friendly, and brought in Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne to add unique musical textures. They established themselves with a breathtaking run of hits on Warner Bros. Records that tapped into a myriad of American styles. “Listen to the Music,” “Jesus is Just Alright,” “China Grove,” “Black Water,” “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “Long Train Runnin’” and other anthemic singles confirmed their status as fine craftsman who could also rock arenas.
In 1974, Steely Dan co-lead guitarist and session legend Jeff “Skunk” Baxter joined the band as third guitarist, one of many unique and talented players who would revolve in and out of the band over the years. The group’s expanded lineup was augmented in 1975 by Michael McDonald, whose soulful vocals and songwriting led to the hits “What a Fool Believes,” “Minute by Minute,” “Takin’ It To The Streets,” and “You Belong To Me.” Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, John McFee, joined in 1978 bringing his wide range of musical styles and experience recording with Van Morrison, Steve Miller, Elvis Costello, and The Grateful Dead to The Doobies’ sound.
The collaborative, almost communal sense of family within the band allowed them to stay fresh and unpredictable over the years, while never forsaking their deep American musical roots, boogie-jams and all.
The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, have won four GRAMMY® Awards and sold more than 48 million records worldwide (including three multi-platinum, seven platinum, and 14 gold albums).
The ability of The Doobie Brothers’ music to connect with the essentials of people’s lives in tuneful, affecting songs has developed an audience that spans generations today. Known for their dynamic live performances, the band plays close to 100 shows a year touring worldwide, delighting concert goers of all ages.