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 Raul Midon, Tracy Lawrence, Prince Royce, TG Shepard, Los Tigres del Norte, Toby Mack, Sam Riggs, Ani DeFranco, Alan Parsons Project, Ronnie Milsap, Robert Earl Keen, Gary Allen, Tesla, Dweezil Zappa, Lyle Lovett, Jimmy Vaughn, The Commodores, Dwight Yoakum, Josh Turner, Zapp, Luke Combs, Rage Against the Machine, Night Ranger, Liz Calloway, Journey, The Mavericks, The Bothers Four, The Drifters, Maroon 5, Thomas Rhett, Dave Matthews Band, 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.
Los Tigres del Norte
Saturday, February 1st, 2020 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
Already boasting an unparalleled career resume as “the most influential regional Mexican group” and “the genre’s greatest statesmen,” the legendary Los Tigres Del Norte remain one of Latin Music’s leading creative and socially outspoken voices, as they continue to sell millions of albums, regularly top sales and airplay charts, and win the recognition of their peers with multiple GRAMMY & LATIN GRAMMY Awards.
Simply put, Los Tigres del Norte have achieved worldwide success by becoming the leading musical storytellers for multiple generations of Latin immigrants.
The group has taken the century old tradition of ‘corrido’ (story, song, celebrating the enduring pursuit of truth, justice and opportunity, whether by heroes or ordinary folk) as an art form. They’ve made it their own powerful vehicle to express not only the plight and adventures of many who have come to this country from different parts of the world seeking a better life for their families, but also to bring attention to the many challenges faced by working people.
The godfathers of the Norteño genre have towered in the realm of Latin music, taking the polka rooted Norteño sound and mixing it with true tales of social injustices and current events. Their unique lyrics of social conscience have endeared them to millions of people who see in them a reflection of their past, present and future. Thus their fans have affectionately nicknamed them ‘ Los Idolos Del Pueblo”, (Idols of the town) for their sincerity and humbleness.
A career span of more than three decades, millions of records sold, extensive concert tours throughout the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Europe and Asia, have made Los Tigres Del Norte international legends.
Their socially conscious tradition began to manifest itself on Los Tigres Del Norte’s earliest hits, such as “Contrabando Y Tracion,” a tale of contraband and betrayal starring drug trafficking couple Emilio Varela and Camelia La Tejana (1971), and 1973’s “La Banda Del Carro Rojo”. Their preeminent role as a leading voice on the struggles of immigration took form with later songs such as: “La Jaula De Oro” (1986) which spoke of life in the ‘gilded cage represented by the United States, where immigrants enjoy economic progress but their childen often forget their culture.
As part of Los Tigres’ mutually agreed musical mission, the group has never allowed their image to be misrepresented by being photographed with weapons or by the use of offensive language in their music. They have also taken it upon themselves to express their love and respect of women in their songs and to never glorify ‘narcotic’ themes, instead approaching the subject in the group’s role of “true-to-life” storytellers.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 7:30 PM Lensic Performing Arts Center, 310 San Francisco St, Santa Fe
Along with releasing 10 studio albums as a solo artist, Midón – dubbed “an eclectic adventurist” by People magazine – has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, along with contributing to recordings by Queen Latifah, Snoop Dogg and the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s She Hate Me. A native of New Mexico who was educated in the jazz program of the University of Miami – and who now lives in Maryland after years in New York City – Midón has earned acclaim the world over, with a fanbase that stretches from San Francisco to India, Amsterdam to Tokyo. A rapt critic for the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper wrote: “Midón has a lovely voice, a beautifully controlled tenor that can express anything from tenderness to passion… And the guy can play. His strumming has a flamenco flourish, but after a while, you realize he can do every kind of accompaniment he needs on acoustic guitar.”
For a glimpse of how magnetic Midón can be live, seek out on YouTube the clip of his appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2006. Performing “State Of Mind,” the title track from his major-label debut, Midón unveils what would become his signature combination of silky voice and percussive guitar. His playing is a syncopated wonder in which bass, harmony and melodic lines fly from the fretboard in a way that belies the fact that all the music is being produced by just two hands. If that weren’t enough, Midón busts out his improvisational mouth-horn technique, in which he creates a bebop “trumpet” solo with his lips, earning himself a burst of mid-song applause from the audience. It’s the sort of performance that led the Huffington Post to describe how “he plays with such freedom and joy that his hands smile.”
The title of Midón’s 2017 release Bad Ass and Blind came from an apt description of its maker that soul icon Bill Withers endorsed; the album saw Midón collaborating with such top jazz players as trumpeter Nicholas Payton and pianist Gerald Clayton, and it earned the singer his GRAMMY nomination for “Best Jazz Vocal Performance.” NPR noted that the disc continues Midón’s “streak of records that cross boundaries with ease and head-turning musicality.” His live 2016 rendition of John Coltrane’s jazz classic “Giant Steps” – which sees him fly through all 12 keys on the guitar – earned more than a million views via Facebook, with no less than fusion hero Al Di Meola giving the performance a thumb’s up. Midón has also released the captivating CD/DVD Invisible Chains – Live from NYC, which documents an intimate concert in Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater from 2012.
Ever since being told by some when he was a child that his blindness meant that “you can’t do this, you can’t do that,” Midón has lived a life devoted to beating the odds and shattering stereotypes, learning his own lessons along the way.
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.
Sam Riggs with Austin Meade
Friday. February 7th, 2020 8:00 PM The Liberty, Roswell
“The only thing standing between you and what you want in life is air and opportunity. Take a deep breath and go get it.”
His father’s words made a huge impression on Sam Riggs, and the Texas singer/songwriter is a relentless adventurer, a guy who pursues music, flying and mountain climbing with equal amounts of passion. They’re all unpredictable activities that require some level of risk for an adrenaline-infused reward, the same payoff he gets from Love & Panic, an album that explores the highs and lows of the ultimate gamble: romantic relationships.
There is much to like about Riggs, whose rock-tinged brand of country folds in such diverse influences as Blink-182, 3 Doors Down, George Jones and Hank Williams Jr. He self-released his first two albums, then partnered with independent firms for his third and fourth releases, including Breathless, which went to No. 12 on the BillboardTop Country Albums charts.
A number of his singles hit the upper levels of the Texas charts, including the ultra-country “Hold On And Let Go,” the thumping concert re-creation “High On A Country Song” and his vulnerable “Second Hand Smoke.” To top it off, Riggs picked up the Texas Regional Radio Award in 2016 for Top New Male Vocalist.
A hike with his brother through the beautiful-but-challenging Zion Narrows in Utah’s Zion National Park cleansed Riggs’ soul and rejuvenated his sense of adventure. As a result, Riggs founded the Air and Opportunity Adventure Company, a firm that oversees hikes, climbs, private flights and helicopter rides, all designed to challenge people’s limits and help them develop the tools and confidence to battle depression, anxiety and other issues.
Riggs’ extreme exploits also gave him the courage to dive into the relationship issues at the heart of Love & Panic. The topics have universal value, and the album furthers his undeniable desire to connect with the world through music.
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.
Tracy Lawrence-Made in America
Saturday, February 8th, 2020 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino Albuquerque
Tracy Lawrence is one of the most recognizable voices in Country music with songs such as “Paint Me A Birmingham,” “Time Marches On,” “Alibis,” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” The entertainer has enjoyed twenty-two songs on the Billboard top ten charts with eighteen number one singles, selling over thirteen million albums.
The Multi-platinum CMA and ACM award winning recording artist has helped shape the sound of Country music for two decades, recently celebrating twenty-years in music. Few country artists have ever known the kind of success that Tracy Lawrence has earned and the influence his iconic voice has contributed to the Country music genre.
His music has inspired a whole new generation of entertainers and fans. Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan frequently pay tribute to the singer live in concert by playing his double-platinum hits like “Time Marches On” and Alibis.” Songs that help make Lawrence among one of the most played artists on radio.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 8:00 PM Kimo Theater, Albuquerque
With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world’s attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
Though this concept is closely tied up in our present-day obsession with technology, DiFranco also reveals a growing connection to nature and the physical world. The backbone of Binary’s sound is DiFranco’s long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests. When it came time to mix Ani turned things over to Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Pearl Jam), the result a bold sonic imprint elevating the songs to a new level in her canon. Virtuoso violinist Jenny Scheinman and keyboard wizard Ivan Neville both join in for more than half of the record.
For the better part of 2016, DiFranco beat the drum for voter turnout on her “Vote Dammit!” tour, focusing on registering and inspiring people to vote. In the days following the election, fans turned to her for guidance with renewed earnestness, anxious to hear music and wisdom from the longtime activist. Ani encouraged fans to take political action and did the same herself, participating in the Women’s March on Washington and performing at the official Women’s March after party benefitting Planned Parenthood with The National and Sleater-Kinney.
Binary, of course, is being released into a world in which music distribution and consumption have transformed rapidly and dramatically. For DiFranco, a true pioneer in the music industry with her Righteous Babe label, it’s a time to reconsider the possibilities and ambitions of her business.
Thursday, February 10th, 2020 7:30 PM Lensic Performing Arts Center
Kat Edmonson has a story to tell. It’s a story for all those who dream of a different path in life, and you can hear it on her upcoming 2020 recording Dreamers Do. The album explores the shared human struggle around daring to dream and it illuminates a range of emotional and psychological consequences that can happen along the way.
The story of Dreamers Do unfolds during the course of one sleepless night. The album begins with a promising invitation to settle in for the night and to dream (“Go to Sleep”). Joy and magic are revealed (“In a World of My Own”), but soon a left turn is taken (“When You Wish Upon a Star”), and a wild night ensues.
At the heart of the story, Kat’s vulnerable original, “Too Late to Dream” poses the central question: “Are the messages we receive as children about following our dreams sustainable or relevant through adult life?”
Dreamers Do is a mix of Edmonson’s original songs and re-imagined American Songbook standards (many of them mid-20th century Disney songs) arranged in Kat’s trademark vintage-pop, jazz, and chamber-pop style. Her musical influences on this recording are drawn from Africa, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Europe, and early to mid-century America. Instruments featured on Dreamers Do include kora (West African harp), tabla, steel pan, erhu & pipa (Chinese string instruments), harp, theremin, celeste, polyphonic synthesized sounds, piano, organ, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, drums, a multitude of percussion, strings, woodwinds, and voices.
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.
Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group
Friday, February 14th, 2020 7:30 PM Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe
A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett has appeared in 13 feature films, and on stage and television. Among his many accolades, besides the four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, and was recently named the Texas State Musician.
Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lyle Lovett has evolved into one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. His oeuvre, rich and eclectic, is one of the most beloved of any living artist working today.
“Whenever I go out with the Acoustic Group, which is really just a subset of the Large Band, I get to reinvent my arrangements and incorporate a few tunes into the set list that might not work so well for my Large Band performances,” Lovett told Louisville’s LEO Weekly. “Plus, doing it this way allows me to stop at smaller, more intimate rooms.”
Friday, February 14th, 2020 7:30 PM Sandia Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
Ronnie Milsap spent the first six years of his life in a small rural town in the Great Smoky Mountains hamlet of Robbinsville, North Carolina before moving to Raleigh to attend a school for the blind — where he began studying violin and piano, studies he’d continue for the next 12 years. Music’s lure proved powerful for the young Milsap, and while he’d pursued his studies diligently in order to make the grade at law school, a chance meeting with Ray Charles prompted him to take another path that was about to open to him.
Milsap, recording a handful of singles in Atlanta before moving to Memphis, joined forces with super-producer Chips Moman and, by 1969, with Elvis Presley — for whom he played piano on hits like “Kentucky Rain” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.” Although he was making a name for himself as a versatile studio musician, Milsap was set on being at center-stage, rather than in the supporting cast, a goal he’d achieve by 1974, when he scored his first number-one country single, “Pure Love.”
He’d go on to top the country chart more than a dozen times in the ‘70s, with such enduring hits as “Let My Love Be Your Pillow” and “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life” — the latter of which is reprised on Then Sings My Soul with an all-new recording and arrangement. His peers responded just as strongly as the public, awarding Milsap six Grammys and a dozen CMA Awards, including four turns as Male Vocalist of the Year. The success he achieved in the country arena would soon spill over into the pop and adult contemporary realms as well, thanks to universally accessible songs like “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World” and “Any Day Now.”
And even with 40 #1 chart-toppers under his belt — not to mention avidly-received live shows across the world, Ronnie Milsap is still growing and surprising long-time fans. Then Sings My Soul documents that growth process, but it also proves that even now, the kid from Robbinsville is still firmly in touch with his roots, and capable of creating sonic and spiritual images that will transport listeners back to the little Baptist church where those roots were planted.
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.
Friday, February 28th, 2020 7:30 PM Kimo Theater, Albuquerque
When it comes to the blues today, there are a handful of guiding lights to make sure the music stays true to its powerful source. The sound of pleasure and pain that first sparked musicians to create such a sound is a force that can never be underestimated. The mojo has to be there. For Jimmie Vaughan, he’s dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. It’s a spirit he holds close to him, and for over 50 years of holding the blues close inside him, Vaughan isn’t about to stop now.
For the past few years, Jimmie Vaughan has been recording a series of albums dedicated to the songs he’s always held in high esteem, recorded by artists that inspired him from his very earliest days of performing. The sessions have been held in studios near Austin, and he was surrounded by fellow musicians who understand that music is intended to ignite the heart and fill the soul. There can be no shortcuts or sleight-of-hand when playing these songs. They come from writers and performers who responsible for so much of modern popular musics, some well known but many are other who are still names not known outside the blues world.
The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards once said, “The blues. It’s probably the most important thing America has ever given the world.” To which Jimmie Vaughan would likely add, “Amen.”
Friday, February 28th, 2020 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
One of the greatest Motown and R&B / funk artists of all time, The Commodores’ Walter “Clyde” Orange, James Dean “JD” Nicholas and William “WAK” King have influenced both artists young and old and in all genres with their classic songs. The Commodores brand is bigger than ever as they continue to blaze trails all over the world. Don’t miss your chance to feature one of the most successful vocal groups of all time in 2018 and beyond as The Commodores continue to thrill audiences with their Greatest Hits Tour – Live!
75 Million Albums Sold Worldwide
7 – #1 singles
5 – #1 Albums
20 – Top 10 Singles
15 – Top 10 Albums
1985 Grammy Award – “Nightshift”
1987 Antwerp Diamond Microphone Award
1995 Alabama Music Hall of Fame Inductees
Vocal Group Hall of Fame Inductees
The 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl Outstanding Achievement Award (2016)
2018 Casino Entertainment Awards “Musical Artist of the Year”
In 1968 the group was formed while all the members were in college at Tuskeegee Institute. After being discovered by Berry Gordy, the Commodores went on to sell over 60 million records for Motown. With hits like “Machine Gun” and “Sail On”, the Commodores became proven artists. For five decades, the Commodores have remained a force in the music industry. The Commodores aren’t just any group. They have staying power. Just like their hit song “Brick House,” the Commodores have created a foundation that just won’t budge.
Saturday, February 29th, 2020 8:00 PM Route 66 Casino, Albuquerque
Thanks to their die-hard, loyal fan base and their younger generation offspring, TESLA continues to tour to sold-out crowds around the world. Celebrating 30+ years of kick ass Rock ‘n’ Roll gives their audience a musical journey that keeps the loyal fans coming back and has newcomers realizing, “Wow, I didn’t know they did that song!
TESLA were formed in Sacramento, CA, in 1985, out of an earlier, locally popular group called City Kidd, which dated back to 1982. The band wrote original music and knew their name didn’t fit the sound. At management’s suggestion, the band named itself after the eccentric inventor Nikola TESLA, who pioneered the radio but was given only belated credit for doing so.
After playing several showcases in Los Angeles, TESLA quickly scored a deal with Geffen and released their debut album, Mechanical Resonance, in 1986; it produced the hard rock hits and crowd favorite, “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Little Suzi.” Mechanical Resonance reached the Top 40 on the album charts, and eventually went platinum.
It was the follow-up, 1989’s, which truly broke the band. The first single, “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out),” was a hit with hard rock audiences, setting the stage for the second single, a comforting ballad called “Love Song” which substituted a dash of hippie utopianism for the usual power ballad histrionics.
“Love Song” hit the pop Top Ten and made the band stars, pushing The Great Radio Controversy into the Top 20 and double-platinum sales figures; the follow-up single, “The Way It Is,” was also a hit.
TESLA’s music is often referred to as heavy metal but is better described as blues metal. The band’s lyrics also strayed from the themes popular in heavy metal, particularly in the 1980’s at the beginning of their career. A further distinction from their contemporaries was their blue-collar, T-shirt-and-jeans image which was in strong contrast to glam bands of the time, which were characterized by big hair, leather pants, and flashy makeup.
Friday, March 13th, 2020 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
Dwight Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, and he is a 21-time nominated, multiple GRAMMY Award winner. He has 12 gold albums and 9 platinum or multi-platinum albums, with five of those albums topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart and another 14 landing in the Top 10. Nearly 40 of Yoakam’s singles have charted on Billboard, with 14 peaking in the Top 10. He is also the recipient of the Artist of the Year award from the Americana Music Association, the most prestigious award offered by the organization.
Yoakam’s self-curated SiriusXM channel, titled Dwight Yoakam and The Bakersfield Beat ‘Where Country Went Mod’, celebrates the Bakersfield sound and those whom it has inspired.
In 2016, Yoakam released his bluegrass album Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… on Sugar Hill Records. Featuring a band of bluegrass luminaries, this album boasts a collection of reinterpreted favorites from his catalogue, as well as a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Produced by nine-time GRAMMY winner Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton), Jon Randall (songwriter of “Whiskey Lullaby”), and Yoakam himself, and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, this album reflects the love for bluegrass music that Yoakam developed at an early age in Kentucky and that has inspired him for many years thereafter.
In addition to his musical career, Yoakam is a formidable film and television actor who has appeared in over 40 feature films including Sling Blade and Panic Room. In 2016, he recurred in David E. Kelley’s Amazon series, Goliath. Recently, he appeared in director Steven Soderbergh’s film, Logan Lucky with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig. Yoakam is capable of seamlessly melting into his roles and impressively standing toe-to-toe with some of the world’s top thespians over the course of his storied and successful acting career, including Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, and Matthew McConaughey.
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.
Thursday, March 26th, 2020 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casiono, Albuquerque
With his rich, deep voice and distinctive style, MCA Nashville recording artist Josh Turner is one of country music’s most recognizable hit-makers. From his 2003 Platinum-selling debut Long Black Train to his 2017 Billboard No. 1 release, Deep South, Turner has scored multiple GRAMMY®, CMA and ACM Awards nominations and received six Inspirational Country Music Awards. As one of the youngest members inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, Turner has sold more than 8 million units, topped more than 1.5 billion in global streaming and populated radio with such memorable hits as “Hometown Girl,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Your Man,” “Time Is Love,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance” and “Long Black Train.”
With his newest project, I Serve A Savior, which debuted at No. 1 atop the Nielsen’s Country Albums chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums Chart, Turner adds an exciting new dimension to his already acclaimed career. I Serve A Savior is a thoughtful gospel collection that finds Turner’s rich, distinctive baritone paired with timeless classics including “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art” and “Great Is Your Faithfulness,” as well as introducing originals including the title track, “I Serve A Savior,” and “The River (of Happiness),” written by his wife, Jennifer, and their eldest son, Hampton. In addition to the 12-track studio project, Turner has released a complementing 90-minute live performance DVD featuring a special interview of Turner with gospel legend Bill Gaither, a performance with Turner alongside his wife Jennifer and their four sons, and more. The DVD has been edited to air as a one-hour television special hosted by Bill Gaither, which will air on numerous networks across the U.S. and Canada.
Turner is a disciple of traditional country music, a mentor to up-and-coming artists, and one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Turner has been an Opry member for over 10 years and he recently reveled in his 150th performance on the famed Opry circle.
Turner checked off another bucket list item when he added author to his list of accomplishments. His first book, Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood was released in 2014. As highlighted in the book, the Hannah, S.C. native has been songwriting and performing since he was a young child, and in support of music education, created The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund to assist students interested in pursuing a future in arts and music. As a high school student, Turner had very little access to music education, therefore realizes first-hand the importance of arts education in schools.
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.
Saturday, March 28th, 2020 8:00 PM Inn of the Mountain Gods, Mescalero
Foghat’s live performances show why the band is still around today and why they will be able to keep on rockin’ as long as they want. This band truly is timeless. Constant touring is part of their DNA and the band just loves to play. Their live show is as intense as ever with the incredible energy and
musicianship that one would expect and hope for from a seasoned band with such a long musical history and they are bringing their fans along for the ride. Not content to rest on their laurels, the band released a great new studio album in June 2016 titled “Under the Influence”, and another ‘live’ album in June of 2017 called ‘Live at the Belly Up’. Both were given great reviews by press audience alike.
Foghat fans are everywhere and these days their audience consists of all ages. From the young kids who play Guitar Hero III and know all of the lyrics to ‘Slow Ride’, to the Dazed & Confused generation of 30-40 somethings and the ‘boomers’ who bought Foghat’s first vinyl or 8 track! Looking out at the audience and seeing all of the generations rockin’ to Foghat is very gratifying to the band.
Formed in 1971 when Lonesome Dave Peverett and Roger Earl left the British blues-rock band, Savoy Brown, Foghat has earned eight Gold records, one Platinum record and one Double-Platinum record. And they continue to release new music every few years. They have never stopped touring and
recording although there have been several ups and downs and changes over the years. They sadly lost Lonesome Dave Peverett in 2000 and Rod Price in 2005, but Roger Earl kept banging & kicking to keep Foghat’s musical legacy going. According to a recent review “The ’70s called…but there is no way in hell we are giving Foghat back to them. The iconic band from the past is rocking just as hard as they did decades ago, if not more!
Foghat’s thunderous blend of blues, boogie and butt-kickin’ rock ‘n’ roll are shaking walls and fans everywhere. There is so much talent in this band it is ridiculous. Lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Charlie Huhn played with Ted Nugent, Gary Moore & Humble Pie, and lead/slide guitarist Bryan Bassett
played with Wild Cherry and Molly Hatchet.” Bass player Craig Macgregor who had been with the band since the ’70s, unfortunately became ill in 2015 and was unable to play**. Craig recommended the very talented & personable Rodney O’Quinn as a ‘fill-in’ who came to Foghat via the Pat Travers band where he proved he knew how to lay down a solid groove. O’Quinn viewed MacGregor as a mentor and is a great permanent addition to the band. And on drums is the man we have to thank for keeping Foghat going…founding member Roger Earl, who’s positive attitude and solid drumming style and pure joy of playing has been an inspiration to all.”
If Foghat had only given us ‘Slow Ride’, the band’s place in rock history would be secure. But the band is so much more than that. As stated by Roger Earl, “we are still a ‘work in progress’, writing and recording, and plan to be until the day we depart this earth”!
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.
Friday, April 3rd, 2020, 8:00 PM Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque
With more than 17 Million albums sold worldwide, over 3500 live performances, and a radio audience that exceeds 1 Billion. Night Ranger has both epitomized and transcended the arena rock sound and style well beyond that era. With multiple songs that have significantly impacted popular culture, Night Ranger continue to expand their ever-growing fan-base. The band is proof that powerful songs, plus accomplished musicians is the perfect formula for continued success.
Night Ranger have earned widespread acclaim, that includes multi-platinum and gold album status while leaving their indelible mark on the music charts with a string of best-selling albums (Dawn Patrol, Midnight Madness, 7 Wishes, Big Life and Man In Motion). Their popularity is fueled by an impressive string of instantly recognizable hit singles and signature album tracks, including legendary titles such as “Sister Christian”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, the anthemic “(You Can Still) Rock In America”, along with “Sentimental Street”, “Goodbye”, “Sing Me Away”, and “Four in the Morning”.
Over the years, the band’s music has made notable contributions to and been featured in many different areas of media and popular culture. The band was one of the first big “video” bands on MTV, with over ten number one hit videos. Night Ranger songs can be heard in TV Shows like, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, American Dad, Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, Parks & Recreation. The band have also had music featured in video games such as, Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto, plus hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages, the Oscar-Nominated film Boogie Nights, and other feature films such as Friday the 13th, Teachers, Sixteen Candles, and The Secret of My Success. Night Ranger can also be heard throughout JBL’s “Hear The Truth” brand campaign.
Night Ranger is Jack Blades (bass, vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums, vocals), Brad Gillis (lead & rhythm guitars), Eric Levy (keyboards) and Keri Kelli (lead & rhythm guitars).
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.
Saturday, April 4th, 2020 8:00 PM Route 66 Casino, Albuquerque
With the allure of a modern day outlaw, Gary Allan has won over fans, peers and critics with his signature blend of smoldering vocals, rebellious lyrics and raucous live performances. While becoming a force on the country music scene, Allan has remained true to his artistic voice each step of the way. Allan re-signed with Universal Music Group Nashville in 2016, the label home for the entirety of his twenty-year career. He is currently finishing up work for his upcoming EMI Nashville release. His last album, SET YOU FREE, topped the Billboard 200 (Pop Chart), a career first for Allan. The album also made its debut at the top of the Billboard Country Album chart (for the fourth time in a row), and produced his fifth #1 country radio chart topper with “Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain.” The California native released his first album, Used Heart for Sale, in 1996 and since then has released eight additional studio albums selling over 7 million albums, been certified platinum on three back-to-back albums, and been certified gold five times. Allan has five #1 hits at country radio, fourteen Top 10 hits to his credit and amassed over 270 million total streams. He’s described as “dark and dreamy” in Entertainment Weekly, “soulful and rough around the edges” in Playboy and deemed a “maverick” by Rolling Stone. He sells out venues as a headliner from NY to LA, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Live with Kelly and Michael and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has also landed on the covers of Country Weekly, Pollstar and People magazine.
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.
Saturday, April 18th, 2020 7:00 PM Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho
Zapp unleashes funky, high-energy music with a contagious groove built for dancing, loving and good times. Made up of masterful musicians who have been getting down together since the late 1970s, the group’s sizzling chemistry can be attributed to the fact that it has always been a joyful family affair. The band started with Lil Roger and Lil Lester in 1962 and eventually became a full-fledged movement as Zapp. Now bandleader Lester Troutman, Sr. (drums), Terry “Zapp” Troutman (talkbox/keyboards/bass), Bart Thomas (talkbox/vocals/keyboards/bass), Dale DeGroat (musical direction/keyboards/vocals), Thomas Troutman (keyboards/vocals), Riccardo Bray (guitar) and Anthony Arrington (sax) join to carry on the legacy of a tight-knit group of expert players and funk, soul and party band pioneers. In the tradition of stylish masters such as James Brown, George Clinton, Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone, Zapp continues to both inspire and draw inspiration from hot acts like Daft Punk, The Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake.
Since Zapp’s beginnings, its heartbeat has always been the vibrant imagination of the three Troutman Brothers – older brother Larry and two younger brothers Roger and Lester – who jammed together before becoming a quartet called Roger and the Human Body. This early quartet whose premiere recording experience was with Capitol Records in 1975- 1976. Hired as studio musicians, Roger and Lester were fundamental to both projects and had already been experimenting with the talkbox just as it was first gaining fame thanks to mega stars like Stevie Wonder, Peter Frampton and Earth, Wind & Fire. In 1978, Roger, Larry, Lester and Terry went into the studio with renowned bassist, singer and songwriter Bootsy Collins to record an album and were discovered by P- Funk’s legendary leader George Clinton, who encouraged them to name themselves “Zapp” in honor of Terry’s snappy nickname. In 1980, the four original Zapp members released their self-titled debut, co- produced by Collins, on Warner Bros Records. Released that summer, Zapp became a platinum success, peaking at the Top 20 of the Billboard Top 200 thanks to the hip-shaking hit single, “More Bounce to the Ounce,” written by Roger. This triumph led to a major tour with the Commodores
Zapp’s dazzling rise persisted, piloted by Roger, who was the band’s producer, chief writer, arranger and composer and invented brand-new ways to use the talkbox that distinguished recordings. Within five years, the band scored a number of top- ten R&B hits: “Doo Wa Ditty,” I Can Make You Dance,” Heartbreaker,” ballads “Computer Love” and a cover of The Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby.” 1982’s “Dance Floor, Part 1” hit #1 on the R&B chart, with Roger’s solo numbers, “I Want to Be Your Man” and a cover of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” also scoring big. By 1985, the group had amassed more than four goldrecords and was drawing huge audiences worldwide.
In 1983, Zapp’s star was still bright, and Roger was introduced to the R&B legend Shirley Murdock, who auditioned for him and was instantly welcomed into the group in 1984. She toured with the band throughout 1985, the same year, Roger Lester and the rest of their production crew commandeered Shirley’s debut album, which made her an instant platinum sensation.
Over the course of the past 30 years, Zapp’s and Roger’s music has been sampled hundreds of times by artists around the globe, which has kept the band’s buzz going strong. Zapp’s music has had a profound effect on west coast hip-hop, featured in songs by Jay Z, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Ice Cube and many others. In 1995, Roger collaborated with 2Pac and Dr. Dre on the smash hit “California Love.” It became 2Pac’s best-known song and his most successful, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and nominated for a posthumous Grammy Award as Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (with Roger and Dr. Dre) in 1997.
Though Roger sadly passed away in 1999, the thrilling Zapp legacy lives on, fueled by his original creative spirit, with the hard-working, fearless current lineup still cooking up crafty new material and playing to throngs of jumping fans.
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.”
Little River Band
Saturday, April 25th, 2020 8:00 PM Inn of the Mountain Gods, Mescalero
“Reminiscing,” “Cool Change,” “Lonesome Loser,” “The Night Owls,” “Take It Easy On Me,” “Help Is on Its Way,” “Happy Anniversary,” “We Two,” “Man On Your Mind,” “The Other Guy,” and “It’s A Long Way There.”
Worldwide album and CD sales now top 30 million. And in 1982 LRB set a record for having had Top 10 hits for 6 consecutive years – In fact, they were the very first band to achieve that remarkable plateau! According to BMI, “Reminiscing” has garnered rare status with over 5 million air plays on American radio, and “Lady” is close behind with over 4 million air plays.
Bassist/vocalist Wayne Nelson joined the band in 1980, and worked alongside founding members with some of the most distinctive harmonies and vocal abilities, creating the unique LRB sound. In 1981, Nelson was recognized by world renowned Beatles producer Sir George Martin whom, while producing ‘Time Exposure’, chose Nelson to record lead vocals on two of the band’s biggest hits, “The Night Owls” and “Take It Easy On Me.” Later that same year, guitarist extraordinaire Stephen Housden joined LRB bringing a rock element into the band’s sound and helped contribute to their string of Top 10 hits. As band members departed one by one, Housden and Nelson worked together to bring LRB into the new millennium.
To date, Nelson’s vocal and bass guitar talents are included on 23 Little River Band Albums/CD’s. Although Housden has retired from touring, LRB continues to perform to sold out audiences, and Stephen continues to write and participate in all things Little River Band.
In November of 2016, LRB released, ‘The Hits…Revisited,’ on Wurld Records – a CD consisting of 9 re-recorded hits along with 2 new songs, written by Wayne, Chris, and Rich. Kris Kristofferson attended one of their concerts in California. He came backstage after the concert and he told LRB that their harmonies are “better than the Beatles.” May of 2017 brought the release of ‘The Big Box’ – a box set consisting of 6 disc’s and featuring a DVD with live footage from their 40th Anniversary Tour. In 2020, lead singer and bass player Wayne Nelson will be celebrating a personal milestone of being a member of Little River Band for 40 years.
Bringing their vocal and musical energy along with great arrangements to their timeless classic hits, each show creates new memories for the audience. The band enjoys watching their fans fall in love with the songs all over again as they are swept up by the show’s powerful performance and the volume of hits from LRB’s history.
With over 80 dates scheduled for their 2020 tour, Little River Band is hotter than ever – selling out shows and making music from coast to coast – continuing their legacy of being “the best singing band in the world.”
Little River Band is: Wayne Nelson: Lead Vocals/Bass, Chris Marion: Keyboards/Vocals, Rich Herring: Lead Guitar/Vocals, Ryan Ricks: Drums/Percussion/Vocals and Colin Whinnery: Guitar/Lead Vocals
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”).
Thomas Rhett-Center Point Road Tour
Saturday, August 8th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Thomas Rhett spent most of his teens figuring out what, other than music, he could do for a career. Kinesiology, business, anatomy, media – anything but music. None of those rather ordinary pursuits seemed to work out. But a songwriting deal? Heck, Thomas Rhett stumbled into that. And nine months later, he had a song on Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party, a double-platinum project that became the best-selling country album of 2011. A recording contract? Thomas Rhett auditioned for at least seven record companies, and every one of them wanted to sign him.
Valory – the home of Reba McEntire, Brantley Gilbert, Jewel and Justin Moore – won out, and now it’s seemingly just a matter of time before the general public discovers the quirky word jumbles and infectious grooves that had Music Row salivating over Thomas Rhett’s. The one that, in retrospect, seems as if it were always supposed to happen. Even Thomas Rhett doesn’t completely understand it.
Thomas’ full name – Thomas Rhett Akins Jr. – forever connects him with his dad, Rhett Akins, who earned a trio of Top 20 hits in the mid-1990s. Those songs – including the Top 5 “That Ain’t My Truck” and the No. 1 single “Don’t Get Me Started” – made an indelible impression, inspiring several other southern Georgians, such as Luke Bryan and ace songwriter Dallas Davidson, to pursue their own country ambitions.
Concert tours took Rhett Akins away from home often, beginning just a year or two before Thomas Rhett enrolled in school. But there was no father-son rebellion in the Akins household. Despite his tour schedule, Dad made it a point to be there for his son’s football games. And Thomas Rhett loved his father’s music. Thomas Rhett went on the road with the elder Akins. Sometimes his dad would bring the kid out to play drums during the encore at his shows. And there was a period when Thomas Rhett was eight or nine that he popped on stage to cover Will Smith.
There were other perks. Thomas Rhett went to Reba McEntire’s Halloween parties. And he once got help on his English homework from some guy named Blake Shelton. Seems glamorous from the outside, but the entertainment business can be ruthless. And the good times soon soured for his dad. Rhett Akins eventually rebounded, but in the meantime, that period in his dad’s career soured Thomas Rhett on that pursuit.
In February 2010, Thomas Rhett signed with EMI and soon had his first co-writing session with his dad and Bobby Pinson, who’s written songs for Toby Keith and Sugarland. In short order, he was writing with the likes of Craig Wiseman (“Live Like You Were Dying”), Luke Laird (“Undo It”), Lee Thomas Miller (“You’re Gonna Miss This”) and Chris Stapleton (“Love’s Gonna Make It Alright”).
Things happened quickly. Aldean cut Thomas Rhett’s “I Ain’t Ready To Quit” for My Kinda Party, which was released in November 2010 – just eight months after Thomas Rhett signed his publishing deal. Even then,
Vaughn was already taking Thomas Rhett around Music Row to play acoustic auditions as an artist in record-company conference rooms. And they always got some interest.
When he played for the Big Machine Label Group, which includes The Valory Music Co., it took only three songs before President and CEO Scott Borchetta announced he wanted Thomas Rhett on the roster.
“Scott doesn’t mess around,” Thomas Rhett says. “The next day, my lawyer called and said Big Machine had made an offer.”
That also gave Thomas Rhett the reins to make an album. They teamed him with producer Jay Joyce, who’s worked as a producer and/or guitarist with Eric Church, Cage The Elephant and Miranda Lambert. The results on Thomas Rhett’s debut are a rhythmic, grooving, infectious amalgam of styles that appreciates country’s roots and challenges its perceived limitations at the same time.
Dave Matthews Band
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early 1991 when vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews decided to put some songs he had written on tape. Instead of simply recording himself with a guitar, he opted to bring in some instrumental help to give his musical ideas more depth.
The band continued to tour up and down the Eastern seaboard, playing a mixture of headline shows, supporting dates and festivals, including DMB’s first H.O.R.D.E. dates. The group’s fan base continued to grow at an astonishing rate. By allowing concertgoers to tape shows for personal use, Dave Matthews Band created what remains to this day a highly interactive community. In September, DMB played its first show at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, opening for The Tragically Hip and The Samples. Two years later, DMB would headline the legendary venue.
On November 9, 1993, DMB released its first album, Remember Two Things, on its own Bama Rags label. The album, which had been recorded live at The Muse Music Club on Nantucket Island in August of 1993, debuted on the College charts as the highest independent entry – a significant accomplishment for an independent album. Remember Two Things was subsequently certified Platinum.
Crash, Dave Matthews Band’s second RCA studio album, was released on April 30, 1996. It debuted at number two on The Billboard 200 and was subsequently certified seven times Platinum. Entertainment Weekly praised the GRAMMY-nominated album as “rootsy yet exotic.” “Too Much” was a Top 5 hit at Modern Rock radio, the first in a series of singles from the album.
In February, Dave Matthews Band won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “So Much To Say.” RCA reissued Remember Two Things on June 24, 1997.
The band continued to tour steadily, headlining sold-out amphitheaters across North America. Though having achieved national prominence, DMB continued to do things precisely as it had from day one: organically, with a grass roots mentality.
2016 was a year of celebration as Dave Matthews Band marked its 25th anniversary. The band’s first performance of the year was in San Francisco, where DMB played a sold-out “Super Thursday Night” show as part of the festivities leading up to Super Bowl 50.
In July, RCA Records and Legacy Recordings issued the first-ever vinyl edition of Crash, the band’s best-selling second studio album. Three volumes of Live Trax were released in 2016, beginning with Vol. 37, which captured one of the band’s weekly1992 performances at Trax in Charlottesville. In addition, RCA released DMBLive Trax, Charlottesville, VA 02/22/1994, the latest in the DMBLive series.
After violence erupted at a far-right rally in Charlottesville in August,2017 Dave Matthews Band joined together with Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton, Ariana Grande, The Roots, Brittany Howard, Cage the Elephant and numerous special guests to perform at “A Concert For Charlottesville – An Evening of Music and Unity.” The event was free to local residents and members of the University of Virginia community. Many fans chose to make donations to a fund that provided assistance to victims, their families, first responders and organizations promoting unity and justice.
Nickleback-All the Right Reasons Tour
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 6:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Over 50 million albums sold worldwide. Nine Grammy Award nominations. Twelve JUNO Awards. Two American Music Awards. Six Billboard Music Awards. World Music Award Recipient for World’s Best-Selling Rock Artist. Twelve consecutive sold-out international tours, playing to well over eight million diehard and adoring fans. Not to mention the distinguished achievement of being the best-selling foreign act of the 2000s – second only to the Beatles. Just some of such staggering statistics can only belong to Rock’s reigning giant’s of this century’s musical landscape: Nickelback.
Crowned Rock Group of the Decade by Billboard, Nickelback has been a force to be reckoned with since bursting onto the worldwide charts with their 2001 debut smash “How You Remind Me” – certified by Billboard as “Top Rock Song of the Decade” and “Most Played Song of the Decade” by Neilsen SoundScan – from their eight-times platinum album Silver Side Up. Thirteen years, and 23 chart-topping singles later — including such indelible classics like “Photograph”, “Savin’ Me”, “Far Away”, “Someday” and “Rockstar” — only Nickelback has remained rock-steady during the most turbulent periods in the recording industry. And true to form, the Vancouver-based quartet has beaten the odds with their hotly-anticipated and distinctive eighth studio album No Fixed Address, a title which offers a clue to the band’s enduring longevity, relevance and allure for millions of fans around the world.
It’s Nickelback’s beloved universal tongue – cunning linguistics delivered with a devilish wink and a smile – crafted with unforgettable and highly-melodic hooks and epic choruses that have consistently blazed a trail atop both the rock and pop charts, all the while blowing roofs off stadiums with their fist-pumping rock anthems and pyromaniacal stage spectaculars across virtually every continent. But while most bands of such rarified global stature are content to merely rest on their catalogue of beloved greatest hits, Nickelback is continuously revving to top themselves. It’s an inherent work ethic honed by these humble small-town boys from Hanna, Alberta who spent their early years driving themselves town-to-town across rural Canada in a busted old van playing tiny clubs for what seemed the princely sum of $300 per week and some free beer. Despite now playing to 35,000 adoring and rabid fans per night for well over a decade, Nickelback’s long road to superstardom definitely hasn’t quelled their creative compulsion. “Because we know very consciously what we’ve done in the past and where that bar has been set,” relates Chad Kroeger, “and you can phone it in – that’s very easy to do at this point – but our fans will know that immediately. So every time we go into the studio, it’s about making our fans happy and hearing them say that it’s not only a record they love, but that it’s a Nickelback record that they love amongst all the other Nickelback records. That’s what we strive for every single time.”
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.
Friday, October 9th, 2020, 7:00 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Hailed as one of the most influential groups in modern country history, Rascal Flatts are a chart-topping trio created by vocalist Gary LeVox, multi-instrumentalist Jay DeMarcus and guitarist Joe Don Rooney. Since their founding in 2000 and subsequent breakout with the Top 5 hit, “Prayin’ for Daylight,” the band has gone on to infuse country’s traditional mainstream with smooth-pop textures, arena-rocking energy and faithful positivity, impacting countless fans and fellow artists along the way. They’ve racked up 17 Number One hits, over 23.4 million albums sold, 35 million digital downloads, 2.2 billion streams worldwide and 4.4 billion streams solely on Pandora, while also selling over 11 million concert tickets and earning more than 40 trophies from the ACA, ACM, AMA, CMA, People’s Choice and more, making them the most awarded country group of the past decade. The Grand Ole Opry members will bring an unforgettable chapter in country’s long story to a close in 2020, celebrating their 20th anniversary with Rascal Flatts Farewell: Life Is A Highway Tour – the nationwide farewell tour of their celebrated career.