Though it’s never easy to see the summer come to its ceremonial end, Labor Day and the surrounding timespan, it does go down easier with good music to carry one into September. For us, that has happened in excess, over the past week or two.
Last Sunday, we were up in Albuquerque, participating in the artisan part of an Arts in the Park series, which naturally featured not only good artisans, but fine music. The blues band first to take the stage not only sounded like a blues band, but looked the part, porkpie hats, dreadlocks and all. Though there’s something time-incongruous about listening to the blues at one o’clock in the afternoon, I’d travel to hear these guys at any time of the day. Howlin’ Wolf or Muddy Waters would have gladly fronted for them, I am sure.
The second piece of entertainment was provided — appropriately, since this was Albuquerque — by a country/rock band that could’ve come straight off of Austin City Limits.
Well, maybe they actually have played that show. They ran through some classics, giving their own unique twist, but the fun really started when they opened up their own bag of original music. The afternoon, musically speaking, was closed out by a rancheria and salsa band, who played a variety of bilingual music, making me remember a long time promise to myself to take salsa lessons if we ever get the chance.
This weekend is, I am sure you know, the Clovis Musical Festival. Not to be outdone, our little city that was built on rock and roll served up some of its own best talent (Blackwater Band) along with the headliner act.
I don’t know much about motorcycles. In 50 plus years I have never ridden on one, and that fact does not bother me in the least. That notwithstanding, by the time The Blackwater Band was finished, I was more than ready to go hear them at the Harley Event on Saturday. I am not sure what a guy on a road bicycle does at a Harley rally. For me, it will be listen to this great local group.
Mickey Thomas, of course, brought a phenomenal show to town. With a guitarist who looked, and sounded, straight out of an 80s metal band, an alto girl singer who lit the place up with “Somebody To Love” , thankfully not trying to be Grace Slick (it never pays to try to be someone else, especially if the someone else is a living legend), and Mickey Thomas who was — well, Mickey Thomas. The Starship brought a slice of San Francisco to Clovis — or took us to San Francisco for a while. I’m not sure which.
It seems that one of the favorite things my eighth graders like to find out about me is what makes my music box tick. Given their age, and the age most of them think I am, I suspect they think I listen to symphony and opera-light classical on a daring day.
Well, after the past week, I am not sure what the answer would be. Blues. Salsa/rancheria with a slice of reggae. Country rock. Classic rock with a heavy tinge of metal. To paraphrase a common saying — it’s all good.