Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lion 5 Takes Latin Music to an Alt-Rock Realm...

Ok, as the slightly cranky commenter of March 27 noted, this is not exactly a Tin Star Music event. Although, Lion 5 has played at the Tin Star. And I've played at the Tin Star. So let's think of this as a virtual Tin Star event that just happened to occur at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

The place was hopping when Oscar and Victor invited me up to join them for a couple of numbers. Here's Te Deseo, followed by a Blues piece in A. As usual, Craig Small was ripping it up on guitar. Thanks, guys -- it was fun sitting in.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

CD Party!

Nora McMahon's CD party last night was a happy gathering. The Backroad Pizza on Second Street was packed with friends and fans.

Check out a few of the numbers that Nora and Case Tanner performed:


Music Is Madness

Ain't No Sunshine

Your next chance to catch Nora and Case is this coming Wednesday, April 2 at The Cowgirl, 319 Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, 9:00pm, and they will be at the Tin Star again on Thursday, April 17.


Speaking of something fun to do this Saturday...

Saturday, March 29th: DON CURRY & PETE SPRINGER (Classic Rock) 9pm at the Tin Star!

Wednesday's 3-27 Tin Star Jam

Yesterday's Tin Star Jam started a bit early across town at the Second Street Brewery, where we had stopped off for dinner. Our friends Nora McMahon and Case Tanner were there playing for the dinner crowd.

Click any picture to enlarge, click on any link for the music.

Later, back at the Tin Star, a group of us regulars rediscovered one of the basic Principles of the Jam. We weren't sure after the first number that we had in fact reestablished this principle, so we did another number just to verify. Our third number provided proof positive of one of the fundamental truths about jamming: sometimes your jam really, really, really, really stinks.

We were a slow train wreck. People ran screaming from the bar, hands clasped tightly over their ears. All but this guy -- he seemed relatively unfazed by the noise pollution.

So, we took a break, threw the doors of the Tin Star open to give the stench a chance to clear, and gathered outside to compare notes on what had gone wrong.

"We sucked!"


"That was awful!"

"I'm going home."

"I want my mommy."

Fortunately, we were saved by the arrival of some real musicians who had just finished their gig up at El Farol. With newly rediscovered humility we all got back on stage and let them lead us on this rhythm piece.

A bit later our friend Mike Handler showed up (the smell had pretty much cleared out by then) and led us on a few numbers. Here he is on harp and vocals doing Hoochie Koochie Man.

The crowd loosened up a bit, apparently having forgiven us for that which we will not speak of from earlier in the evening.

One of The Tin Star's friendly bar people.

Finally, a big Happy Birthday wish for Ben Lucero, leader of the Tin Star Master Jam!



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nora McMahon at the Tin Star, Thursday 3-20

Let me just say that if you have not heard Nora "Sweet Sounds" McMahon, you need to. She is a small woman with a big voice. Pretty, too.

Click any picture to enlarge, click on any link to listen to the music.

Case Tanner, who has played bass with her for a while suggested that I come down to the Tin Star last night to take a listen, so I did.

Her voice reminds me a bit of Tracy Chapman: big, but her music is definitely not as dark as Tracy's tends to be.

I like her sound a lot -- check it out for yourself.

Later in the set they invited me to join them for a number.

It was a beautiful evening.

Here's another one of Nora's songs. I hope you enjoy it as much as those of us who were there did.

Thank you for letting me join you for a bit, Nora. Case and Milton: you are lucky guys to get to play with somebody as great as her.

For the rest of you -- if you have the opportunity to hear these guys you should do it.

Here's Nora's MySpace page where you can check out more of her terrific sound.



Wednesday Tin Star Jam, March 19

I feel like a philanderer, making blog posts here from such exotic locations as the Blue Bayou Club in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and Joe Montoya's annual Saint Patrick's Day party in Espanola, New Mexico. So, to make up for it, this will be a bit of a mega-post from last night's mega-jam.

Click any picture to enlarge, click on the links to hear the music.

If a person were to casually walk by the Tin Star Saloon on any given Wednesday night, one peek in the window would make it clear that there was a lot going on inside.

Did I say fun?

One of my favorite musicians showed up and completely changed up the pace with a couple of beautiful waltz numbers.

A bit later, Ray had an especially fine solo during one of Linda's songs. Here it is, with a short lead-in by me.

I was sitting with a couple of friends who were visiting from DC, peacefully enjoying the music and the beer.

I was just minding my own business, when fellow sax player Estephan grabbed me and threw me into the middle of a blues tune being led by Pete White of the Santa Fe band Controlled Burn.

Afterwards, Ben (drummer for Controlled Burn) and I considered the merits of only playing for half of a number.

Finally, Ben and Linda took time off from whatever they were doing and Linda led a Janis tune with everybody joining in.

Check out Estephan wailing on my '44 Conn tenor. Estephan was one of the original members of Santa Fe's famous Soul Deacons band. I told him that next time he was to bring his own horn.

We were happy to have Ramon show up to join us again last night. Ramon plays with Santa Fe band Samba Fe.

A special thanks goes out to the two ladies sitting at the corner table who professed themselves to be huge fans of the saxophone. These two visitors from Michigan clearly are possessed of discriminating taste in music, and obviously know which Santa Fe bar is the place to go on a Wednesday night to listen to music.

Until next time,


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day Party (Not at the Tin Star...)

Every year for the past 16 our friends Joe and Maxine Montoya have had an evening St. Pat's party. Music, Irish whiskey, good beer and wine, not to mention corned beef, cabbage, and local favorites like menudo and posole galore.

This year was no exception. A few of us showed up early to play some music on the porch as the sun went down.

Click any picture to enlarge; click on the links for sound bites.

I've known Chuck for years.

Art said that every time the wind blew his guitar went out of tune. It was cold.

Then the real band showed up. This was no garage band: Final Verdict is comprised of five brothers from Santa Clara Pueblo. You can catch them almost any week at one of the local casinos.

Check them out here (click).

It made Joe want to boogie.

A couple of the regulars were there again this year.

Joe built the enclosed area just for his annual St. Pat party. There were propane space heaters and an old wood burning cook stove keeping us warm as we ate and listened to Final Verdict.

Sherpa assured me that she liked corned beef too.

I sat in during Brown Eyed Girl and Sultans of Swing while Joe boogied some more.

Thanks to Chris Baca and Final Verdict for letting me play with them. You guys should come on down to the Tin Star some Wednesday evening to play with is there.

As always, it was a great St. Pat's party. Thanks, Joe, Maxine, and the extended Montoya family!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday Blue Bayou Jam

I just happened to be in Hillsborough, North Carolina this week, so here's a post about the Blue Bayou's Tuesday night Blues Jam.

The Blue Bayou bar is in quiet, picturesque, rural Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Click any picture to enlarge; click the links for sound bites.

The Blue Bayou conveniently shares a parking lot with the police department.

However, it is definitely a cool bar.

Some of my friends kicked off a number, led by Mike.

They have a set of serious speakers at the Blue Bayou. That's Justin behind the speaker.

Will McFarland, one of Bonnie Raitt's guitar players, lives in the area and usually shows up for the Tuesday jam.

Here he is with a few of his friends doing a little blues tune.

I got a number or two in also.

It's not the Tin Star Saloon, but is is a nice musical home away from home. The folks are friendly and the music is fun -- I wish we could get our Tin Star jammers together with the crew from the Blue Bayou.

Many thanks to Butch for running such a nice jam.


The Blue Bayou Tuesday Jam

It was a good one. As soon as I can get the pictures and sound files up on the server I'll let you all have a look.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

This Wednesday's Jam

I'll be out of town this week, so this Wednesday's jam will actually come at you from the Blue Bayou Bar in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Hillsborough is just west of Durham where I'll be on Tuesday night.

They call the area that is roughly bounded by Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham the "Triangle", because among other things, it is home to the North Carolina Research Triangle Park.

I've played at the Blue Bayou's Tuesday night blues jam a number of times, and it's kind of like the Tin Star in some ways: most importantly it's a friendly place. The Blue Bayou also gets a number of heavy hitter musicians in to perform throughout the year, so it is a serious music bar.

See you then.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday, 3-5 Jam

Yes, it was snowing last night! There was two feet on the ground when I got back home to Nambe later that evening.

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Tone showed up and joined us for a few numbers.

We started to warm up (click).

Linda sang a couple (click).

Yours truly and Frank having a bit of fun (click).

This guy was smoke'n on his Super Action 80 tenor.

Take a listen.

Here's another jazzy number he led us on.

A couple of characters who managed to slip by the doorman.

Another local. Name that bass player.

Until next time,