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The Creole-Cajun Connection with Ed Poullard and Blake Miller

Jemez Stage: 4:30 pm
Sandia Stage: 9:30 pm

Veteran Creole music master Ed Poullard teams up with next generation Cajun music wiz Blake Miller to explore the common ground of these two vital strains of Louisiana music. Both grew up steeped in their respective traditions, both are equally adept on fiddle and accordion. This duo performance features accordion, fiddle, vocals and a vast repertoire of French Creole and Cajun songs and dance tunes.

Ed Poullard was born in Eunice, LA and raised in Southeast Texas. By the time he was in grade school, he was playing in his father's band at house parties and parish dances. Ed started out on drums and guitar, then moved on to accordion and fiddle, studying the latter with the late, legendary Canray Fontenot, with whom he performed nationwide until Fontenot's death in 1995. Ed often performed with his late brother Danny on accordion, showcasing older tunes learned from their father. Ed is showcased (playing with Darol Anger) on "Creole Bred: A Tribute to Creole and Zydeco" (Vanguard Records), a collaboration conceived by Ann Savoy, which features a virtual "Who's Who" of Louisiana musicians as well as a slew of hip artists from other genres.

Grandson of well known accordion builder Larry Miller, Blake has been surrounded by Cajun music and culture his entire life. Hailing from the small town of Iota Louisiana, Blake, a fluent french speaker and songwriter, managed to acquire a degree in Francophone studies from The University Of Louisiana at Lafayette, and in the mean time founded the popular young Cajun band The Pine Leaf Boys and became a member of the premiere Louisiana roots band The Red Stick Ramblers. He has also served stints in just about every other cajun/creole band of note including Balfa Toujours, Les Malfecteurs, and Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole bringing his strong cultural identity and accomplished musicianship to the world.

Here’s a video of Ed and Blake having a good time off-stage!

Handsome Family

Handsome Family

Mt. Taylor Stage: 9:30 pm

Enter the dark forest of The Handsome Family. This is haunting and beautiful music— brilliant, emotionally-charged and totally unique.

The Handsome Family is a 20-year songwriting collaboration between husband and wife, Brett (music) and Rennie Sparks (words). Their lyrics and music are very intense, highly descriptive and full of meticulously-researched narrative and exhilarating musical re-imaginings of everything from Appalachian holler, psychedelic rock, Tin Pan Alley and medieval ballad. Of course you don’t have to be a music historian to love these songs. They are full of romantic longing for nature’s mysterious beauty and the tiny wonders of everyday life. They pair sweet melody with sad harmony, love poetry with dark beats. This is music that makes you shiver and cry, but also makes you happy to be alive.

The Handsome Family’s music and lyricism has always attracted intellectual and devoted fans. Their songs are frequently covered by many notable artists including Jeff Tweedy, Andrew Bird, Kelly Hogan and Christy Moore. Their work has garnered praise from Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and an unnamed singer on American Idol.

A live review by Mike Ritchie in The Scotsman noted, “There’s a lot of smiling at this gig, on and off stage. That might surprise many people who have only read about the duo’s penchant for songs riddled with darkness, death and the macabre. But Rennie Sparks and her husband, Brett are funny live...through their chit-chat, the song introductions and the banter with the audience...this sell-out show was a knockabout celebration of the deadpan, a real joy... Rennie’s words plus Brett’s music and strong, mellow vocals create a magical potion of grim fairytales in a rock and blues pot with grinning unavoidable.”

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Cathy Barton and Dave Para

Cathy Barton and Dave Para

Jemez Stage: 11:30 am
Sandia Stage: 6:30 pm

Cathy Barton and Dave Para are popular and experienced musicians from Missouri whose dynamic performances are acclaimed for their variety and expertise in both vocal and instrumental styles. Their repertoire and informal audience rapport are marked by a special affection for traditional music.

Their more than 35 years of playing together have taken them to festivals, clubs, concert halls, schools and recording and media studios across the United States and five European tours. Their audiences are as diverse as their repertoire.

Their music ranges from hard-driving stringband music to contemplative ballads and airs. They have a knack for finding unusual, rarely heard songs from traditional and contemporary sources in their home region, but also from elsewhere in the US and Europe. They have conducted many topical workshops on songs from the Carter family, the Civil War, river lore, gospel, children's songs, Christmas music and Ozark ballads.

Recognized master of the frailing banjo style Cathy has twice won the Tennessee Old-Time Banjo Championship. The late Roy Acuff often called her his "favorite banjo player" because her playing reminded him of earlier country music sounds. Cathy can also be credited for some of the growing interest in the hammered dulcimer in the Midwest. In the mid-1970s, she introduced it to the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kan., and has since provided a number of current players with their first hearing of the instrument.

While earning college and graduate degrees in humanities and folklore, Cathy worked as an assistant folklorist at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark. She also toured with Ramona (Mrs. Grandpa) Jones and played at her dinner theater there for a number of seasons.

Dave Para took his sister's guitar to classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music in his hometown Chicago and rekindled his childhood interest in folk music. While attending college in Cathy's hometown of Columbia, Mo., Dave managed the Chez Coffeehouse, a focal point of folk music in Central Missouri for 20 years. There he started accompanying several fiddlers and began playing in local string bands. He has since been noted often for his expert and distinctive back-up guitar style.

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Spencer & Rains

Sandia Stage: 3:30 pm
Mt. Taylor Stage: 7:30 pm

Spencer & Rains play old time music. Tricia Spencer is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old-time music from her Grandparents. At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars. While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and fiddling contest throughout the Midwest and hanging around listening and learning from Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnet, Lymon Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters in old-time and is highly sought after as a performer, dance fiddler, and instructor. Howard Rains is a native Texas artist and fiddler living in both Austin, TX and Lawrence, KS whose twin obsessions are painting and playing traditional American fiddle music. Howard plays rare, old tunes learned from friends, family and old recordings. His release “The Old Texas Fiddle” reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. The New York Times has called Howard “an authority on old Texas-style fiddling.” As much known for his painting as his fiddling, Howard has painted many of great old time musicians, both living and gone.

Together, Spencer & Rains play old time fiddle tunes and sing old songs in the style of their home states while also exploring other American regional styles. Both multi-instrumentalists deeply absorbed in traditional music, Howard and Tricia preserve, present, and teach old time music while at the same time making it their own. Not only do they love to play dances, festivals, and house concerts, Spencer & Rains are sought after as instructors and love to teach old time music at camps, workshops, and private lessons.

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Sandia Stage: 12:30 pm
Jemez Stage: 8:30 pm

Lauded as "sparkling" and “exhilarating.” If you haven't heard them yet, it won't take you four beats to realize that this isn't just any ordinary folk band. Sweet vocals and virtuosic fiddling coupled with driving rhythm and snappy guitar solos make for a thrilling musical experience in genres that span many continents. Declared “guitar genius” by Sing Out Magazine, Larry Unger combines talent with exciting and versatile young violinist Eden MacAdam-Somer whose classical and jazz background merges with Larry's driving style to push the envelope towards swing, blues and Gypsy modes. Come see how many ways they can “metamorphosize 64 beats!”

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Run Boy Run

Run Boy Run

Sandia Stage: 4:30 pm
Jemez Stage: 7:30 pm

Existing comfortably in the tension between tradition and the musical frontier, Tucson five piece Run Boy Run blends bluegrass, folk and the old timey American vernacular with touches of classical and turn of the century details. Their new album Something to Someone, on Sky Island Records, has been praised by the likes of Performer Magazine, All Music Guide, PopMatters, Tucson Weekly, and others. The album was recorded at historic Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, Washington with producers Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Johnny Flynn) and Jerry Streeter (Brandi Carlile, Elephant Revival), whose attention to detail shines in Run Boy Run's multi-voiced, and multi-stringed arrangements. It's no surprise that the band counts Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and renowned Irish fiddler Kevin Burke among their growing legion of fans.

The band is brother and sister Matt Rolland (fiddle, guitar) and Grace Rolland (cello, vocals), sisters Bekah Sandoval Rolland (fiddle, vocals) and Jen Sandoval (mandolin, vocals) and bass player Jesse Allen. With three strong female voices, singing separately or in harmony, and deeply rooted familial connection to traditional American music, Run Boy Run didn't come lately to their sound; it's in their collective blood.

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Jemez Stage: 1:30 pm

Named ‘Best Group/Duo’ in the 2014 International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA’s), acoustic-duo Ryanhood got their first break more than a decade ago as street-performers at Boston’s Quincy Market. It was there that they were spotted by a college booking agent and thrust into the college touring scene, where Campus Activities Magazine would name them “one of the most requested acts by college buyers all across the country.” They’ve since gone on to perform more than 800 shows in 42 U.S. states over the past decade and have shared stages with Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson, Train, American Authors, and have even been tweeted about by Ellen DeGeneres.

Cameron Hood’s rich and folky lead vocals, Ryan Green’s explosive guitar and mandolin riffs, and their airtight vocal harmonies prompted the Arizona Daily Star to call them, “a match made in radio heaven.”

Their fifth and newest album, Start Somewhere, finds the band returning to the intimate storytelling and acoustic guitar interplay that was a hallmark of their early work as buskers. They currently reside in their hometown of Tucson, AZ, where they have won more than a dozen Tucson Music Awards including “Best Folk Band” and “Best Rock Band” (you can decide for yourself which is most accurate).

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Zuni Mountain Boys

Mt. Taylor Stage: 3:30 pm

The Zuni Mountain Boys are an Americana duo based out of Brooklyn, NY. Connor McGinnis and Matt Campbell formed the group in early 2014. They recorded their first EP in East Nashville in late May over two days, and released it in August 2014. The five song EP consists predominantly of two acoustic guitars, and two part harmonies with Connor singing the leads, and Matt accompanying. Dobro and piano are the only other accents on the recording, leaving the sound spare, with little more than is necessary to deliver the song. The lyrics hesitate to dip into the abstract, and instead paint the sound with ordinary images that allow the listener to arrive at something larger on their own.

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Truckstop Honeymoon

Sandia Stage: 2:30 pm

Hollering with all their hearts over a five string banjo and a doghouse bass, Truckstop Honeymoon live the life they sing about. Touring across three continents with four kids and a truck load of songs, Katie and Mike West tell stories about the strangeness of everyday life. Their music combines elements of bluegrass, music hall jazz and straight up rock’n’roll. Vaudevillian wit and showmanship spike their energetic live shows, while the fearless honesty of their songs touches the hearts of listeners around the world.

Truckstop Honeymoon’s story begins in New Orleans, where Katie played wash-tub bass and blues piano in the streets of the French Quarter. There she met Mike, who slung a banjo and sold his CDs to tourists as a curative for hangovers and small mindedness. After a court house wedding, they hit the road together. They spent their wedding night in a truck stop somewhere between Lafayette and the Atchafalaya Swamp. There Truckstop Honeymoon was born.

In 2005 Mike and Katie’s home and recording studio (the 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor) were washed away by hurricane Katrina. After a few months of living out of their van, they took their young family to the midwest music mecca of Lawrence, Kansas. Here they quickly established a reputation not only as a band, but also as producers of other recording artists. They rebuilt their studio, while continuing to tour Australia, Europe and the US. They even founded the first (and only) annual Mardi Gras parade in Kansas.

The music of Truckstop Honeymoon tells a story that is sometimes ferociously funny, sometimes bitterly sad, but always affecting and believable.

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Jimmy Abraham

Jemez Stage: 10:30 am

I was raised in Austin, the Oklahoma Panhandle, and New Mexico, and actually went ahead and grew up in Colombia.

My musical influences begin around age four, with an old tube radio under my bed in Austin playing the Eddie Arnold Show, then some singing in church, and onward through early blues records from the cheap bin at KMart, two years of the lovely vallenata music of Colombia, and several years of Outlaw Country in the company of lawyer friends. And then bluegrass and old time.

This all boiled down to an eclectic sensibility, a love of words and acoustic guitar and harmonica.

As a lyricist, my influences come from a lifetime of reading - a B.A. in English Literature, a Masters in Hispanic Literatures - and the poems and songs that have touched me.

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Adobe Brothers

Jemez Stage: 3:30 pm

The Adobe Brothers is an eclectic group of identical quadruplets that play a wide variety of acoustic music including bluegrass, Celtic, old-timey, Latin folk music and western swing — a composite style they refer to as “international bluegrass.”

Their tunes include compositions by members of the band, classics by some of the best-known acoustic musicians of this century, some of the most obscure tunes and songs written by folks nobody’s ever heard of, and new music by emerging performers.

They’ve been playing together for more than 30 years and have performed throughout New Mexico and the Southwest. The band has received awards for their performances and individual band members have won awards for their compositions and instrumental ability.

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Alan Acuff

Mt. Taylor Stage:

Alan Acuff was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1953. He spent his childhood years in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and then with his Gibson guitar and his mom’s old US Navy duffel bag in hand, he headed west. Al presently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico in a small pueblo style home surrounded by pines and aspens and filled with guitars.

Al’s fingerstyle guitar playing and his deep baritone voice compliment each other well, and his wry humor provides an upbeat counterpoint to the blues and ballads he performs. You can find him pickin’ and grinnin’ at concert venues, cafes, bars and hotels throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

By the way if he looks familiar to you, it might be because Al has appeared in several national TV commercials. He has also opened for Bonnie Raitt in concert and has produced advertising jingles for Anheuser-Busch. Presently he is working on a recording project.

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The Anslovers

Unplugged Outlet: 2:30 pm

Emily, John, and Jamie Anslover have been entertaining ABQ audiences for 10 years, and they have earned their place among the top local Bluegrass bands. They make a joyful noise that makes you want to stand up and applaud and sing along.

Three siblings with harmonies that are unique to them, with influences of Cash, Cline, Seger, and Bob Wills. The younger two back Emily's fiddle with expertise and smooth rhythm.

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Bill Hearne Trio

Mt. Taylor Stage: 4:30 pm

Bill Hearne has been performing in the southwest for over 45 years, 33 of those years with his wife, Bonnie Hearne. Bill and Bonnie have two nationally distributed albums, with Diamonds In The Rough, produced by noted Nashville producer, Jim Rooney, reaching #5 on Americana chart in 1998. Bill has continued on as Bonnie has retired with health considerations, doing songs by some of his dear friends and favorite singer/songwriters. Bill, with along with Don Richmond, (Rifters), has recorded three solo CD's, with the newest, Bill Hearne & Friends/All That's Real, released in late 2014. It's tough to put Bill in one bag, but he calls his music a blend of Texas roadhouse, Americana, with a splash of bluegrass. His influences include Ian Tyson, Doc Watson, Buck Owens, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, etc.

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Cactus Tractor Photo by Kate Burns Photography

Cactus Tractor

Jemez Stage: 9:30 pm

Cactus Tractor is a ten-person Bohemian Pop Folk Disco (beau-pop-faux-disc) band based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with four songwriters, toothsome harmonies, and a multitude of fun stringed and unstrung instruments. These include, but are not limited to, the hula horn (invented by Christy), the musical saw (which is dangerous), the violin (which is also dangerous if you're standing just to the left), the accordion (which is heavy), the charango (which attracts a lot of attention despite its small stature—much like its player, Stef!), buckets-and-buckets-full of harmonicas (which often fall on the ground and cause great consternation), frogs (which croak when struck with a stick—try it out!), and tea towels (which, laid artfully over a snare drum, make for a proper English quiet-funky kit sound).

We love playing farmers’ markets, house shows, cafes, beer gardens, petting zoos, clothing swaps, nursing homes, and just about anyplace we will find teenagers uncomfortable to be with their parents. As of late, teens have reluctantly toe-tapped to our tunes at the New Mexico Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (showcased band), the Albuquerque Folk Festival*, the Tricklock Theater Company’s Reptilian Lounge (house band), Road to Rich’s Tie Dye Festival, the Albuquerque BioPark (botanic gardens and petting zoo), the Downtown Growers’ Market, a Skarsgard Farms “Folk Circus,” the Albuquerque Mennonite Church, the Regency Nursing Home in Springfield, IL (actually there were not that many teens there, but keep reading), the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, and countless coffee shops, restaurants, and—for those peeking in the window—bars.

Formed in 2012 to perform a concert of songs written by adult artists with developmental disabilities (co-written by Stef), Cactus Tractor is committed to fostering musical community in Albuquerque not only through performing but also through outreach and education. Our first, only, and best album—Cactus Tractor—was funded by a successful Kickstarter Campaign and is available on CD Baby and iTunes.

*Not exactly true. The concert tent blew away in a wind storm and the festival was canceled before we had a chance to play.

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Cali Shaw Band

Cali Shaw Band

Sandia Stage: 5:30 pm

New Mexico based Folk-Americana songwriter Cali Shaw is a rising talent in the southwestern U.S folk scene. From Austin, Los Angeles, to Santa Fe, Cali Shaw incorporates smart and personal lyrics, vintage Gibson guitars, exotic string instruments such as the Charango and Cuban Tres; that lend to an interesting twist on modern folk music.

When accompanied with his regular backing band, the Cali Shaw Band deliver dynamic and original performances which captivates and embraces people of all generations.

Cali Shaw Band members include: Cali Shaw on guitars and vocals, Nick Baker on vibraphones and accordion, Dan Spanogle on upright bass, and Josh English on drums.

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Coleman Academy of Irish Dance

Unplugged Outlet: 5:30 pm

The Coleman Academy of Irish Dance will give you a high-energy glimpse into traditional Irish Step dancing. Accompanied by fantastic traditional Irish music, these dancers will put on a high-stepping, toe-tapping show. Check them out at the Unplugged Outlet after you've joined them for a dance workshop upstairs at 4:30 in the Indoor Dance area.

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Dog Star

Sandia Stage: 10:30 am

A blend of popular numbers drawn from: classic folk, blues, Celtic, bluegrass, country western, southwest folk with a selection of original songs in the mix. Our presentation blends two and three part harmonies supported by guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, electric bass and percussion. We perform in lounges or restaurants, at special events or folk festivals, and concerts mostly for family audiences; however, we adjust our song list to fit the venue and audience. Dog Star has played sets from 30 minutes to 3 hours. We love to play for charity and other fundraisers as part of our commitment to the community of folk music. We call our music “Folk Fusion” and we try to share the absolute joy of folk music we have with every audience. Our CD is due out in 2015. Please visit our website and listen online; the website also has a partial list of tunes we do or have done at recent performances.

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East Mountain Serenaders

Mt. Taylor Stage: 1:30 pm

The members of the East Mountain Serenaders have been playing old time music informally together for over 25 years and as a band for four years. Jim Mullany started playing fiddle, guitar and banjo in high school in the 1970's and has played in many bands in Washington DC, Ann Arbor, New Mexico and for hundreds of dances over the years. Rob Pine has played fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin for over 30 years and has been writing tunes with Jim for almost as long. Jerry Page is a master instrument repairman, wrench collector and has played fiddle and guitar for over 30 years. Jim and Rob were featured on “Sweet Nell”, a CD of New Mexico original fiddle tunes. The band will be joined in performance by their wives and children who are all accomplished musicians and singers.

For more info: Facebook



Mt. Taylor Stage: 10:30 am

At once elemental and deeply satisfying, the pure vocal harmonies of the Silver City-based group Gleemaiden offer the listener a chance to revel in the beauty of the human voice. Kori Wilken, Elizabeth DeMoss, Wind Markham and Maria Casler have been singing together for about five years, but music has long been a part of each of their families. All mothers of young children, they know the comfort of an unaccompanied voice singing a lullaby, and have expanded this into a rich and delightful blend of four voices who now share their magic with the greater community.

While Gleemaiden has a wide and varied repertoire, all their songs—whether old or new—share a soulful quality that suggests a long musical tradition. Whether it's a familiar spiritual or a more modern song with rhythmic back-up vocals, the group adds their own organic style to everything they sing.

They skillfully weave between up-beat numbers and old favorites, providing both the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of the new. The joy and camaraderie the four share while singing is infectious, and you may not be able to resist singing along!


High Desert Dancers

Mt. Taylor Stage: 11:30 am

Formed in 1982, The High Desert Dancers is a New Mexico dance troupe dedicated to the promotion, exhibition, and fun of Southwestern dancing. The High Desert Dancers present a program that is guaranteed to excite and entertain any audience. The dances are as diverse as the Southwestern culture and include both the history and the humor of Southwestern dancing. During a colorful show, the dancers will kick, stomp, glide, and holler through Southwestern, Hispanic, American Folk and Western dances - plus a few surprises to boot!

For more info: Facebook

Timothy Hill

Timothy Hill

Jemez Stage: 2:30 pm

In a uniquely satisfying musical synthesis, singer/composer Timothy Hill weaves a natural purity of voice with threads of otherworldly abstract sound, blending seamlessly into a style that defies description. Having performed with such diverse artists as John Cage, Bill Frisell, Jeff Buckley, Odetta, Pete Seeger, Pauline Oliveros, and Madan Gopal Singh, it is no wonder that Hill's musical explorations span the genres of folk, jazz, world music, contemporary classical and improvisation.

As a member of David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir, he was a pioneer in the art of harmonic singing, prompting The New York Times critic Robert Palmer to praise Hill as "a virtuoso of the Tibetan chanting technique."

Hill has released three recordings of original songs - This Bright World, The Human Place, and Spirit's Body. He contributed to the Grammy-nominated spoken word with music collection Pete Seeger: The Storm King.

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Higher Ground Bluegrass

Higher Ground Bluegrass

Unplugged Outlet: 12:30 pm

Higher Ground Bluegrass was originally formed in 1998 by Ken "Duke" Weddington (banjo, guitar, mandolin &vocals), and the present line-up includes Fred Bolton (guitar & vocals), Dave Devlin (mandolin, dobro, & occasional guitar or anything else with strings), Laura Leach (upright bass & vocals), and Patrick Mahoney (fiddle & vocals). Together, they draw on a variety of musical influences to cover original, traditional, and contemporary genres ranging from bluegrass to blues to folk to country and even a bit of rock & roll.

Higher Ground Bluegrass has recorded four CDs: Bluegrass Classics (2013), Miles and Miles (2008), People Places Memories (2004), and Black and White – Faded and Torn (2001).

Higher Ground is also presenting a workshop on bluegrass harmonies at 11:30 am at Workshop 3. This workshop will cover some basics of singing as well as illustrating basic harmonies.

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Holy Water and Whiskey

Jemez Stage: 12:30 pm

Holy Water and Whiskey is an Albuquerque vocal trio that plays acoustic traditional, folk, cowboy, bluegrass, gospel, etc and some select “whiskey” tunes. The group bases its arrangements on solid and straightforward instrumental playing with a special focus on the vocal harmonies found in the songs that they play. They also enjoy having fun interacting with their audience in the genuine belief that music and laughter are universally healing.

The group consists of Maggie Washburne on bass, Scott Altenbach on guitar, and Bruce Washburne on guitar and banjo. Bruce and Maggie met in a band in Hawaii in 1977, were married, and have been playing music together ever since. In 2003 they started singing with Scott, Colorado native and musician, and Holy Water and Whiskey was formed.

Since that time, they have played at over 300 private and public events in New Mexico, Colorado, California, Arizona, Wisconsin and Iowa. Their past performances include appearances at the Albuquerque Folk Festival, The Elation Concert Series in Pagosa, CO, The Deming Performing Arts Theater, being the opening act for the Michael Martin Murphy Christmas Concert at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Arlo Gutherie at the Kimo in Albuquerque and many other performance venues. They all got their start playing and performing during the folk movement of the 60’s, and their musical tastes have evolved since then to include many other acoustic styles. Their first CD Better Late than Never reflects these varied interests. Their second CD Spirits of All Kinds was released in July of 2008 and it continues their tradition of fine harmony singing and an eclectic and interesting selection of songs. Their third CD Miners, Outlaws, and Other Relatives was released in December, 2010 and was nominated for five 2011 NM Music Association Awards, won in two categories. They are currently working on a fourth CD to be released in the summer of 2015.

Audiences say that they particularly enjoy the close and sweet harmonies in their songs as well as the variety of songs and the human stories that those songs tell. They also enjoy the delightful jokes that they tell, and the friendly rapport that they create with the audience. Their beautifully rendered bluegrass gospel tunes and other tunes with spiritual themes sometimes earn them invitations to perform at church events, but they are just as much at home playing those and their other tunes at pubs, festivals, parties, fund raisers and other concert settings.

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Howl & Pine

Mt. Taylor Stage: 5:30 pm

For Howl & Pine, there's few things finer than 1950s/60s R&B and Soul, and early American rock ’n’ roll. Largely focused on the lesser known catalogue and incredible vocalists of the Goldwax Label, along with the early rock ’n’ roll music of East L.A., Howl & Pine harkens back to when searing vocals and an infectious backbeat reigned supreme.

For more info: Facebook


The Khans

Unplugged Outlet: 3:30 pm

The Khans inhabit Albuquerque, New Mexico. We plunder music from around the world for our own enjoyment and the enjoyment of those we meet. We bring our musical booty to gatherings of all types including concerts, parties, weddings, etc. Our repertoire includes classical and modern music from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel, Iran, Turkey, and the United States.

For more info: Facebook


La Rondalla

Mt. Taylor Stage: 12:30 pm

We make music from New Mexico, México and Latin America come alive via harp, guitar, guitarron, vihuela, jarana, violin, mandolin, manjo-uke (mandolin/banjo/ukelele) and voice!

Musical Director: Otilio Ruiz de Xalapa, Veracruz

For more info: Facebook


Nat and Flo’s Gutter Gospel

Unplugged Outlet: 1:30 pm

Fire and brimstone never sounded so good. Nat and Flo's Gutter Gospel plays music that's tragically American. Faith and failure. Belief and booze. Based more or less on somebody or other's true story.

Nat and Flo lean on the old timey tradition like a sturdy crutch. Nat grew up on the open Minnesota prairie, the son of poor, God-fearing tenant farmers. His wanderlust carried him off the family spread and from coast to coast living out of a guitar case.

Flo, an orphan from birth, knows no blood kin and grew up in a traveling tent show under the care of a pentecostal preacher with a taste for cheap bourbon.

Folklore has it that a young Nat secretly traded his neighbor a good laying hen for an old guitar. When his papa found the hen missing, the youth was threatened with a lashing but his sweet guitar sounds soothed the angry elder and Nat got to keep the guitar, which he made good use of by playing locally at church functions and late night hootenannies.

Having met in a halfway house for wayward drifters, Nat and Flo found they shared a strong tie to the country roots lineage and took to the road.

Their sets include numbers from the lesser-known side of Appalachia — obscure tunes penned by 19th-century preachers and brought into glory by once-popular brothers duos like the Blue Sky Boys, the Stanley, Monroe, Delmore and Louvin brothers. Others by the likes of the Carter Family, Grayson and Whitter, and the Georgia Yellow Hammers. There's not a song in the show that's less than 60 years old. Well, except for one or two by Prince.

While most of these tunes preach salvation, it's no simple matter. Yes, these are tales of struggles to make sense of death and suffering, struggles to keep a good head in a bad world. But they are also the theme songs of hillbilly heroes who sing sweet about God's grace only to spend the rest of the night chasing girls in an alcohol- and pill- fueled tear. This ain't Sunday school. It's road weary tales straight from life's hard side, and straight from the hearts & souls of our musical ancestry.

Contemporary bluegrass outfits find their roots in the same fertile soil, but go to great lengths to avoid the God stuff. Nat and Flo's Gutter Gospel unearths these songs without shame, dusts them off, and puts a spit shine on them for posterity.

For more info: Facebook

New Mexico Special Orchestra

New Mexico Special Orchestra

Mt. Taylor Stage: 2:30 pm

Special Orchestra®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to help persons with developmental disabilities share in the joy of making music. Using similarly tuned instruments (key of C), special orchestras can start playing right away! The New Mexico Special Orchestra, the pioneer ensemble of Special Orchestra, Inc., has been helping people with special needs make music since 1999. At we share adaptive music techniques developed here in New Mexico, globally.

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Polyphony Marimba of Santa Fe

Polyphony Marimba

Out Front: 10:30 am

Polyphony Marimba is a nationally touring marimba ensemble based in Santa Fe, NM. Formed in 2010, their music vibrantly conveys a deeply personal contemporary sensibility, while drawing from the ancient rhythms and melodies of southern Africa. Touched by the compelling beauty of Zimbabwean music, songs of this region are always part of the set. Their goal is to be true to the music, while giving it their own voice and extending the tradition with other musical influences.

In their short history, they have logged more than 200 gigs throughout the eastern U.S. Reaching thousands of new fans who invariably respond with a surprised and joyous appreciation of their music, they have sold over 2,000 copies of their debut CD “Polyphony Marimba”. Performance highlights include: headliner at Zimfest 2012 in Moscow, Idaho; performances in Washington Sq. and Harlem, New York, return gigs at Joe’s Cafe in St. Louis, and attracting huge crowds busking in Asheville, NC, Washington D.C. and even the Chicago Zoo!

Polyphony Marimba’s founder and leader, Peter Swing, first experienced marimba music in 1987 attending a marimba concert in Portland, Oregon. Soon afterward he attended his first workshop with the Zimbabwean teacher Dr. Dumisani Maraire. Maraire was not primarily interested in teaching the traditional songs of his people: he challenged people of non-African heritage to understand the music from the inside out, and play as Africans do. He said, “In order to play our music properly, you must live it.” Swing immediately responded to this profound approach; within five years he was teaching the music himself, and directing Boka Marimba, the band in which he learned the music. In 1996 Swing moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to begin the life of a full time musician. As a marimba teacher and instrument builder he and his family began attracting many people to the joyous and fun music of Zimbabwe. This led to the formation of several bands and classes, out of which the members of Polyphony Marimba emerged. His son Raven Swing, having grown up in the music, now plays a leading role musically and contributes original compositions to the band’s repertoire.

For the last 15 years, Karyna Boyce, the band’s booking agent and singer, has been immersed in marimba, drum and dance of Africa. Harlin Pierce spent his twelfth birthday performing with Bobby McFerrin; on his fifteenth he was in the recording studio with Polyphony Marimba. Currently studying seven different instruments—and playing them well—his favorite is the marimba. His father Anton Pierce, a recent addition to the band, has a deep history in music. Beginning as a lead singer in a rock band in college, he moved through many musical idioms, including directing several choirs. Eric Bauer, a long-time player of the mbira music of Zimbabwe, brings a deep understanding of this tradition to the band, having spent time in Zimbabwe studying with masters such as Tute Chigamba. Keenan McDonald has been playing marimba since he was 7 years old, being first drawn to it when he was a toddler hearing marimba classes at a nearby church. Jaden Rivers and Dylan Moon both got their start with classes Peter was teaching at their school: their inate musical ability combined with a strong desire to play marimbas at a professional level, landed them a position in Polyphony Marimba.

Polyphony Marimba emerges from a village environment, and this is reflected in its unique multi-generational membership. In the village too, musical instruments are built by master craftsmen; so in this band Swing has crafted a new set of marimbas, the first in North America in the key of E flat. Maraire considered his students to be pioneers, both carrying forward the traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe as well as writing their own songs. Polyphony Marimba is the embodiment of this. In spite of— or maybe because of— persistent challenges, their music is stronger than ever and they are excited to share it around the world with anyone ready to hear, dance and join in with the uplifting experience they create.

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The Rebbe’s Orkestra

Sandia Stage: 1:30 pm

Incorporating the sounds and rhythms of Jewish music from many parts of the world, The Rebbe’s Orkestra brings a unique style to Klezmer–the secular Jewish instrumental dance music of Eastern Europe. The band’s repertoire also includes instrumental pieces from the Middle-East, folk songs in Yiddish, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), Hebrew, Russian, Arabic and Romanes (the language of the Roma/ Gypsies), Israeli folk dance tunes, traditional fiddle tunes and songs from New Mexico, as well as traditional music from the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Recording and performing professionally throughout the southwest since 1996, The Rebbe’s Orkestra has been exploring the ways in which Jewish people have interacted with surrounding musical traditions over the centuries to produce music which is uplifting, beautiful and unique. From Spain to Iraq, Poland to the Mediterranean: The Rebbe's Orkestra plays tunes and songs as widely divergent as the geography and yet with surprisingly similar themes. The band released its first CD Klezmer y mas in 2010 to widespread acclaim. In addition to playing for hundreds-maybe thousands!!- of weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, the group has performed at Globalquerque, The Outpost Performance Space, KlezmerQuerque, The Crestone Music Festival (Colorado), and at many festivals and theaters including in Texas and Arizona.

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The Rifters

The Rifters

Indoor Dance: 7:30 pm

The Rifters formed in 2002 in the fertile and creative music scene of Taos, New Mexico from members of two popular bands already active in the area. Jim Bradley and Don Richmond of Hired Hands, and Rod Taylor of the Rounders, who had all known one another for years playing in the acoustic dance-oriented Americana music scene of northern New Mexico, decided to join forces to form The Rifters. Putting out more music than it seems should be right for three guys on stage, the Rifters employ a wide range of acoustic and electric instruments, combined with soaring three-part harmonies, to provide a mesmerizing variety of music from driving blue-grama-grass to ethereal desert beauty. The years of playing to the dance crowds in their northern New Mexico homeland has given their music a toe-tapping rhythm that is engaging and undeniable. With a pedigree of bands like Hired Hands, the Rounders, and South by Southwest among them, the Rifters are truly a musical voice of their region of high desert vistas and mountain majesty.

And just what sort of music do The Rifters play? From the liner notes to their self-titled first CD, released in July of 2004 on Howlin’ Dog Records: “It’s music that comes from where we come from – both from the high desert and mountain landscape of our home and from the background and experiences of our lives – sort of a laid-back high-energy gentle giant old blue-buffalo-grama-grassy, cowboy, folky, shake-a-leg with a smile sort of thing. A rift is a split or a gap, sort of the like the Rio Grande Rift that we all live on or around. But this music is more about bridging gaps. For us the music is what ties all the different times and places together. We hope you enjoy it.”

The Rifters released their second CD The Great River in 2011 which has been enthusiastically received by fans, friends, and critics alike. It’s a collection of both original tunes and songs by other writers that the Rifters have put their own stamp on and made their own.

In May of 2013 the band released a live CD, titled Live at the Sagebrush, featuring songs recorded over a period of a year at one of their favorite haunts, the Sagebrush Inn in Taos, New Mexico. From the liner notes of the CD - “Three voices and three sets of hands playing various combinations of instruments form the sound of the Rifters, captured here just as it comes off the stages of the “clubs along the Sangre de Cristo” to quote an Eliza Gilkyson song. And for decades, the Sagebrush Inn in Taos, New Mexico has been a place where you could hear the southwestern folk-Americana music of northern New Mexico, and also a place where you could see the dancers that form such a part of the ecology of the vibrant area music scene. The Rifters have played there regularly since their formation in 2002 and for many years before in their former bands The Rounders and Hired Hands. We decided to record our shows at the Sagebrush through 2012 and early 2013 with the idea of releasing a live album that carries a hint of the energy that happens there.”

The Rifters are:

Rod Taylor on guitar, mandolin, and vocals. Rod lives in Cimarron, New Mexico and is also head of cattle operations at Philmont Ranch. In other words, he doesn’t just look like a cowboy. Although Rod is well known for playing traditional western music at cowboy poetry gatherings, his musical influences run from The Beatles to The Allman Brothers to old blues to Willis Alan Ramsey and back again. Rod’s rich lead vocals provide one of the most immediately recognizable elements of The Rifters’ distinctive sound.

Jim Bradley on bass and vocals. Jim is a long-time Taos resident and is a native New Mexican, born in Las Cruces. Jim’s powerful rhythmic and percussive playing provide the pulse for The Rifters’ energetic acoustic rhythms. He has played his Fender bass from Alaska to Manhattan and many places in between, from the mountain bars to the big festival stages with touring national acts. Jim holds down many of the high harmony vocals in the Rifters’ rich vocal arrangements, and with the release of “The Great River” has begun to stretch out into some lead vocals.

Don Richmond on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, pedal steel guitar, harmonica, accordion, trumpet and vocals. Don was a founding member of the near-legendary Colorado band Tumbleweed (1973 – 1990) and the Colorado-New Mexico band Hired Hands (1992). Don lives in Alamosa, Colorado and also owns and operates Howlin’ Dog Recording, one of the most respected acoustic-oriented recording studios in the region, and has appeared on dozens of recordings by many of the region’s top artists, as well as numerous projects under his own name and with his former bands. Don’s multi-instrumental skills help provide the variety and excitement audiences enjoy in a Rifters’ performance. He also covers lead and harmony vocals.

The Rifters are at home at a barn dance with the hay and the horses, in a mountain town bar or honky-tonk, or on a festival or concert stage. Their choice of moving and powerful material, both original and by others, their impeccable musicianship, and their strong three part vocal arrangements combine to make The Rifters a crowd-pleasing musical experience.

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Sandia Stage: 7:30 pm

Rumelia weaves an intricate and mesmerizing blend of contemporary and traditional folk elements in their sultry arrangements of Balkan, Roma, Turkish, Greek and Sephardic tunes. Rumelia is a group of women putting a new spin on music from eastern Europe, a region generally known as the Balkans. Founded in 2010 as a trio, Rumelia happily became a quartet in 2014 when Alysha Shaw permanently joined the group. Nicolle Jensen and Alysha Shaw's earlier group, Rusalki, was a scintillating blend of five women's voices in close harmonies. Deborah Ungar and Sitara Schauer bring forth modern instrumentation in traditional tunes of the Balkan peninsula with finesse and style. A gamut of hand percussion round out the group's sound. You will be up and out of your seat for these four women of Rumelia!

Rumelia comes from the word “Rumeli” meaning “Land of the Romans,” a Turkish word used to describe the Southern Balkan region. The music is unique to the western ear in that it uses odd time signatures (5/8, 7/8, 9/8, and 11/8), close harmonies, as well as eastern scales (maqamat) and tonalities. Rumelia’s repertoire is derived from traditional and popular tunes of Albania, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria, to name a few.

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Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band

Unplugged Outlet: 4:30 pm

Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band is a band of whimsy and unbridled glandulosity. It’s a band that will make you reconsider how grossed out you are about the endocrine system. Sage plays ukulele. Jared plays upright bass. Their glistening songs of mundanity, desecration, celebration, and perspiration appear on their CD, Flooded Away. They make videos and upload them to YouTube. You should watch them. They're pretty fun.

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Unplugged Outlet: 11:30 am

Saoirse, whose name means "Freedom" in Irish Gaelic, has been entertaining New Mexico audiences since 2004. They play a "Celtic Eclectic" mix of traditional and contemporary songs and tunes from the eight Celtic Nations of Europe and their worldwide diaspora. Inspired by bands such as Lunasa, Dervish, Solas, Kila, Old Blind Dogs, and Nuar Na Lubre, Saoirse crafts fine arrangements of skilled instrumentals with vocals that range from playful to downright haunting. They are always finding new musical surprises to delight their audiences and continually seek to expand the Celtic genre. Saoirse has produced 2 CDs, "Celtic Eclectic" (2007) and "Rigs" (2012).

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Squash Blossom Boys

Sandia Stage: 8:30 pm

The traditional, yet contemporary, Squash Blossom Boys bring together a mix of old time, Cajun, and driving bluegrass music. Versed in jazz improvisation and music arrangement, the band creates a unique sound that explores the roots and boundaries of Americana. The band’s stylistic versatility lends itself to the demands of multiple audiences. Since their inception, they have played at festivals, pubs, restaurants, farmer’s markets and weddings. The music of the Squash Blossom Boys can be readily accommodated for pleasant easy listening, as well as upbeat, lively atmospheres.

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Zoltan Orkestar

Mt. Taylor Stage: 8:30 pm

Zoltan Orkestar is an Albuquerque-based group that plays songs about Cheese, Peeping Toms, and underpants — just about anything that floats our fancy, really. We are as ferocious as a pack of rabid dogs, we even foam at the mouth. One listen and all your problems will be cured, you will feel as powerful as any eastern European dictator, and you will be adored by everyone around you in a 100 foot radius.

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For more performers, see the schedule for all four stages.