Music

Happy tunes, happy people

Revamped Katy P and the Business to keep it fun at this week’s Taos Plaza Live

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A solid party group and a perennial Taos favorite, Katy P and the Business is a band that’s all about having a good time.

Katy P and the Business is the featured band at this week’s Taos Plaza Live concert at (you guessed it!) the historic Taos Plaza. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and lasts for two full hours Thursday (Aug. 17).

Katy P. is Katy Palmier, an award-winning singer who was named best female artist at the Southwest Independent Music Awards. She has provided vocals for a variety of Taos bands from Portuguese carnival to jazz, blues, gospel and now funk and rock. Palmier has also performed in musical theater pieces with Working Class Theater, including “The Wizard of Oz,” for which she donned a blue-and-white gingham dress to play the part of Dorothy.

The Business end of things is guitarist Ryan Beckwith and Norman Cutliff III. Beckwith is a 2009 graduate of the Berklee College of Music. Cutliff, aka NC3, is a professional studio and touring musician who has played with Superloose, Tabularasa and many more bands over the past two decades.

When asked what she has in mind for the Taos Plaza Live show, Palmier said, “Oh, just all of our best stuff – everything that’s gonna get people up and dancing, everything that is fun and funky.”

This past year, Katy P and the Business changed from a four-piece band to a trio. Since then, the group has been having fun creating a sound that is layered, with beats and tracks played on top of their live performance. “It gives it way more of a dance-y live club feel,” Palmier said.

Katy P and the Business is a group that covers high-energy songs by artists such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, Prince, Madonna and Beyoncé. The band also has fun with creative mashups. When choosing songs to play, everyone in the band contributes ideas.

“If somebody has an idea for a song, we’ll learn it and we’ll try it out,” Palmier said. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We have to see how it goes live and how the crowd responds. Sometimes we think it will be good and it’s a dud, but we keep looking for more. I personally look for a good beat, and it doesn’t have to be a fast beat, anything that’s really gonna get people dancing. I love a nice beat.”

Palmier also looks for songs that she can make her own – vocally. She prefers songs with a wide vocal range, and they need to have a strong emotional quality. From there, the group works its magic. Ultimately, the bandmates let their audiences decide if the song is a keeper for their permanent repertoire or not. If the crowd responds, they keep it. If not, they try out another. You could say that all of their songs are audience tested.

So, what keeps Palmier motivated to perform? “I just like seeing people enjoy themselves,” she said. “Happy, dancing; with everything going on right now, it’s nice to see people smiling. It helps. We’re just here to have fun. We’re a fun band.”

Palmier adds she is “totally psyched about Taos Plaza Live because it’s an early gig, it’s all ages, it’s family oriented and people get to come see it who normally wouldn’t be able to go. It’s a good community event.”

Following the Taos Plaza Live show, Katy P and the Business will be playing at Santa Fe’s Boxcar Saturday (Aug. 19). The band also has a regular “Ladies Night” gig at KTAOS Solar Center on Thursday evenings and will hit the Alley Cantina for a show on Aug. 25.

Katy P and the Business plays regularly in Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The band is also available to perform at private parties and weddings.

Taos Plaza Live is a summer concert series that takes place from May through August. The series is produced by the Taos County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local businesses.

The next Taos Plaza Live concert on Thursday (Aug. 24) showcases Take Two and Pete Martínez y Suave. Then, the final night of Taos Plaza Live for the 2017 season takes place on Aug. 31 with Big Swing Theory playing a full two-hour set.

For more information about Taos Plaza Live, call (575) 751-8800 or visit taoschamber.com/taos-plaza-live-music-schedule. All Taos Plaza Live concerts are free to the public. Concessions are sold during the family-friendly event and audiences are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

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