Hot time in the city

Taos welcomes a phenomenal three days of over-the-top, off-the-wall musical amazement

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 7/2/19

For a summer that slowly simmered on low, the music scene in Taos gets cranked up to blazing hot this week as the Fourth of July Hometown Celebration finally launches with three days of …

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Hot time in the city

Taos welcomes a phenomenal three days of over-the-top, off-the-wall musical amazement

Posted

For a summer that slowly simmered on low, the music scene in Taos gets cranked up to blazing hot this week as the Fourth of July Hometown Celebration finally launches with three days of phenomenal music in the newly renovated Kit Carson Park at 211 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

From the big Independence Day free show featuring War, Ozomatli and Bones of Romeo to Lake Street Dive and Jake Shimabukuro, to a mind-searing show with headliners Los Lobos plus The Mavericks and Max Gomez, what’s a music fan to do?

Kick back, pop open a friendly beverage and bask in the utter fineness of a Taos summer day …

Celebrate Independence Day with War

Local rock stars Bones of Romeo and Ozomatli get the party started

Rising up once again, local boys Bones of Romeo are back and ready to kick off this year’s Fourth of July concert series.

Formed a few years back in Taos, Bones of Romeo has been the premier rock 'n' band in Taos and it's ready, once again, to bring their stellar songs to the main stage. Bones will be opening for Ozomatli and War for the free Fourth of July event at Kit Carson Park after nearly a year of hiatus.

“War has been one of my favorite bands since I was a kid,” said drummer Dave Koziol.

Koziol said he asked the town if the band could open up for War and soon after, they were in. The decision to get the band back together was an easy choice for the members who all had a common cause to play for – Koziol was undergoing cancer treatment.

After his diagnosis at the beginning of the year, founder David Garver said Koziol wanted to keep the band going. Rehearsing started about six months ago during Koziol’s chemotherapy treatments.

“We all felt like, ‘This guy is battling cancer and showing up wanting to rehearse,’ so I'm going to show up and be there,” Garver said laughing. “I think the music was part of his healing process.”

Through his treatment, the band not only supported Koziol, but kept on practicing as long as he was able to. The band grinded right through, stopping practices only for a week or so to make sure they were tight and more than ready for the show.

“I’m so lucky not to get sick through chemo,” Koziol said. “What a magical place Taos is. It’s a deeply spiritual place.”

Since they started rehearsing again, Garver said they have been getting asked to play a lot of gigs around the area and have been tightening the band’s sound in the process.

Bones of Romeo is a bare-bones rock 'n' roll band with stage presence that rocks as hard as their music. The band started as a jam session between Garver and lead guitar player Marcus Hall and they quickly recruited Koziol to play drums. The band added Sam Lucero to bring the thumping rhythms on the bass guitar.

“It was rock 'n' roll from the get-go,” Garver said. “We just started with the music that inspired us and the music that we loved.”

The group has played venues around Taos and have even shared the stage for Taos Plaza Live in past years. They have a handful of original songs and perform covers of classic rock hits from over the ages.

In addition, many of the members have side projects and other bands that have toured across the U.S. and recorded numerous songs and various material.

While not the first time playing the stage at Kit Carson Park, Bones are excited to have the opportunity to share the stage with some of the definitive music of a generation.

“We’re feeling relaxed and well-rehearsed,” said Garver. “I don’t think Bones of Romeo has ever sounded better.”

Bones will play for about an hour before giving way to Ozomatli and War. With the grooving rock 'n' sounds of Bones, it only made sense to put them on the same stage as legends like War.

War gained national fame in the 1970s with former frontman Eric Burdon as they put out hits like "Spill the Wine." After Burdon’s departure, the band continued to deliver music to a fan base that stretched across the U.S.

Founding member Leroy Jordan still plays keyboards for the band and War continues to play their hits from across their discography.

L.A. legends Ozomatli will also return to Taos to rock the stage by giving dancers the chance to sway and boogie. The Latin-influenced group goes on before War in what could be the biggest free show of the year for Taos.

Doors for the event open at 4 p.m. and music starts a 4:30. This is a family-friendly, all-ages event to celebrate the Fourth of July. Don’t forget the blanket, lawn chairs and picnic baskets and be sure to stay for the fireworks display after the show.

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