Music

Music designed to inspire and unite

Roots Rising tour brings its soulful, uplifting message to Taos stage

By Tamra Testerman
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 11/19/19

Roots Rising is an incredible, eclectic lineup of blues, soul, Latin and gospel infused voices that includes artists Matt Andersen, Gaby Moreno and Liz Vice, brought to Taos thanks to AMP Concerts. It happens Friday (Nov. 22), 7:30 p.m., at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

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Music

Music designed to inspire and unite

Roots Rising tour brings its soulful, uplifting message to Taos stage

Posted

Roots Rising is an incredible, eclectic lineup of blues, soul, Latin and gospel infused voices that includes artists Matt Andersen, Gaby Moreno and Liz Vice, brought to Taos thanks to AMP Concerts. It happens Friday (Nov. 22), 7:30 p.m., at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

The night promises to be an inspiring family event. Colette Labouff, the executive director of the TCA, said, "These three singer-songwriters bring unique voices and lyrics to Taos. We are glad to be working with AMP to make this happen."

No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music said this about soul, gospel R&B singer Liz Vice, one of the evening's featured performers: "Liz Vice walks the stony road to redemption, delivering tunes that celebrate the victory over the illusions that hold us down while acknowledging the heavy weight of self-doubt and missed opportunities for loving others that we bear."

Tempo caught up with the affable Vice on a tour stop in Sacramento, California. She had this to say about the concert, her songwriting and others, and the times in which we live.

The title of the Taos concert is Roots Rising. What does this mean to you?

The rise of a root means to break through a barrier that keeps something from the light. Can't be forced. Just a natural progression and it's an honor to tour with acts that are so talented.

We are living in a time where the lines between politics and religion seem blurred - some believe this is dividing us as a country. What are your thoughts?

It's tough. Believe me, I'm just as confused and frustrated as the rest. I believe that these issues have always been here. As a woman of color and also one who practices the faith of Jesus, I've experienced racism, sexism and oppression throughout my life. I don't know what's happening, but I hope that the dark practices of both politics and some who say they are religious are coming to the light. When everything is shaken, only truth, light and love remain.

We may be surprised that even those some have considered enemies for lack of knowledge will stand side by side proclaiming the message of love. I'm still learning the true meaning of love. Touring has brought me into spaces with various kinds of people and it's magical to create a space of safety for all people.

How do you find balance between practicing faith and sharing with those who don't want to be preached to?

Well, I'm learning to shut up when I need to. I'm learning that the first step to loving anyone is to listen. So, I sing my truth and experience with people without the pressure of trying to convince someone to believe what I believe. I can't save anyone. It is not my job. I think we are supposed to take care of each other.

What is your process as a songwriter? How do you know when a song is finished? How do you know when it works?

I'm the worst person to ask about the process. I wrestle with self-doubt for about an hour. Ask the heavens how did I write a whole record. Find someone to write with to hold my hand and then black out and boom - I complete a song. I have many incomplete songs that haunt me until they are freed by being completed and recorded.

Is there a song you think could be an anthem for the times we're in?

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" by Bob Dylan. My friend Jon introduced me to that song. This is the first song that comes to mind.

What makes a song stand the test of time?

I still feel so new but I believe that a good song transcends time, a song that remains honest. No agenda to be popular or cool but one that is honest.

Who, what, where inspires you?

People. I love to people watch. I love to hear people share stories whether it's in person or a movie or TV or a podcast or song. I'm a part of an incredible community called The Fold. Takes place in Nashville and the whole premise is to provide a safe space for people to write. Every time I'm with them I come out with a song that I'm proud of.

Can music save us?

I don't know if music can "save us," but I think it has a way of articulating what the human heart sometimes feels unable to speak. It's a form of #MeToo.

What can our Taos audience expect from the concert?

I'm pretty bossy. Don't give a middle child a mic. I hope that during our set people feel like themselves and safe. To feel at home. We sing. We dance. We sway together.

Tickets are $27 for tier 1 reserved seating; $17 for tier 2 reserved seating; and $10 reserved seating for children and students. They are available at ampconcerts.org or you can purchase by phone through Hold My Ticket at (505) 886-1251. For additional information, call the Taos Center for the Arts at (575) 758-2052.

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