Hard times call for creative thinking. Hats off to both Seco Live and Taos Mesa Brewing for meeting the challenge, in support of local music.Seco Live has teamed up with Roots & Wires Presents, …
Hard times call for creative thinking. Hats off to both Seco Live and Taos Mesa Brewing for meeting the challenge, in support of local music.
Seco Live has teamed up with Roots & Wires Presents, KNCE True Taos Radio 93.5FM and Rolling Still to produce and broadcast live music shows by Taos musicians. Taos Mesa Brewing has reenvisioned their live music venue, and created TMB-TV, which will broadcast live shows from the TMB Mothership through their website.
I spoke with John Henderson of Seco Live and Jayson Wylie of Taos Mesa Brewing to learn more about what they are doing and why.
Henderson explained that Arroyo Seco Live Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit that raises money every year for its live shows in the village of Arroyo Seco. This year, Henderson was planning to bring out New Orleans' Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band on June 14, but unfortunately, the show was canceled due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Henderson said, Seco Live will be using their funds to support local musicians. Every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. and every Saturday night at 8 p.m., Arroyo Seco Live is broadcasting a different Taos band or musical artist from its Facebook page for the Taos Stay-at-Home Live Music Series. The musicians are invited by Roots & Wires Presents, and paid by Seco Live. Audience members are encouraged to tip the musicians at secolive.org/give. Videos stay up on the Seco Live Facebook page, and can be viewed at any time.
Henderson said, "We're trying to make the lineup as diverse as Taos is, and mix it up." He said they are also focusing on musicians who have a connection with the village of Arroyo Seco. Right now, musicians are booked through the end of May. The shows may go into June.
Henderson said, "We'll see how it unfolds."
"The goal is primarily to support local musicians. There are a lot of great, talented musicians in our community. This money that we have is supposed to be for musicians, and for the village of Arroyo Seco. And, this is the way we figured out we could bring some attention to the village, which still has a few places open, but after everything's open we hope everybody will still keep the village in mind, but also support local musicians."
Henderson said the response to the concerts has been overwhelming. As one example, Taos Pueblo's Hail Creek Singers, who played on April 22 for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, have received over 7,500 views.
Coming up this Saturday (May 9) at 8 p.m., dance along with Vanilla Pop as they draw from their repertoire of '80s classics, '40s standards and '90s and beyond hip-hop hits. Live it up and stay at home with Al Dente and Lester Moore, while they make Saturday night great again with their superbly crafted renditions and all-out style.
Next Wednesday (May 13) at 6 p.m., Marisa Ireland and Tom Pryor will sweetly shower you with Desert Prose. Soak in their melodic indie/folk vocals and dreamy pedal steel guitar.
Tune in at facebook.com/arroyosecolive.
According to Jayson Wylie, president and director of brewing at Taos Mesa Brewing Company, the brewery and music venue had begun exploring how to videostream its concerts from the Mothership to its downtown location at the Taos Taproom starting in late 2019.
"We basically took that model we had started working on prior to the COVID-19 reality, and dug into it," said Wylie. "We wanted to take our time to do it in the best and most professional way possible."
With financial help from the Paycheck Protection Program (funded through the CARES Act), a small team set to work to develop the platform, and protocol for having concerts livestreamed on the Taos Mesa Brewing website. That team is comprised of Adrian Finley, Parker Shebs, Hayley Harper and Jayson Wylie. They developed the technical components to make livestreaming possible, health and safety protocol to keep everyone safe and a marketing effort to get the word out.
Logistically, the way TMB-TV works is that musicians or bands (with no more than five members) will set up and play live from the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership stage, following social distancing and all health care protocol.
"We take this very seriously and want to make sure we protect everyone's health," Wylie emphasized.
Their concerts will be livestreamed, and available for viewing on tmb-tv.com, a site which is linked to the Taos Mesa Brewing website, taosmesabrewing.com. Shows can be watched live, and past shows can also be viewed. Audience members are encouraged to contribute what they can to a virtual tip jar. Funds raised will support the performing musicians (40 percent) and the production team (40 percent). The remaining 20 percent will be donated to the Taos Community Foundation's Fund for Taos, an emergency fund to help the Taos community respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Wylie said it is important to Taos Mesa Brewing to support those who are facing long-term unemployment right now. This includes musicians, but also those who make their shows possible such as lighting techs, sound engineers, etc.
In an email newsletter announcing TMB-TV, dated April 29, Wylie wrote: "In addition to supporting employees and artists who are dependent upon live music for their livelihoods, Taos Mesa Brewing serves as a magnet and financial engine for our local economy."
He continued, "When the shutdown swept across the country the music did not just stop - it has put many venues in peril of ever restarting again, including the Mothership. At Taos Mesa Brewing, we are committed to preserving live entertainment any way we can. That's why we are proud to announce TMB-TV: a livestreaming platform direct from the Mothership herself.
"On Fridays and Sundays weekly, TMB will host local artists, professionals, and community leaders on the iconic Mothership stage. While this will never replace the live Mothership experience, our production team has developed a professional platform that will stream on several apps (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Vimeo). You can help support live music, local artists and TMB's employees by tuning in."
Taos Mesa Brewing has joined with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to advocate for the needs of more than 1,000 independent venues and promoters across the United States. A statement on NIVA's website, nivassoc.org, cites a 2017 study by the National Endowment for the Arts that found, "the value added by arts and culture to the U.S. economy is five times greater than the value from the agricultural sector. " While this is not meant to downplay the importance of growing food as an essential service, it is an eye-opening fact.
The TMB-TV concerts launched on May 1 with Second Wind Endeavor; Bill Hearne and Don Richmond played on May 3. This Friday (May 8) the fun continues with the exuberant, unstoppable Jimmy Stadler from 7 to 10 p.m. and on Sunday (May 10) Ry Taylor and the Side Trips play their own brand of Americana from 7 to 10 p.m. Go to tmb-tv.com to listen.
LISTEN TO YOUR TOWN
Arroyo Seco Live Taos "Stay-at-Home" Live Music Series
Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
May 9 - Vanilla Pop
May 13 - Desert Prose
May 16 - UZ Band
May 20 - Shannon and Southern Soul
May 23 - Katy P and The Biz
May 27 - Dickie Cordova y La Pleve
May 30 - Souldillos
Tune in at facebook.com/arroyosecolive.
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