Small town, big sounds

Live in Taos this week: Dwight Yoakam, The Wallflowers, Los Lonely Boys and more


How are you going to divide your time this week? With so much live music in town, it’s getting more and more difficult to choose how to spend time and money. Anyone who claims there isn’t anything to do in town anymore might not be paying attention, totally off the grid or – like Rip Van Winkle – asleep in a cave somewhere for the last few years.

There are three major concerts scheduled for this week and if you like to take in live music, you’ve got a tasty buffet spread before you. From spice to roots, there’s music for a wide spectrum of tastes and rhythms.

The Wallflowers will be performing Friday (July 28) at Taos Mesa Brewing. Country music superstar Dwight Yoakam, The Mavericks and The Last Bandoleros will perform Saturday (July 29) at Kit Carson Park. Then, Los Lonely Boys return to Taos Tuesday (Aug. 1) at the KTAOS Solar Center.

We spoke with Mitch Miller, facilities and special events manager for the town of Taos, and he had plenty to say about the future of our little town and how it is starting to figure in the minds of touring musicians and fans alike.

“Everyone wants to enjoy good music surrounded by like-minded people. This is what puts us on the map as far as people seeking a live music experience in a beautiful setting,” he said.

We asked Miller what it’s like to be part of the process of bringing this level of entertainment to our little town and he said, “This is the most enjoyable time of my life. It’s like the culmination of so many experiences of working in the music business.” He mentioned working in the business in Los Angeles, California. He’s also worked for years with local promoters, such as the Taos Solar Fest’s Dawn Richardson and Michael Hearne and his Big Barn Dance.

“We’re all enjoying the ride now, I think,” he said.

The Wallflowers, featuring Jakob Dylan

The Wallflowers, featuring Jakob Dylan, will be performing Friday (July 28) at Taos Mesa Brewing at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.

You might think finding success in the music industry was a piece of cake for Dylan. In actuality, little was promised for the musician and frontman of The Wallflowers – not least because he was trying to follow in the footsteps of his father (Bob Dylan), debatably the most influential songwriter of his generation.

“I was hungry. I wanted more,” Dylan told Rolling Stone in a 2016 interview, looking back on the tumultuous months and years leading up to The Wallflowers’ breakout smash of a second album, 1996’s “Bringing Down the Horse.”

The group had hit singles in “One Headlight,” “6th Avenue Heartbreak” and “Three Marlenas.” The Grammy-winning album would eventually sell more than 4 million copies. That made Dylan an overnight star in his own right.

The Wallflowers have relied on their many years as a recording and touring band to approach their songs with immediacy. Three of the four band members have been in The Wallflowers for more than a decade. Dylan plays guitars and vocals. Rami Jaffee is on keyboards. Greg Richling plays bass and sings, while drummer Fred Eltringham, who was in Gigolo Aunts and Ben Kweller, joined the band more recently.

If that weren’t enough, there’s an “after-party jam” planned after The Wallflowers’ performance, featuring Super Doppler, a six-piece self-described rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelic-soul band from Norfolk, Virginia. Doors open for the after-party at 9:30 p.m., and music starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Dwight Yoakam, The Mavericks and The Last Bandoleros

Then, country music superstar Dwight Yoakam, plus The Mavericks and The Last Bandoleros, will be performing Saturday (July 29) at Kit Carson Park. Tickets are $52, $9 for children 12 and younger.

Yoakam is a country and bluegrass singer-songwriter who has earned multiple music awards and nominations, including two Grammy Awards for best male country vocal performance and best country collaboration with vocals, as well as new male vocalist of the year and the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music Awards. Yoakam has 12 certified gold albums, nine platinum or multiplatinum albums and has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.

“In September of 2016, Yoakam released his first ever bluegrass album ‘Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…’ on Sugar Hill Records,” his online bio states. “Featuring a band of bluegrass luminaries, this album boasts a collection of reinterpreted favorites from his catalogue, as well as a cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain.’ Produced by nine-time Grammy winner Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton), Jon Randall (songwriter of ‘Whiskey Lullaby’), and Yoakam himself, and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, this album reflects the love for bluegrass music that Yoakam developed at an early age in Kentucky, and that has inspired him for many years thereafter.

“In 2015, Yoakam released his latest album ‘Second Hand Heart’ on Warner-Reprise records, the follow up to his critically-acclaimed album ‘3 Pears.’ In addition to his musical career, Yoakam is a formidable film and television actor, capable of seamlessly melting into his roles, and impressively standing toe-to-toe with some of the world’s top thespians over the course of his storied and successful acting career, including Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, and Matthew McConaughey.”

The Mavericks, known for the hits “There Goes My Heart” and “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” have also earned awards, including top new vocal group and top vocal group by the Academy of Country Music Awards, vocal group of the year by the Country Music Association Awards and a Grammy Award for best country performance by a duo or group with vocal in 1995. The Mavericks have cultivated a unique sound that blends rock, Latino, folk, blues and country. They have also managed to build a large and loyal fan base during their 30 years of playing together.

The Last Bandoleros will be opening the show as part of their “Crooked Little Halo” tour after coming off of a European tour opening for Sting.

This triple-bill performance is one of many music events coming to Kit Carson Park this year. Michael Franti and Spearhead will join The Wailers and Supaman for another Kit Carson Park concert Sept. 30.

Los Lonely Boys and Lisa Morales

A Taos favorite, Los Lonely Boys will return Tuesday (Aug. 1) to the KTAOS Solar Center. Tickets are $28 in advance, $32 at the door.

Los Lonely Boys are no strangers to Taos audiences. We spoke with band member Jojo Garza about the group’s upcoming performance here and when asked if he thought Taos represented a core part of their fan base, he said, “You would be correct. Taos fans are awesome. We always get a good reception there. It feels like home. There are a few places on the road that feel that way. They embrace you and send love to you.”

When asked if he had a chance to relax and unwind while here, he responded, with humor, “Well, we’re really not that tightly coiled in the first place.”

If you are unfamiliar with Los Lonely Boys, they are an American Chicano rock power trio from San Angelo, Texas. Their style of music is called “Texican rock n’ roll.” The genre combines elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country and Tejano.

The band is made up of three brothers — Henry (guitar, vocals), Jojo (bass, vocals) and Ringo (drums, vocals) Garza. Their father, Ringo Garza Sr., formed a band with his brothers called the Falcones. They played conjunto music in the southern part of Texas during the 1970s and 1980s.

Los Lonely Boys’ debut single, “Heaven,” was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard adult contemporary chart and reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2004.

Opening for Los Lonely Boys will be Texas songwriter Lisa Morales. Her songs, both in English and in Spanish, capture the emotions of love and loss and all the shades of life.

Morales has also worn the producer’s hat with production credit on Hayes Carll’s “Flowers and Liquor.” She co-wrote “Waiting For the Stars to Fall” with Carll on his CD, “Trouble In Mind,” and also toured with him.

Morales is also part of a family band. She is half of the Sisters Morales, who have done many shows and shared stages with Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Raul Malo, Alison Krauss, Joe Ely, Merle Haggard, Trace Adkins and others. They have performed at theaters and festivals, such as World Fest, Spencer Theater and countless others. The sisters have also performed in Europe.

We spoke with Dave Darus, general manager of KTAO. He said, “We’re really looking forward to this one. It’s outside, so there will be plenty of room. Advance sales so far come from our local fans, of course, but also other parts of the state, especially Santa Fe. This is going to be a good one.”

Check elsewhere in Tempo for other music events happening this week. It’s shaping up to be one tuneful week in Taos.