Music

Taos Plaza Live gets neighborly

Sol Connection and The Neighbors featured at free weekly concert

By Ariana Kramer
Posted 6/7/17

Sol Connection and The Neighbors dish up an easy groove and feel-good vibe for Taos Plaza Live Thursday (June 8). Come out and enjoy the free show on Taos Plaza from 6-8 p.m., courtesy of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce and local business sponsors.

You have exceeded your story limit for this 30-day period.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Music

Taos Plaza Live gets neighborly

Sol Connection and The Neighbors featured at free weekly concert

Posted

Sol Connection and The Neighbors dish up an easy groove and feel-good vibe for Taos Plaza Live Thursday (June 8). Come out and enjoy the free show on Taos Plaza from 6-8 p.m., courtesy of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce and local business sponsors.

The night starts out with Sol Connection’s upbeat tropical rhythms from Latin America and the Caribbean. The four-piece band consists of Brooke Zanatell on vocals, accordion and keyboard; Philip Handmaker on vocals and guitar; Ricky Carlini on drums; and Miles Lage on bass.

Zanatell and Handmaker are longtime Taos musicians and singer-songwriters. Taoseños will recognize them from their previous bands, Zanagroove and Mister Felipe. For Sol Connection, the duo writes songs in Spanish and English, sometimes mixing both languages into one song. Portuguese lyrics are occasionally thrown in for good measure. Carlini is from Argentina, where he studied under drummer Jose Luis Vigiano and was a member of Litz, a popular punk band. He plays a diverse set of Latin rhythms from samba to cumbia as a drummer for Sol Connection.

Lage is the newest member of the band, and Handmaker praises him for having “really got a sense of a groove.”

“We’re playing with great musicians who all bring something different to [the music],” commented Zanatell.

Sol Connection has been playing around town since forming last year. This summer, the group has several shows booked at the Taos Inn, Taos Mesa Brewing’s downtown Taos Tap Room and Black Mesa Winery - Taos Tasting Room. On Wednesday (June 14), Sol Connection plays at Kit Carson Park for the “Movies on the Green” pre-show. Then, on June 20, the band heads to the Taos Inn. See the group’s website (solconnectionband.com) for details.

“We’re having so much fun with this music,” Handmaker said. “For me, it’s a rhythmic playground. There are Latin rhythms and a lot of ska … and we start playing and people feel good.”

“It’s a mixed-up, complicated world and we need to grab on to joy just to keep going,” Handmaker continued. He noted that the kind of music Sol Connection plays “loosens up your spine and just feels good – feels good to play and feels good to listen to. I feel like we’re spreading good feelings out there.”

Sol Connection’s original songs are captivating and catchy, reaching out into subject matter that has real substance, beyond the usual fare. For example, “Caliche” is a playful song about the hardships of digging in caliche clay that anyone who has shoveled in Northern New Mexico can appreciate. The band has recorded five songs with Vito Trujillo, which are available for listening on its website.

Handmaker said Sol Connection aims to get people up and dancing at Taos Plaza Live. “They can expect a few songs they recognize and a lot they’ve never heard before,” said Handmaker.

At 7 p.m., The Neighbors will take the stage with their mostly original music featuring bluegrass instrumentation with Jimmie Killingsworth on mandolin, Peter Oviatt on five-string banjo and Brent Berry on guitar, vocals, kick-drum and harmonica.

The Neighbors have a lot of fun covering Latin, Cuban, Celtic, Irish and music from a “hodgepodge of folks and cultures,” said Berry. “It’s a musical buffet.” 

“I think it’s just a good dynamic trio that we have,” says Oviatt. “We do so many different genres. That’s what I enjoy.” Oviatt said he knows Berry from back in Lawrence, Kansas, where they met about 10 years ago.

“I like being able to play out on a limb … which is where we are a lot of the time. [The music] is either coming at us really fast or we’re working to hold it all together on a complex tune and it’s very exciting,” Killingsworth said. “I like playing with Brent Berry because he’s a great singer, he has impeccable rhythm and he’s a terrific band leader.”

Like Sol Connection, The Neighbors play upbeat, feel-good tunes with a mastery that will keep your toes tapping and your heart happy. Their interpretations of cover songs are unique and interesting and their enjoyment shows through in all they play.

The Neighbors can be found playing around town at private parties, Taos Ski Valley and the Taos Inn. Catch them downtown at the Taos Inn’s Adobe Bar on June 23 and again on June 28. Also, from June 17-19, adventuresome fans can listen to The Neighbors while enjoying a river rafting trip on the Chama River with outdoor outfitters Far Flung Adventures. Visit farflung.com for details.

Next week’s Taos Plaza Live concert on Thursday (June 15) features Liz Painter and The Gallery and Bones of Romeo. The full schedule for Taos Plaza Live can be found at taoschamber.com/taos-plaza-live-music-schedule or by calling (575) 751-8800.

Comments


Private mode detected!

In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.