Music

Taos trio pays tribute to The Supremes

By Ariana Kramer
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 7/24/19

Stop! In the name of love! And, get ready! Because a knockout group of Taos musicians is gearing up to bring to life the classic hits of The Supremes. And, baby love, it's going to be a real treat.

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Music

Taos trio pays tribute to The Supremes

Posted

Stop! In the name of love! And, get ready! Because a knockout group of Taos musicians is gearing up to bring to life the classic hits of The Supremes. And, baby love, it's going to be a real treat.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Bob Andrews (vocals, keyboards), Elizabeth Jose (vocals) and Audra Rodgers (vocals) to chat with them about how they are approaching the Off the Cuff show that is set to take place at the KTAOS Solar Center from 7 to 8 p.m. this Monday (July 29). The three musicians are covering songs by The Supremes, the all-female singing trio -- Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson -- who made it big in the mid-1960s on the Motown label.

The Off the Cuff concert series at KTAOS gives local musicians a chance to learn and perform the songs of a famous musical group or musician. It was started by Jimmy Stadler and has been a highly popular Taos event, with shows typically selling out.

Bob Andrews said KTAOS approached him about preparing a show of hits by The Supremes, and he recruited Elizabeth Jose and Audra Rodgers to join him. Andrews is skillfully using his keyboard skills to pump out the driving beats of the Funk Brothers who backed The Supremes and other Motown singers. Andrews also sings back up and takes the lead on some songs. Jose and Rodgers trade off backing and lead vocals.

The good feeling between these three musicians is contagious. They've known each other for years. Rodgers and Andrews were bandmates with The Damn Band. Andrews and Jose were once Taos neighbors, both originally came from across the pond in England.

As for their connection to the music of The Supremes, they each bring a different flavor to the table. Rodgers, the youngest member of the trio, told me she was exposed to The Supremes through a classic rock/Golden Oldies station in Hobbs, New Mexico.

"I never listened to their songs that weren't top hits, so listening to them recently was interesting," Rodgers commented. She added that she found The Supremes' music to have a "cinematic" quality.

Jose told me she heard The Supremes' music at a Northern soul club back in London. She also has some more personal history with Motown.

"My first proper job as a singer was as a backup singer for a Motown band," said Jose. The touring band was headed up by American singer songwriter Edwin Starr, who is known for his antiwar song, "War."

As for Andrews, he says simply, "I danced to [The Supremes] when they came out 'cause I was a mod. I had the mod haircut and clothes and everything. … Motown - that whole thing was fantastic."

Andrews launched his musical career in 1966 and honed his skills playing with Brinsley Schwarz and Graham Parker and The Rumour. In the 1980s he produced "There She Goes" by The La's and other hits before heading to New Orleans where he was a popular live performer. Now based in Taos, he performs with Andrews, Morel & Berry and solo, including a regular solo Saturday night gig at Sabroso restaurant in Arroyo Seco. Andrews recently released "Katrina, Revisited" a collection of songs he wrote while living through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. (See neworleanspiano.com.)

Jose is a jazz singer and became a full-time singer and vocal teacher in her 20s. Prior to this, she attended art school. Since moving to Taos in 2005, Jose has made painting her main focus, though she also gigs as a singer and teaches voice privately. Jose specializes in painting vintage Airstream trailers, landscapes and nudes. (You can view Jose's work at Sage Fine Art Gallery at Taos Plaza and online at sagefineart.com/elizabeth-jose and at elizabethjose.net.)

Rodgers grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico. Since moving to Taos, she has fronted the Cullen Winter's Big Boombox band and The Damn Band. In addition to being a singer, Rodgers is a multi-instrumentalist. She plays bass, guitar, banjo, trumpet, French horn, accordion and more.

The three musicians were kind enough to let me listen in on the beginning of one of their rehearsals for the show. Let me tell you, this show is going to be a stunner. Cover is $5 at the door. KTAOS is located at 9 State Road 150 north of El Prado. For more, call (575) 758-5826.

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