Stone River Boys Play at Ashley Pond Friday

The Stone River Boys play country-soul music at Ashley Pond at 7 p.m. Friday. Courtesy photo

By Russ Gordon

It’s Los Alamos County Fair weekend and I’d like to tell you about the Summer Concert Series’ participation.

On Friday night, Aug.10, we’re gonna do a show of country-soul music at Ashley Pond. This means excellent country music played with soul. Sound strange? Not at all.

There’s been Ray Charles with all of his country hits in the early 60’s, Joe South, Joe Tex, Charlie Rich, Flying Burrito Bros., O.C. Smith’s “Little Green Apples,” Elvis, Arthur Alexander, Solomon Burke, Fats Domino, CCR, Johnny Rivers and many others.

Country-soul came with the mixing of black gospel, white gospel and country music. Friday’s band is the Stone River Boys and they also bring the funk.

It’s gonna be a great night for dancing if you like 2 stepping, waltzes and … a band sounding like a combination of James Brown, Chuck Berry, Eddy Cochran, Al Green, Lyle Lovett, Buck Owens, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings and Little Richard. A whole lotta fun and a whole lotta shakin’ will be going on.

The driving force for the Stone River Boys is guitarist extraordinaire, Dave Gonzales and vocalist Mike Barfield, “the tyrant of Texas Funk” and one-time leader of the iconic Texas country dance band, the Hollisters.

The fantastic Dave Gonzales was the lead guitarist for one of my favorite rockabilly bands, the Paladins. Barfield tells of a photo he saw of Solomon Burke, Joe Tex and James Brown wearing cowboy hats and that a lot of soul performers talk about listening to the “Grand Ol Opry” growing up. “Some R&B songs, especially the ballads, are very close to some of the honky-tonk ballads. To me, it’s all very similar. One of my favorite CDs of the 90’s was called “Rhythm Country & Blues.”

The CD featured duets with folks like Conway Twitty & Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave fame) singing “Rainy Night In Georgia”, “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away” with Al Green & Lovett, and “Patches” with George Jones and BB King. Country soul! I suggest you check out this band on youtube and at

You’ll see why Mike Barfield is such a tremendous frontman. He’s fun-loving, spontaneous and quite a dancer. You can also get more info at

On Saturday morning at 11 a.m., the County of Los Alamos and the other sponsors of the LA County Summer Concert Series present Bill Hearne’s Roadhouse Revue.

Bill is a New Mexco legend from Santa Fe. What a sweet voice and beautiful guitarist. He’ll be playing his style of Texas-NM country dance music and there’s no act like it.

If you can’t make it at 11AM, Hearne will play at a dinner/dance at the Posse Lodge in the evening. You can see videos of Bill Hearne on youtube and at

What a great guy he is and a tremendous musician. He’s another fantastic musician that proves that the Southwest is the best place to catch great music.

I doubt if I’ll ever understand the music business “suits” of Nashville. Country music can be tremendous, don’t just give us bubblegum, great bodies and torn jeans.

On Friday Aug. 17, we’ll be at Rover Park in White Rock with one of today’s best blues and rock singers and guitarists, Carolyn Wonderland. Check her out on youtube and on

For a great evening, catch live music in Los Alamos. Shows are free and start at 7 p.m., so bring your family and your friends.

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