TAOS—The Taos Solar Music Festival is hosting a special musical event titled, “Taos Americaños” at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15 in the historic courthouse at Taos Plaza.
This first time concert in the Mural Room includes music by Americana music royalty, Jim Lauderdale, Ollie O’Shea on fiddle and Phil Parlapiano on squeezebox, and hosted by Taos’ own Max Gomez. Artist and longtime Solar Fest artistic director, Randy Pijoan, will also be doing “artistic endeavors” at the event.
Jim Lauderdale is a Grammy® Award winning musician and one of the most respected artists working in the Bluegrass, Country and Americana music communities today. He is considered one of Nashville’s “A” list of songwriters with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks and George Strait, who has had numerous hits with his songs. Lauderdale’s music has been featured recently on the ABC hit show “Nashville” and he had several tracks on the soundtrack of the successful film “Pure Country.” Lauderdale is also in high demand as a player, touring with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello.
Lauderdale, who frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello, also is a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest Carolina Moonrise, written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. He also released the highly praised new duets album, recorded with long time friend Buddy Miller, of which Mojo magazine said: “Miller and Lauderdale’s duets have both the easy familiarity of old friends and the musicianship of old pros.”
A Taos native, Max Gomez is a rare combination of old school wisdom and wide eyed wonder, wry observation and soulful innocence. He is a rapidly rising star in the national Americana arena. A blues enthusiast from an early age, Gomez immersed himself in the primordial Delta and traditional folk blues of Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy and, of course, Robert Johnson. Though 1,200 miles and decades removed from his Mississippi heroes, Gomez had his imagination to fill in the gaps. Having honed his chops on the blues, Gomez turned his interest to traditional American folk music.
“I’m influenced by the old stuff,” Gomez said. “To me, that’s the best music.”
Gomez and Lauderdale have become friends and tour buddies. This will make for an entertaining evening of tall tales and road insights into the Americana world of songwriting legend and legend in the making. A fitting launch for the first known concert in this grand old room.
Co-founder of the Taos Solar Music Festival, Dawn Richardson said, “This is an exciting project that I have been talking about for years. Taos is uniquely equipped to host a winter festival that can host many artistic genres in its multicultural historic center. Eventually I want to have music shows during the night and then host workshops in the many different quaint downtown venues. My plan is to start it this year in this beautifully restored courthouse and then grow it by bringing in artists to the Solar Fest and then back for Taos Americaños.”
The paintings of Taos County artist Randy Pijoan have reached audiences from all over the world. From his roots in Northern New Mexico, Pijoan (Peezh-wahn) has national representation in major markets such as Oregon’s Pearl District and Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, to as far east as North Carolina and regionally at Peterson Gallery in Santa Fe.
Pijoan’s works have been published, reviewed and documented in national magazines such as: American Artist Magazine, Watercolor and Artist Magazine, Art & Antiques Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, Santa Fe Focus and American Art Collector Magazine.
“We are thrilled to have Randy do our artwork for Taos Americaños, a fun montage of images that make up our beautiful northern New Mexico town,” Richardson said.
Pijoan will have an art opening on Feb. 14 in the Jail House Gallery, downstairs from the Mural Room.
Tickets are available at Taos Mountain Outfitters, The Good Sole and www.solarmusicfest.com. Doors open at 6 pm., the show starts at 7 pm. and tickets are $25.
Special thanks go to the Arts and Culture District, Taos County and the Taos Inn, Taos Mountain Outifitters and The Good Sole for their assistance in this Taos Americaños Fesitval.
Celebrating its 16th year in 2014, the Taos Solar Music Fest is June 7 and 8.
For more information on the Taos Americaños Fesitval, contact Dawn Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.