Wagogo & Lura at El Rey

The beauty of a blog is that I can post things as they come up. If you’re not dancing in Santa Fe Saturday night, you can be dancing in Albuquerque with no instruction, just groovin’ and movin’ to the rhythmic music of Wagogo. I stole most of this info from neal copperman, the master concert promoter who organized ¡Globalquerque! I can personally attest that Wagogo is so dance-rhythmic, I once started a congo line with a hundred 60- to 80-year-old women dancing to them!

An AMP Dance Party with Lura (from Cape Verde) and Wagogo from Albuquerque
Saturday, January 28, 8:00 pm
El Rey Theater, 620 Central Ave SW (Downtown)
$20 advance, $25 door
Tickets at abqmusic.com, Bookworks, and Natural Sound

Late night dance party with Wagogo follows the Lura show. Tickets to see Lura include admission
to the Wagogo show. Separate admission to see Wagogo at 10:00 is $8 at the door only, but why
would you want to skip Lura? There is a huge buzz on Lura these days. She was one of the big hits of ?Globalquerque! before heading off to play festivals across the United States and a well received European tour. For this swing through the states, she’ll be doing two nights at Globalfest in NYC, the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis and cool clubs in Chicago and Seattle.

Lura is from Santiago, the most African of the Cape Verde Islands, located about 300 miles off
the coast of Senegal. The music is a sexy, slinky Afro-Portuguese blend, combining styles like batuku (songs inspired by the rhythm and gossip of communal laundering) and funana (an accordion-based dance song) with Portuguese Fado and jazz.

The night will end with a late night dance party with one of Albuquerque’s best world music bands
– Wagogo. Several members will have just returned from Zimbabwe, so they should be full of new ideas and energy. This is a rare chance to see Wagogo in a big theater with a great dance floor. In case you haven’t heard, the El Rey has been no smoking for over a year now. If you’ve never been, there is a wooden dance floor in front of the stage and the theater is tiered. There will be tables and chairs out on the other tiers for those who don’t want to dance all night. Visit www.abqmusic.com for more info. And boogey on…

Ruthie, Here I Come!

With almost daily reminders to ‘carpe diem’ while I’m alive and relatively healthy, I took the plunge and got a ticket to the Ruthie Foster/Eric Bibb concert in Las Cruces, New Mexico on February 2. They’ll also be in Albuquerque on February 4, but I’m calling a dance that night. I suggested to Hands Five that I find another caller for the dance so I could attend the Albuquerque concert. But the band wasn’t too keen about being pawned off on another caller. Plus, Hands Five is really fun to work with, and we’ve already had a 2-hour practice.

I will stop at my favorite place in New Mexico on the way down to Cruces, the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. I never know what wonders I’ll encounter there. Being at the Bosque is almost as much a treasure hunt as the thrift store. Once I saw a coyote with his entire face stuffed inside a snow-white goose carcass. When he emerged momentarily after tossing the carcass around gleefully, his snout was smeared with blood. Another time a tanager flashed across the windshield, his startling scarlet color one I’d never seen before. Years ago, right over my head, the one whooping crane on site flew in with a flock of sandhill cranes, the whooper’s giant breast gleaming with the peachy pink setting sunlight.

snow geese at sunset
Photo by Merri Rudd

Or the deer that seems nailed to place along the back trail because I’ve seen her several times in the exact spot. Or the muskrat paddling in the lagoon, the vermillion flycatcher winging its way up the middle loop, the merlin ripping apart the meadowlark, the eagle shredding a duck. The latter images may seem gruesome, but they are the ebb and flow of the Bosque. Maybe I’ll stop at Percha Dam Campground and listen for the owls in the secret tree or the red-winged blackbirds in the cattails. An opening act for Ruthie.

I am taking this trip because Ruthie’s singing “restoreth my soul.” I am taking this trip to honor the memory of Mike Smith and his love of good music. And I am taking this trip to fuel my own sense of adventure. I love gliding down the highway, alone, not knowing what will happen next. When I find out, I will post another entry.

Farewell, Mike

photo by Merri Rudd

Death of Mike Smith, Tucson, AZ, First posted, January 18, 2006, 7:16 p.m. MST

A few hours ago Tucson musician Mike Smith, pictured above at Arizona’s Dance in the Desert in November 2005, died unexpectedly. Yesterday, January 17, 2006, Mike fell off a ladder in his studio and hit his head. Despite medical attention, the damage was so severe that life support was removed today. Some of you may remember fondly when one of Mike’s bands, Round the House, visited Albuquerque in July 2004. They performed at the Biopark, jammed in Richard and Alana Eager’s backyard, and played for the Albuquerque contra dance. We enjoyed them!

Mike was a master of many things–the rhythm anchor of Round the House, as well as other bands; a skilled woodworker; a real estate broker; a philosopher. He was also a kind and generous soul. He loved his family and friends, especially his beloved Cate; he loved playing guitar; he loved crafting wood; he loved being outdoors.

I don’t understand the ways of the universe. I do know that we think we are strong, but we are fragile. We think we are immortal, but we’re not. We hope we’ll live to see another day, but we may not. We wish the world were just, but it isn’t always. Mike understood this and much more. We should live as if each day were our last, treating each other with kindness and compassion. I wish Mike peaceful travels on his next journey and the opportunity to jam with other great departed souls. He will be deeply, deeply missed by many. I am proud to have known you, Mr. Guitar Man.

WHEN I GO (listen to this song by scrolling down the page: http://www.folkweb.com/davecartertracygrammer/whenigo-load.ra )

…..spring, spirit dancer, nimble and thin, i will leap like coyote when i go
tireless entrancer, lend me your skin, i will run like the gray wolf when i go
i will climb the rise at daybreak, i will kiss the sky at noon
raise my yearnin voice at midnight to my mother in the moon
i will make the lay of long defeat and draw the chorus slow
i’ll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listenin’ when i go…..

sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn, i will rattle like dry leaves when i go
stand in the midst where my fire used to burn, i will camp on the night breeze when i go
and should you glimpse my wanderin’ form out on the borderline
between death and resurrection and the council of the pines
do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so
all your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the sky beside me when i go

WHEN I GO, lyrics and music written by Dave Carter
August 13, 1952 – July 19, 2002

January 2006 Folk Enews, 2nd Half

Welcome to the new folk enews format. Let me know if you like this arrangement. The last enews had two incorrect links (so sorry): for the Maryland dance camp in April 2006 and the sterling Roger Landes review in the Irish Times (scroll to the bottom of that page).

Las Cruces Contra Dance, Friday, Jan. 20
Lonnie, Lewis and Cynthia will be giving the introductory lessons, briefly teaching each dance and calling with music provided by the SNMMDS HOUSE BAND. 7:30-10:30 pm. Mesilla Park Community Church, 3101 South Main Street, Las Cruces. Teaching contra basics at 7:30 pm. Cost $4. 522-1691 for more info. Directions: Exit I-10 142 at University, turn LEFT (west) onto University, turn LEFT (south) onto South Main Street (at the light under the freeway), go 2 blocks south & look for address.

Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, Jan. 21
Donna Howell is calling and Megaband is playing. 8-11 p.m., acoustic jam at 7 p.m.; newcomers class at 7:30. Albuquerque Square Dance Center, 4909 Hawkins NE, one full block west of I-25 and 1/2 block north of Ellison. See www.asdc.org for directions. $5 members, $6 others.

FOLKMADS Board Meeting, Sat., Jan. 21, 4-6 p.m.
Board meeting is at Scott and Linda’s house, 1116 Columbia NE, Albuquerque. All are welcome! Here are some AGENDA items for Saturday’s meeting:
Discussion of Recording Motions and Secondary Discussions
Review Previous Meeting Notes
Treasurer’s Report
Adding New Board Members (Linda Askew and Jane Phillips)
Albuq Dance Committee Report
Santa Fe Dance Committee Report
Taos Dance Committee Report
Formation of Committee to Review “Practices and Procedures”
Status of Heights Community Center
Dance Venues for March-June
Concert Committee
CD Project Update
Retreat Ideas
Albuquerque Folk Festival
Status of Membership Directory
Dance Camp
Webmaster’s Report

Taos Contra Dance, Saturday, Jan. 21
Next contra dance will be at the Community Center (the old school, across from the Parish Hall on Ski Valley Road) Saturday, Nov. 19. Time: 7:30 p.m. Lausanne Allen will be calling and I think Taos musicians will be playing. Bring somebody new to the dance, and they will get in FREE. $5 others, I think. Music and dancing begin at 7:30. So mark your calendars and get your dancing shoes and muscles ready! That’s 7:30 at the Arroyo Seco Community Center in Arroyo Seco, Saturday Jan. 21.

4th Sunday Contra Dance, Albuq., Jan. 22
Artie Walsh and friends calling, One Good Turn (here’s your chance to hear ’em, Gary Papenhagen on fiddle, Peter on guitar, Lou Blackwell on bass; not sure who else will play this night) playing. 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Lloyd Shaw Dance Center, 5506 Coal SE (2 blocks south of Central, 1.5 blocks east of San Mateo). $5 all. Call Artie for more info: 332-3737 (new number!).

Albuquerque AMP Upcoming Concerts
Schedule and details available at www.abqmusic.com
Jan 19: Bosque House Concerts Night of Chanteuses
featuring Marianne Dissard and Emilie Marchand
Jan 21: Greg Brown – Lobo Theater (SOLD OUT)
Jan 28: An AMP Dance Party with Lura and Wagogo – El Rey Theater
Feb 3: Po’ Girl – Puccini’s Golden West Saloon
Feb 5: A Bosque House Concert featuring Annie Gallup

4th Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, Jan. 28
Contra Dance in Santa Fe happens Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd., Lewis Land of Las Cruces calling (making his Santa Fe debut), and Roaring Jelly playing. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m.

Terrible Decision in Albuquerque: Concert or Dance on Sat., Feb. 4?!
You’re going to have to pick one on Saturday, Feb. 4: Merri Rudd calling the contra dance to Hands Five’s tunes. 8-11 p.m., acoustic jam at 7 p.m.; newcomers class at 7:30. Albuquerque Square Dance Center, 4909 Hawkins NE, one full block west of I-25 and 1/2 block north of Ellison. See www.asdc.org for directions. $5 members, $6 others. OR…………..

Eric Bibb & Ruthie Foster in concert at S. Broadway Cultural Center. Eric’s sings “stripped down acoustic blues that quietly rock the soul” and Foster sings a remarkable blend of blues, gospel, roots and folk music rich with honest spirituality and emotion. www.cabq.gov for more info. If I weren’t calling, I’d be at the concert! OR…………….

You could do both by driving to Las Cruces on Feb. 2 for the Ruthie Foster & Eric Bibb concert, 8 pm, ASNMSU Cultural Series. NMSU Music Recital Hall (on N side of horseshoe). Tickets box office Pan Am Center, $12.30. Ruthie sings gutsy gospel, folk. Eric is a blues balladeer, folk blues, gospel. Read more on internet: http://panam.nmsu.edu/culturalseries0405.html or info 505-646-1420. Hmmm, now there’s an idea. Lonnie & Julie, can we stay with you?

Durango Dance, Feb. 4
Albuquerque’s band Hey! is playing for the Feb. 4th contra in Durango, that’s being held in conjunction with Snowdown, their annual winter festival. The festival’s theme this year is “disco,” so the contra is similarly themed, with a disco costume and dance contest. Wendy Graham’s calling. Snowdown event website.

This & That
A woman in the east mountains (outside Albuquerque) wants to find folks with whom to get together to sing and jam. Here is her contact info: suelew14@msn.com Susan Snyder Sponar, 505-286-1674. Please get in touch with her if you have contacts or advice.

Remember that www.folkmads.org has calendars and info on FOLKMADS events. FolkMadness Camp registration for Memorial Day weekend is open! Don’t miss this smashing combination of contra, English country and waltz workshops with some of the nation’s finest dance musicians and leaders. Let me know of events to list for February by January 31.


Merri Rudd
Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque Dancing

Saturday’s dance at the Albuquerque Square Dance Center had over 60 attendees. Unfortunately, there were 15 extra women! Come on, guys, women only want one thing from guys: a guy who can dance. Don’t you have friends you want to include in the sport of contra dancing?! I’m willing to dance the man’s part some of the time, but not all of the time.

Sunday’s dance was spectacular! Noralyn Parsons called the entire evening of elegant English and zesty contras, including the Fandango, Winter Dreams, Eternal Bond, The Wedding Ring (a cool mixer by Erik Hoffman), and the Bee’s Knees. THIRTY-FIVE dancers showed up, a record high from the usual 20 or so. The Dance Studio looked lovely with lights and snowflakes. Gary Papenhagen was joined on fiddle by one of his 14-year-old students, Bo Olcott on guitar, and Lou Blackwell on bass. They musically emphasized the balances, made the English tunes hang in the air, and had a grand old time playing. We had virtual gender balance and were joined by 22-year-old T.J. Womack, son of Richard. He was a GOOD dancer! I told him to bring a dozen friends next time. A couple from Jemez Springs had found the dance on the internet and they attended. Now they want to host a dance in Jemez Springs, outside under the stars. Let me know if you want to play or call for that.


Well, my hubby has cajoled me to join the 21st century and blog my thoughts worldwide. I don’t like change much (witness: we’ve been together 24 years), but I’ll try and see how it goes. I’m developing a workshop in my mind, “Getting in Touch with your Inner Babe” that I hope to present at Maymadness Weekend May 19-21, 2006 in Prescott, AZ. It won’t be the George Bernard Shaw idea that dance is “the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire,” but something gentler. I’m also working on “Finding Your Inner Queen/King” for an English workshop I’m teaching at Salt Lake City’s Wasatch Wiggle July 14-16, 2006. Stay tuned!

January 2006 Folk Enews, 1st Half

Hello, Folkies,

Happy 2006! Lead story for today is FOLKMADS has a new president: Scott Mathis. Scott was one of the original founders of FOLKMADS 25 years ago and he and wife Linda have recently returned to Albuquerque from Denver. Welcome home! Here is Scott and one of his band, the Sandia Hots, left to right: Linda Askew, Liz Stevens, Mike Gallagher, Mr. Prez Scott.

Sandia Hots

Scott is a new burst of energy for the group, and he wants more members to participate in the activities of the organization. For one thing, the Albuquerque Dance Committee needs help with the cash box, publicity, welcoming committee, cleanup, etc. You don’t have to volunteer for every dance, but “adopting” one or two dances per year to help at would tremendously assist. Along those lines, Scott has an ambitious agenda planned for the next FOLKMADS Board Meeting, and he asked me to invite anyone who wants to attend:

Saturday Jan. 21st at 4:00 PM. 1116 Columbia NE, Albuquerque, a few streets west of Girard and a few houses south of Constitution NE.

Maybe he’ll even post the agenda for the meeting on the web site, www.folkmads.org prior to the meeting! Next time you see the outgoing president Kelly Kellstedt of Santa Fe, thank him for his work.

Corrales Sing, Friday, January 6
FOLK SONG CIRCLE. The themes for this month are: New Year/Twelfth Night/Wassail AND Fortune/Luck/Chance/Gambling.
Each participant in the circle may lead a song, do a solo, request a song, or pass. Bring enthusiasm, songbooks, instruments, beverages/snacks, kids, and friends.
Contact: Laurie McPherson 898-6978
Email: lauriemcpherson@hotmail.com or lmcpherson@salud.unm.edu
114 Coronado Road, Corrales, 87048
(Directions: From the intersection of Alameda and Coors, go 1.8 miles north on Corrales Road. Pass the Chevron station, go several blocks. Just past the Horseman?s Supply store, turn left on Coronado Road. Post office is too far. They?re the second house on the right, come in past the barns to park.)

Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, January 7
Katherine Bueler of Santa Fe calling and the rock solid Fast Pesos playing. 8-11 p.m., acoustic jam at 7 p.m.; newcomers class at 7:30. Albuquerque Square Dance Center, 4909 Hawkins NE, one full block west of I-25 and 1/2 block north of Ellison. See www.asdc.org for directions. $5 members, $6 others.

Durango Contra Dance, Saturday, January 7
If you happen to be in southwest Colorado, you’re in for a special treat. Albuquerque’s rising stars band Hands Five (Bruce Thomson on fiddle, Erika Gerety on mandolin and bass, Peter Esherick on hammer dulcimer, John Brinduse on guitar and Gary Blank on percussion) are playing. The always-smiling Wendy Graham is calling. The dance is at the VFW Hall, 1515 Main Avenue, Durango. Beginner instruction is at 7:00 p.m. Dancing is from 7:30 to 10:30. Admission is $7. To encourage new-comers (and old timers) to come to the lesson, admission at 7:00 is reduced to $5. For further information, call 970-259-6820. Hands Five will also be doing a house concert at Rocky Mountain Retreat, 848 E 3rd Ave, on Friday January 6th. For further information on the concert call 970-903-9402.

Second Sunday Dance, January 8
A little known fact: when the 1st of the month falls on a Sunday, the 2nd Sunday dance is the same weekend as the 1st Sat. Albuq. dance! So the very next night Noralyn Parsons will call elegant English country and zesty contra dances; music by One Good Turn (Gary Papenhagen and Linda Vik on fiddle, Peter Wegman on guitar, Lou Blackwell on bass, and Gary Blank on percussion); 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Dance Studio in Albuquerque at 4217 San Mateo NE, 1 block south of Montgomery on the west side of the San Mateo between Auto Zone and Bank of the West (across from Grandy’s). Park directly behind the studio on west side in gated area or along San Mateo to avoid vehicle break-ins. Do not park behind Auto Zone. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. Clean dance shoes and tennis shoes OK. $6 admission.

Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, January 14
Check out the Contra Dance in Santa Fe, Saturday, January 14. The oh-so-smooth Chris Kelly of Santa Fe is calling, The Taos Contraband is playing. 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m.

Albuquerque AMP Concerts Galore in January
You can get more information at anytime on the web at www.abqmusic.com. Here are upcoming concerts:
Jan 13: Acoustic Eidolon – Windchime Champagne Gallery
Jan 14: Rodney Crowell – KiMo Theatre
Jan 19: Bosque House Concerts Night of Chanteuses
featuring Marianne Dissard and Emilie Marchand
Jan 21: Greg Brown – Lobo Theater
Jan 28: An AMP Dance Party with Lura and Wagogo – El Rey Theater (I can personally attest that Wagogo is so dance-rhythmic, I once started a congo line with a hundred 60-80- year-old women to dance to them!)
SELL OUTS PENDING: Both Rodney Crowell and Greg Brown tickets are moving at sell out rates. There is a good chance there won’t be tickets available by show time.

This & That
Folkmadness Camp: Camp flyers and registration forms are in the mail if you’re a FOLKMADS member, or at dance tables, or on the web at www.folkmads.org. This 14th annual camp’s lineup of guest callers, singer, and musicians is sterling. Mark your calendars for May 26-29, 2006, Socorro, NM. The waffle machine and ice cream scoops await you!

Taos Ball: I liked this summary sent by Jim Buechler of the Taos Holiday Ball on Dec. 17. “If it were possible to measure Joy, in quantity, or in intensity, there would have been a great deal of it recorded last night at the San Geronimo Lodge. The “spacious” dance floor filled, without intermission, for three solid hours. Musicians and dancers and caller Lausanne all indefatigable, faces shining with perspiration and goodwill. “If only the whole World would do this,” said someone on the side, as my partner for that dance and I moved by, turning, and my partner responded, ” Why is this so much fun?” But the moment was for living, doing as the music told us, not reasoning, and we turned on, round and round…. If only the whole World would do this!”

Accolades to NM musicians: I thought this was really cool: Irish Times’ Siobhan Long names “House to House” among the top five Trad Albums of 2005! http://www.ireland.com/theticket/articles/2005/1216/3414767411TKARROW2TK1612IARLAT.html American duo Randal Bays and Roger Landes took center stage with not so much as a spotlight to surprise and delight with their fiddle and bouzouki duet, House to House. At a sufficient remove from the origins of the music they evidently love, Bays and Landes inhabited the tunes with a refreshing vigour, and their insistence on retaining the personality of the live recording, replete with foot taps and squeaky chairs, only added to the technicolour of the collection.

Farewell from Maggie: Dear Albuquerque Dancers, Thanks so much for your wonderful hospitality, terrific music and enthusiastic dancing. I have had a great time with you all in the friendliest city in the country. No contest. I enjoyed the warm climate, (weather and personalities), and the beauty of the desert and mountains for over two years.
I have decided for many reasons to return to my family in Pennsylvania, and will be moving around a bit for the next month. After that, I will have my own place. Any dancers visiting this area are, of course welcome to hospitality with me. The kindness and welcoming nature of the ABQ dancers are becoming a legend among my friends. Thanks so much for a terriffic two+ years. Have a wonderful holiday season , and keep in touch. Much love, Maggie Byram Thanks, Maggie, and happy dancing in Pennsylvania!

Planning Ahead: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~jmerck/cdw06/
Steve Mills says check out the above camp. He says it’s a great camp (except for the cabins — esp. if there’s a snorer). He ran into the Rev. Cary and the mother-in-law of Santa Fe fiddling Robin a couple of years ago when the Groovemongers were playing. Beautiful location, good dancers, though not as warm as Texas-NM-Arizona. And here’s a really obscure fact: I took John Merck, this camp’s organizer, to his 1st contra dance in 1982!

Remember the Santa Fe Concert Venue!
GiG is Santa Fe’s non-profit performance space. GiG is located at 1808 Second St. The suggested donation is $7 to $10. All shows are at 8 PM. Check out www.gigsantafe.com for more details about each week’s artists and listen to their music samples at the Listen link! This music is updated weekly, so please check back often.

If you have folk music and/or dance events for me to list for the 2nd half of January, let me know by January 17th. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but this is all I remember for the moment.

Merri Rudd