Archive for February, 2006

THE Bird Find of a Lifetime!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Rare Yellow Grosbeak in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Feb. 22, 2006
Photos by Mark Justice Hinton (c) 2006

New Photos posted on full blog at (see especially photo posted 3/14/06 March 2006 Folk Enews, 2nd Half)

This all started when my court administrator Lori gave me an article from the Albuquerque Tribune about a rare sighting of a yellow grosbeak. If you read the Sibley Guide to Birds, you will learn that the yellow grosbeak normally lives in Mexico and points south. Sibley states, “There are few confirmed records of Yellow Grosbeak from Arizona, despite many reports. As always when reporting such a rare bird, take extra care in the identification and be sure to eliminate all similar species….” Until a few weeks ago, there were no known reports of yellow grosbeaks in New Mexico, ever.

I had heard about this grosbeak in January 2006 when our friends Dave Mehlman, an ornithologist with the Nature Conservancy, and Kathleen Hall came over one Saturday. That morning they had been in the yard of Ray Powell, a veterinarian, environmentalist, candidate for state land commissioner, and friend of mine, who lives across the road from Dave and Kathleen. Apparently, the bird was making quite a stir and had attracted about 30 or 40 folks, including our teenage neighbor Michael Hilchey, there to observe it.

Then I read the Tribune article. It so happened that Dave Mehlman, who is also an ace contra dancer, was giving a talk at the Natural History Museum’s Dynamax Theater on Tuesday, February 21, about the ivory-billed woodpecker recovery project. [Aside: Dave is on the national recovery team for the ivory-billed woodpecker, and we’re very proud of him.] I told Dave I would bring him the article from the Tribune, which he hadn’t seen.

A young woman named Laurel with the New Mexico Audubon Society was sitting in front of us in the Dynamax, along with Turtle Bear Guillermo who also dances with us on occasion. Laurel overhead us talking about the article and said, “The grosbeak moved to 1412 Las Lomas. I saw it there this afternoon.” “Really?!” I said, “Our friends live at 1601 Las Lomas.” About that time, Melissa and Lew, who live at 1601 Los Lomas and are also dancers, walked into the theatre (we didn’t even know they were coming). We passed them the article and decided we’d go see Lew today and walk down to 1412 to look for the bird.

As small town Albuquerque goes, 1412 Las Lomas NE turned out to be the home of Kay Bratton, an attorney I’ve known for more than 20 years! Mark, Lew and I went there at noon with burritos from Golden Pride. Kay had left a sign in the front with instructions about where to sit and where to look. We went in the backyard and settled around the patio table. Her signs didn’t tell us there was a “vicious guard dog”!

Grosbeak Guard Dog
Photo by Mark Justice Hinton (c) 2006

Actually, he was darling and his main objective was to beg for burrito bits and to try to drag the lunch sack off the table. Kay’s backyard also has a covered swimming pool, so be careful not to step on the cover and fall through into the water.

After 10 or 15 minutes of watching, I saw a large bird with white patches on his wings land in the pine tree above the feeders. “I think he’s here,” I told Mark and Lew. A few minutes later, the grosbeak hopped down and settled onto the seed tray with the sparrows and finches for some sunflower seeds. We saw him three times in the half hour between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Mark took several photographs and created the above collage. Identifying a yellow grosbeak is like identifying a bald eagle–even for casual birders, the yellow color and thick parrot-like beak are bulls-eye field marks. We felt a little guilty at how easy it was and how lucky we were, but we relished our brief foray into birding history. The day was truly charmed. My hubby posted his unique views about birding at (“Bird Man of Albuquerque, no, not me!,” posted 2/22/06).

Birdwatchers Lew and Merri
Photo by Mark Justice Hinton (c) 2006

We also saw juncos, several ladder-backed woodpeckers, and a spotted towhee. Kay came home to go to a dentist appointment and invited us inside where we signed the guest book. A dozen or so people had signed in today. On our way out, we met a couple from out of town who had heard about the bird. We gave them instructions, including “don’t let the dog out of the yard,” and headed home.

I love this town.

P.S. Melissa, Lew, Mark and I saw the grosbeak again last Friday. February 24. He is a very accommodating rare bird. And a few weeks later, a visiting Californian took this shot:

Yellow Grosbeak\\\'s Still at Kay\\\'s on 3/11/06
Photo taken on March 11, 2006 by Matthew Matthiessen, Ukiah, CA, who visited the bird in Albuquerque, (c) 2006

February 2006 Folk Enews, 2nd Half

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Here is my folk enews for the rest of February. Lots of cool stuff is going on and lots of “this and that” are at the end of this blog. Thanks to all my loyal readers for keeping me up to date!

Good Eats & Good Tunes in Bernalillo, Feb. 16
The Sandia Hots are back at the Range Cafe on the main drag in Bernalillo, New Mexico, about 15 miles north of Albuquerque and 45 miles south of Santa Fe, just off I-25. You’re all invited to join the band on Thursday night, February 16th, from 7PM until 9PM. Great food, good company and live music played by your friends. Sandia Hots are husband-and-wife teams Scott Mathis, Linda Askew, Liz Stevens, and Mike Gallagher.

Las Cruces Contra Dance, Friday, Feb. 17
Lonnie, Lewis, Cynthia (aka Chole), and Sam, Cynthia’s soon-to-be father-in-law, 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. The theme is “Red Hearts” Contra dance, a colorful dance with 4, count ’em, 4 contra callers. Theme is RED, RED, RED, so check your closets. Newcomer lessons start at 7:30 pm — come early and help the first-timers or get a refresher. NEW SPACE: Las Cruces has a WOODEN DANCE FLOOR again and stage for the band!!! The new location is: SAN ANDRES LEARNING CENTER GYM, 2355 Avenida De Mesilla / S. Highway 28, Las Cruces (Mesilla). It is on the main street going through Mesilla and 5 blocks east of the Old Mesilla Community Center where we danced for 15 years, very easy to find. DIRECTIONS: I-10 exit 140, Avenida De Mesilla, go west exactly 1.1 miles to Mesilla. There is a brown “Historic Mesilla Plaza –> ” sign in front of the building. Turn left (east) BEFORE you pass this sign and park in back, entrance in back. (Note: the new Mesilla Town Hall & Visitors Center is next door, so there is loads of parking.) For a map, go to web: Also, I-10 exit 142 W. University, go west to Hwy 28, turn right, go past school to north end, turn right and park in back.

The January Las Cruces dance was the largest in history, 68 dancers plus 8 musicians and callers. Amazingly, at least 50 were there at 7:30 to help 22 newcomers get off to a great dance start. They also had Pete and Sue from Kansas and 2 other contra dance gypsies passing through and dancing with them. They filled the dance hall completely and the “down the hall four in line” became eight in line, a sea of faces flowing to the music.

Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, Feb. 18
Santa Fe’s Chris Kelly 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 for directions. $5 members, $6 others. Here’s Chris’ dance bio for your enjoyment: “Chris Kelly loves to dance and to make dancing fun for others. She has been calling for contradances, weddings, schools, dance weekends, and camps since 1995 in Austin, throughout Texas, and in Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Michigan, California, and British Columbia. Her past professional work includes writing and the corporate management of technical writers. She’s still called on to write and edit speeches, textbooks, memoirs, screenplays, and to teach writing classes, and she is currently in the process of editing a book of her own contradances. Before her five children were born, she taught preschool, first grade, literacy and ESL classes, and was director of two private schools in Dallas. She regularly teaches contradance classes and seminars that teach adults to teach dancing, for the Austin Waldorf School, Down Home Ranch, Pioneer Farms, the Kodaly Music Teachers Conference, Austin Children’s Choir, as well as calling several contradances each month. She now lives with her family in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and teaches Grade Three at the Santa Fe Waldorf School.”

FOLKMADS Board Meeting, Sat., Feb. 18, 4-6 p.m.
Board meeting is at Scott and Linda’s house, 1116 Columbia NE, Albuquerque. All are welcome!

Free Albuq. Concert, Feb. 18
If you can’t dance, Elliott Rogers, Wayne Shrubsall, and Janice Rogers are playing a free concert at Solid Grounds Feb.18th, 6:30 p.m. Located in the Lower Worship Area of the St. Stephens Church, 4601 Juan Tabo NE , Albuquerque, NM 87111, (505) 293-9673 Ext. 111,

Another ABQ Concert, Feb. 18 & 19
Baroque Music concert of Bach, Telemann, Corelli, Marais performed on period instruments. Albuquerque concert is Sat., Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., Los Altos Christian Church, 11900 Haines NE. Corrales concert is Sun., Feb. 19, 3 p.m., Historic Old San Ysidro Church, just off Corrales Road on Old Church Road. $12 general admission, $10 seniors (62+), $5 students. Call 255-7089 for reservations. See also

Taos Contra Dance, Saturday, Feb. 18
Rejoice, and get ready your dancing shoes and outfits for Saturday, Feb. 18!! We have secured the “elegant and spacious” dancing-room of the San Geronimo Lodge for this month’s regular dance! By the San Geronimo’s rules, we must be finished by 10, so we’ll start the music — and dancing — at 7 p.m., rather than 7:30. No driving ten miles or more, up to the wilds of Arroyo Seco, when you’re not feeling well on a cold wintry night! The musicians have been learning a few new tunes, and they’ll be dancing to those tunes and more. There was great music and dancing at the retirement party for longtime Taos fiddler and district court judge, the Honorable Peggy Nelson, a few weeks ago. “Hey!” people said, “This is fun! When do you do it! Where?” Right here, in New Mexico, all over!

ABQ Concert, Sun., Feb. 19
The Kennedys at The Windchime Champagne Gallery, 518 Central SW (Downtown)
7:30 PM
Even after ten years, over a thousand gigs and 500,000 miles of touring as a married, music-making couple, singer-guitarists Pete and Maura Kennedy still like each other. The duo savors each instance in life and in each others’ company, and it shows in their music. Their first gig together was in the Beatles’ hometown of Liverpool, England, as part of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra. With a shared love for the roots of American rock ‘n’ roll, and a passion for British pop from the Fab Four to Fairport Convention, Pete and Maura Kennedy have brought their wide-ranging influences together for a fresh contemporary pop sound. Visit for details.

Taos Concert, Sun., Feb. 19
Radio Free Bassanda!
Music from the Mediterranean, Near East and Balkans at the Adobe Bar in the Taos Inn
Sunday, February, 19th, 6:30-9:30pm
Radio Free Bassanda! was founded by Roger Landes, Mason Brown and Chipper Thompson out of a shared interest in the various modal musics from around the Mediterranean, the Middle & Near East, and the Balkans. Modal music is one of the oldest types of music, while remaining the dominant musical language in many parts of the world. Modal musics emphasize melody and rhythm rather than harmony and they invariably contain a great deal of improvisation and spontaneous invention. It is helpful to visualize western musics, because of their fascination with harmony, as vertical, sky-grasping structures built of sound ? like a Gothic cathedral ? a technique often called ?architonics.? Modal musics, however, are mostly horizontal in nature. They are highly ornate, much like the designs adorning a mosque or an eastern orthodox church. Roger Landes: plucked string instruments Arabic Oud (lute), Arabic Buzuq, Turkish Lavta, Irish bouzouki, Greek Laouto. Mason Brown: bowed strings, bass Viola da Gamba, and the smaller Pardessus viol. Chipper Thompson: percussion, Arabic Dumbeq and Riqq, Turkish Darabukka, Persian Zarb, Be Wright: Double Bass. For more information contact: Lisa Wright at: 505.758.7095, or:

4th Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, Feb. 25
Contra Dance in Santa Fe happens Saturday, Feb. 25, 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd., Open Mic for callers and SF Megaband playing. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m. And for those of you who drive up to Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe to shop for dark chocolate-covered ginger, Albuquerque’s Trader Joe’s is set to open on March 10. It’s on Paseo del Norte about 2 stoplights east of I-25 at Ventura.

4th Sunday Contra Dance, Albuq., Feb. 26
Artie Walsh and friends calling, Cypher (Juli Palladino and friends) 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!).

This & That
Planning Ahead: Ken and Jeanie of Bayou Seco fame are looking forward to playing the March 4 and 25 dances with Scott and Linda in ABQ and SF. Also on the 3rd of March they are doing a (Post) Mardi Gras Party with other Bayou Seco members -also know as Jasper – Terry Bluhm, Jefferson Voorhees and Frank McCullough at Harlow’s on the Hill on Nob Hill. $5 cover, 9-12 PM. Prizes for the best costumes. Jeanie writes, “We were very sad to hear about Mike Smith. He came over here January 7 when Scott and Linda were visiting, and we had a great night of music. We were so looking forward to him being in the Silver City community. He and Cate had just bought a house here.”

Mike Smith Report: Laura Hebenstreit sent me a report on Mike Smith’s Celebration of Life on February 4 in Tucson. She writes, “There was a very well-attended memorial celebrating the life and person of Mike Smith in Tucson just before the contra dance at O’Malleys. Buz and I attended, and there were people who had come from everywhere (including Alaska) to play music, remember, support each other, and honor a man badly missed. I was unaware that he was a master craftsman in wood – there was a slide show of his youth, some of his wood creations (including an incredible spiral staircase), and many photos and some video of music scenes. Multiple people from different circles in his life provided memories and stories. Music was provided by harp players, then Trim the Velvet and Round the House. There was a notebook for memories and tributes to be written, and a compilation of sympathetic and supportive emails. It was a celebratory atmosphere and toward the end, all the musicians were called up to the stage. The room rocked and a group of children from a local school of Irish dance demonstrated their light-footedness and expertise! It was quite a tribute. They had kind of settled on having the new guitar player join them before all this happened since Mike and Cate were planning to move to Silver City. The remaining band played alone for a while, and Claire sang a very clear and soulful tune. After a few songs they brought out the new guitar player (can’t remember his name) and introduced him. He had previously had the opportunity to play with Mike and appreciated learning from him, shared some memories and a song that he played by himself in Mike’s honor. It is interesting that you felt your dance atmosphere on February 4 was charmed, as there was a strong music family affection coming out of Tucson that night.”

Gene Hubert Very Ill: Famous caller and dance choreographer Gene Hubert and wife Jenny were married 5 years ago and have a little boy who is 4 or so. Gene and Jenny live in Durham, NC and have not been out and about in the dance world as much since becoming parents. Gene has been ill and the Huberts got the diagnosis last week: Gene has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This is a most difficult time for them and they need our prayers, thinking of you cards, etc. We all wish we knew what to say…send love, send messages, send whatever healing energy you can muster, dance Gene’s dances with joy and good thoughts. Gene and Jenny’s address is: 1001 Goodwin Road, Durham, NC 27712.

Roger Landes Classes: Well-known musician and organizer Roger Landes is happy to hear from those of you who might be interested in private lessons or participating in a workshop. He has a new website and invites you all to take a look at it and let him know what you think: It has an “Instruction” page. There you will find information on possible workshop topics. Please don’t hesitate to email or call him for more information.

Folk Harp Needed: A Vermont musician is looking for a small folk harp to rent for March
and April 2006. She will be in Taos – can’t get to Albuquerque, but can get to Santa Fe. Any ideas? If so, email Joan Shimer at shimer@VALLEY.NET

Folk Bloggers Wanted: Are you learning to like blogging? FOLKMADS web mistress Jane Phillips just set up a cool FOLMADS blog. Any FOLKMADS dancer, musician or member who wants to post a tale of travelling to dance, play, listen or otherwise experience another community is welcome to do so. Contact Jane at for details on how to post an entry. Come on, all you budding writers, once you blog, there’s no going back!

Remember that 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 March by February 28.


Merri Rudd
Albuquerque, NM

Hands Five Brings Down the House

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Thanks, everyone, for showing up at the February 4 Albuquerque contra dance. Nancy Ford reports that “Officially, the count was 96. “ That is an AMAZING number of dancers. Forty dancers filled two lines during the newcomer’s class. A bunch of them were in their 20’s and 30’s, yet another shocking development. We oldies are thrilled, of course, to see some young ‘uns (at this point anyone under 50 is young to me). We still wish more of the dancers were men, but there were fewer women sitting out this time than at the last dance. Maybe word will get out and even more guys will show up next time. All we want is a little gender balance.

If we can’t have that, I would be willing to teach a “how to dance as a man” workshop for women. We might invite the men too and let them dance as the women. A few women have asked me about doing this because they’d rather dance the man’s part than sit out and miss the fun. We could do the workshop one Saturday afternoon, have a potluck dinner, and then attend the regular dance and show off our newly learned skills.

Hands Five got rave reviews for their interesting and lively tunes. They wove creative trills and accents into the tunes, including a snippet of “Hava Nagila.” The fiddler’s wife was even spotted kicking up her heels on the dance floor!

We still had two lines of dancers at the end, including several of the brand new dancers. But the finest compliment of all came from a woman from New York. She was passing through New Mexico with her teenage granddaughter, who also danced. At the end of the night, she came up to me and the band and said, “Thanks for a wonderful evening! I never expected to stumble upon such an excellent dance in New Mexico!” I guess we have known all along how fun and friendly we are. It’s nice to know that out-of-staters are finding out too.

If you missed Saturday’s dance, Hands Five and I will be doing Santa Fe’s contra dance on April 8, 2006.

Bosque & Ruthie Report

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

I’m back from my Las Cruces trip to hear Ruthie Foster and Eric Bibb in concert. The Bosque was mostly deserted. A few looky-loo humans with monster lenses, the usual two bald eagles stuck to the tree in the middle pond in the middle loop. I watch them and the black phoebes, kinglets, and assorted ducks as I chow down my pastrami sandwich, trying not to eat the buzzing honeybee that wants a bite.

The Bosque presents various sights, like a familiar box of assorted chocolates. Harriers cruising, white tail bars glowing in the sun; Canada geese sucking up debris from the canal; the colorful pheasant on the side of the road; homebound cranes pecking through the tall tan grasses; red-winged blackbirds chortling; meadowlarks singing melody; a tiny marsh wren flitting through the reeds, sipping water. I walk east down a perpendicular side road, chasing a hunting harrier. She dives, grabs a mouse, hunkers down on the matted yellow grass for the “early bird special.” Blackbirds move en masse from one tree to the next as I approach. I try not to take it personally. I have to leave before the evening fly-in to make it to the concert in time.

I am driving down the interstate. I feel the wheels of my car stretch and elongate, sprout hooves. I ride on, galloping my steed down the road, hooves clopping rhythmically on the concrete pavement, through the sunlight and the desert landscape, wind in my face, steering reins in my hands, toward Ruthie Foster and food for my soul.

“I see what you mean,” says Laura, one of my Las Cruces concert companions, at the end of the concert. “It was amazing. I can’t imagine how that voice comes out of her body.” Ruthie has hooked another 300 or 400 folks. They held their collective breaths as she sang.

Ruthie was joined by her long-time companion and friend Cyd Cassone on percussion. Ruthie almost cried on stage as she introduced her song CROSSOVER. She talked of the civil rights marchers as they tried to cross the bridge from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama in the 1960’s. She, Odetta and Richie Havens were asked to create a soundtrack for the documentary “Where Do We Go From Here” about the civil rights movement. At the end of the introduction, Ruthie said, “I send this out to our sister Coretta Scott King.” Ruthie didn’t have to say that Coretta died a few days ago; we all knew. We got to sing along on the chorus.

CROSSOVER (listen here:
…..I’m gonna plant my feet
no matter what hangs over me
gonna stand up for freedom,
go down in history.
When I want to roam,
I’ll never be far from home.
I’m gonna keep holdin’ on,
singing my song,
No matter what’s goin’ on
I’m gonna keep movin’ strong.


I’m gonna plant my feet,
keep my eyes on the prize
gonna climb higher and higher
to keep the dream alive.
When I can’t go on,
you’ve got to carry on.
Oh you gotta keep holdin’ on
singin’ your song
no matter what’s goin’ on
you gotta keep movin’ strong.

CHORUS: You gotta cross over (and overcome)
You gotta cross over (and overcome)
You gotta cross over (and overcome)
And overcome.
Oh, you gotta cross over (and overcome)
You gotta cross over (and overcome)
You gotta cross over (and overcome)
And overcome….

CROSSOVER, lyrics and music written by Ruthie Foster

I had never heard Eric Bibb sing. [My husband reminds me that I DID hear Eric sing once when he opened in Albuquerque for Odetta. OK, so I didn’t remember having heard Eric sing.] Picture a strikingly handsome, young man in shiny brown loafers, faded jeans, an orange sweatshirt, and a dapper flat felt hat. He sings alone, accompanies himself on guitar. He gently marches in place, knees rising deliberately, feet placed back down exactly. He is probably setting his tempo and rhythm, but to me it appears as if he is calling the music up from the soles of his feet, and sending the songs out through his voice, instrument, and heart. True soul music. Smooth mellifluous voice.

He and Ruthie, joined by Cyd on percussion, end the concert with a duet “For You,” written by Eric. “This song didn’t come alive,” Eric explains, “until it met Ruthie.” It is on his new CD “Friends.” Ruthie reins in her power to collaborate with Eric. You can tell that doing so challenges her.

I came home today. As I crossed the bridge over the Rio Grande, I looked for eagles in the shoreside cottonwoods and tried to ignore the dilapidated green couch sitting in the middle of the river. When I got home, I learned that Ruthie and Eric will be singing in Socorro tonight at the NM Tech campus. Oops, I could have driven only 160 miles instead of 498. However…I enjoyed spending time with Lonnie and Julie, Laura, Ruth, Judy, Mark and Chris in Cruces. Ruthie, Cyd and Eric will be in Farmington, Clovis and Alamosa over the next week. and have details. Travel to hear them if you can; you won’t regret it.

February 2006 Folk Enews , 1st Half

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Hello, Folkies,

Well, well, well, there was a lot of activity on my new blog. Hundreds of you have checked it out. Thanks! Most people like the blog, except for the few who had trouble browsing it. I will cut and paste this post into an email for those who preferred email (sorry you won’t get photos, formatting or graphics). Many of you want both, an email reminder to check the blog, so I will continue to do that.

Number one complaint last month was not about switching to the blog. It was about there being twenty extra women at the Albuquerque January dances and being instructed to “look deep into the eyes” of their partner and flirt. Apparently, most women think this is more fun if they are looking at an actual guy instead of a woman dancing as a guy. So, guys, listen up: come dance with us! And consider bringing another dancing guy with you. One of the women did report that she went to the El Rey on January 28 and “danced every Wagogo dance except the first dance — two hours of continuous dancing – her kind of dancing!”

Of course, as soon as I type this, I can imagine what will happen at the next dance–the guys will show up, and the women, discouraged over lack of partners the last few times, will not. So here’s the solution: everybody come dance in Albuquerque this Saturday just to see what happens! I have actually run into three guys who plan to dance this Saturday, and they weren’t at the last dance. So maybe they’re starting a trend.

Corrales Sing, Friday, February 3
FOLK SONG CIRCLE. There will be a Valentine-ish theme of Seduction/Careless Love/Bawdy Songs. Bawdy songs only makes it onto the theme roster every few years, so if you know some good naughty ones this is your big chance.

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: or
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, February 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 for directions. $5 members, $6 others.

Dance Twice in Albuquerque on February 4
Kris Jensen is calling a square dance to recorded music for everyone earlier that day. She purposely scheduled it for the afternoon, so it doesn’t conflict with the FolkMADS dance (yeah, Kris!!!).
Special Fun Dance – A square dance for everyone called by Kris Jensen.
Saturday, February 4, 2006, from 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Albuquerque Square Dance Center, 4909 Hawkins NE, Albuquerque.
For more info (and coupons for free admission), see
You could dance, then go eat at one of the many restaurants at I-25 and Jefferson (or the Cracker Barrel, yum), then come back for the contra dance.

If You Can't Dance, Listen to Ruthie & Eric on February 4
Albuquerque concert is SOLD OUT!! 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. You’ll have to pick another town, Farmington, Clovis or Alamosa, CO during the next week if you want to go. Visit or for details.

Durango, Colorado Dance, February 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.

Bosque House Concert, Albuquerque, Feb. 5, Sunday
February 5, Sunday, 6:30 p.m. (it could be sold out, so email before you show up)
Bosque House Concert #83 featuring Annie Gallup

Beat Poet Songwriter and “spoke folk” artist Annie Gallup’s writing is unabashedly imaginative and richly sensual. She is a teller of short, elaborate tales?song-length works of fiction that sparkle with the complexity and polish of poetry; tightly packed lyrical strands that crackle with intelligence and spry wordplay, and pulse with insistent rhythm. Dirty Linen wrote, “She sounds like the musical daughter of Joni Mitchell and Lou Reed, simultaneously confident and vulnerable, a practiced storyteller and poet whose stream-of-consciousness narratives of strange but vivid characters share space with diamond-cut confessional vignettes of off-center and sometimes reckless romances.”
$12 suggested donation. Reservations required.
For reservations, contact Jeff at or use the on-line reservation system.

Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, February 11
Check out the Contra Dance in Santa Fe, Saturday, February 11. The beloved Lausanne Allen of Taos via Vermont is calling, The Love Buzzards (Miguel Combs on fiddle and accordian, Cary Stickney on banjo, Ted Seely on bass, Scott Mathis on mandolin, Linda Askew on guitar) are playing. 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m.

Second Sunday Dance, February 12
Noralyn Parsons and Kris Jensen will call elegant English country and zesty contra dances; music by Cloud 9 (oh, boy! Gemma DeRagon on fiddle, Mark Sardella on guitar, even though it’s during the legislative session, Michael Blackwell on flute and bodhran); 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.

Albuquerque Megaband Practice on Valentine's Day
Join the Megaband on Tuesday, February 14, at the Blue Dragon, 1517 Girard NE, Albuquerque, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Bring your sweeties, and maybe they’ll play some rowdy but romantic old-time tunes. More info: Bruce Thomson, 277-4729.

Klezmer Mania February 17-19
February 17th through February 19th ? President?s Day weekend
You don’t have to be Jewish to love Klezmer music. This year’s featured performers/teachers: Adrianne Greenbaum, Margot Leverett, Steve Weintraub.
Schedule of Events include Yiddish and Eastern European dance classes, Klezmer music workshops and two concert/dance parties. Location: Nahalat Shalom, 3606 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque.
Phone: (505) 343-8227, E-mail:
WEB: — Click on ?Klezmerquerque 2006?
Beth Cohen, E-mail: Ph: (505) 243-6276

This & That
Folkmadness Camp: You should have received a FOLKMADness camp flyer and registration form in the mail if you’re a FOLKMADS member, or find them at dance tables, or on the web at Now all you have to do is send the registration form in! 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!

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 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 February, let me know by February 15th. I’m waiting to hear from Las Cruces, Taos and AMP concerts re: February events. In the meantime, I’m off to Las Cruces for the Ruthie Foster concert. Read about it on my full blog:

Merri Rudd