One Day At The Taos Solar Fest
The Taos Solar Fest has been an annual event for the past fourteen years. I have often thought about heading up to Taos to join the fun, but for one reason or another, never made it–until this year. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Taos’ connection to solar energy, the Taos Electric Co-op ranks second in the nation when it comes to providing solar-generated electric power to its consumers. That’s pretty impressive for a (relatively) small town in northern New Mexico.
The festival is held at Kit Carson Park smack dab in the middle of Taos, and the setting is perfect. There are two stages, the main stage, and the solar stage. Between the main acts, there is music on the smaller solar stage provided by local musicians some of whom are from the main line-up. Max Gomez is one of these performers this year; he just finished recording his debut EP, “Rule The World” in Los Angeles, and at twenty-five years old seems to have a promising career ahead of him. His music is a blend of folk, blues, and alt country and he delivers it with the style and confidence of a well seasoned performer.
The Del McCourey Band followed Max Gomez, and while Del is a little too slick and polished for my taste, the crowd enjoyed his set and most everyone was on their feet dancing. He played many bluegrass standards that he has helped to make popular.
Los Lobos needs no introduction; they have been around for nearly forty years and during that time have won several Grammy Awards. Fronted by David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas they burned for well over an hour and finished with a sizzling version of their cover of the Richie Valens classic “La Bamba”.
As the sun set over the park, a feeling of expectation filled the air. When Lyle Lovett walked onstage, the crowd erupted into a round of applause. For the next ninety minutes, Lyle kept us captivated with his own special brand of country, western, blues, jazz, swing…well anyone who has ever seen Lyle in concert knows what I mean.
He and his Acoustic Band (as opposed to his Large Band) played songs from throughout his thirty year career and no one kept their seats.