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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Albuquerque Music Scene

The Albuquerque music scene doesn't get much press but Albuquerque was mentioned in the song "Everywhere" by Tim McGraw. Weird Al Yankovic also pays tribute to the city with his song "Albuquerque," which is the home of The Shins. The Weekly Alibi is the alternative publication that covers the local scene. Even though America hasn't heard much of this town, in the 2000s it has been one of America's fastest growing cities in the 21st century. In 2006 the city was rated best in the nation by Forbes for business and careers. The history of the Albuquerque music scene is not deep with national acts.

Native Roots is a reggae band formed in 1997 by Native Americans John Williams (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Sioux) and Shkeme Garcia (Tamaya/Jemez Pueblos). They band reaches for universal themes in the vein of Bob Marley and appeals to a wide age group. The band has traveled the country, performing in casinos, Tribal Nation events and many festivals.

Ben Martinez Project * Bo Brown * Charley Mckay * Chasing Disaster * Christian Venegas * Dianne * DIVERJE * Drawing the Moon * Echoing Green * Franki Baaz * James Douglas Show * JD Strait * Juan Gambino * Kimo * Leah Black * Lousy Robot * Lowercase Noises * Maria Lopez * Michael David Sherwood * Michael Sena * Native Roots * Neckbone Monroe * Noms * Olympians Fall * Patricia Morrison * Rick Hale * Ryan McGarvey * Sam and Nate * Shane Wallin * Sleep Siren * Tijerina *

Albuquerque Local Music Scene History

The annual Albuquerque Folk Festival went virtual in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of attending the event, fans logged into Facebook or Zoom to see the show June 13. Musical acts on the Sandia State included the Cali Shaw Band, Bayou Seco, Baracutanga, The Kipsies and 3hattrio. The event is run by volunteers.

Drive Out Doubt, LLC is a business formed in October 2017 to support the local music scene. The community organization's first event was the Drive Out Doubt Music Festival on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the Sandbar. The firm is run by Drew Herig, Kaelin Brennan and Mike Mares. The show featured The Noms, Reviva, Dylan Huling, Bosquo and Kevin Herig.

Albuquerque Journal wrote a piece on April 1, 2017 about Maple St. Records, a local independent label seeking to help put the city on the musical map. The label was founded the previous year by Manu Sandoval, Drew Mitchell and Zach Spalsbury. Their own pop-oriented group is called PLEASE, which was featured the LA-based blog Noon Pacific, which helped drive thousands of listens to their SoundCloud page.

The School of Rock is a national music education program, founded by Paul Green, that has arrived in New Mexico. The new Albuquerque franchise is owned by guitarist Robert Montoya of the metal band The Ground Beneath, opened on August 29, 2015. It's part of a broader national network of schools. The school's mission is to offer classes to young rockers, with classes taught by gigging musicians. Vocal instructors include Jackie Gillespie and Reba Phillips, while Gilby Villa teaches guitar, Mindy Hoerter teaches bass, Tony Neal teaches keyboards and Pete Tauzer teaches percussion. The school teaches students from 2 years old through adulthood. Teaching methods include games and formal instruction. The school is located at 6409 Candelaria Road NE and the phone number is (505) 842-7331.

The Albuquerque Botanic Garden, located at 2601 Central NW, is the site for the Summer Nights concert series that showcases family-oriented music, dance and food. Performers in the 2013 concert series included world music band Wagogo, New Mexico folk/bluegrass singer Eliza Gilkyson, Latin band Incendio, classic country band The Derailers, Americana singer Barnaby Bright, indie folk rock artist Steve Poltz and alternative country band Slaid Cleaves.

Public radio station KUNM on 89.9 FM from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque is the region's direct connection with the local music scene. The station has been on the air since 1966, although its roots go back to 1960. The station delivers a wide range of multicultural programming. Half of the station's funding comes from listeners. KUNM was written about in this Shavone Otero article 7/13/2011 in the Examiner.

Albuquerque, despite a population of over a half million people, only has a limited number of music venues. Not too many national bands have originated from the region, although the Shins have risen as the area's top 21st century indie band. The top venue for national acts is the Sunshine Theater, although its imaged was tarnished by a 2003 murder. Smaller venues for local acts include the El Rey Theater and the Launchpad. Albuquerque's music scene profile was written about in this Shavone Otero article 6/28/2011 in the Examiner.

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