Remembering Linda Cotton--Linda Cotton, New Mexico's first lady of music, died of an apparent heart attack on Thanksgiving Day. She was 55. Linda's local singing career spanned 25 years, sharing her memorable and distinctive voice--one that fused jazz style-phrasing with the chameleon qualities of blues, funk, R&B and gospel--in dozens of venues, including Civic Plaza, the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater and Popejoy Hall. Her supporters remember her as a warm, generous woman who took great pleasure in helping others. Linda often lent her talents to organizations like Working Classroom through benefit concerts, and volunteered with the Barrett House shelter for homeless families and the Alliance for Albuquerque Animals. As one of her many supporters reflected, "She had a big heart, a great sense of humor and she did not suffer fools." Our thoughts and prayers are with those who love her.
The Pipes are Calling--It's about time you showed your support for High Desert Pipes and Drums, Danny Boy. HDPD is a local Highland music society that prides itself on being a "teaching" band. Since it's registered as a 501(c)3 public foundation, it's the sole piping society in town that's able to give free lessons. You don't even have to be Scottish to join--the only prerequisite is an interest in Celtic drumming or bagpipes. Talk about taking the high road.
According to the group's website, High Desert Pipes and Drums was formed in 1992 under the direction of Pipe Major Bill Horn, and is "dedicated to the advancement of Highland bagpipe music and the general proliferation of all things Scottish." You may recall they traveled to Scotland in 1999, where they competed at the World Championship Pipe Band Competition. They actually took first place in their class--an astounding accomplishment for any Highland musicians, much less some from the American Southwest.
The group is returning to the championships this August where they hope to beat the Scots at their own game once again; but they can't get to Glasgow without your help. This Wednesday, Dec. 6, High Desert Pipes and Drums will host a fundraiser at Uptown Sports Bar. Pay $5 at the door and get a dose of this phenomenal troupe, complete with live piping and drumming, kilts, and other traditional Scottish regalia, from 8-9:30 p.m. You can also see them next week during the Nob Hill Shop and Stroll (held Thursday, Dec. 7) at O'Niell's Pub (Washington and Central SE). For information on joining High Desert Pipes and Drums or contributing to their booster club, log on to www.hdpd.org.