By Michael Henningsen
Wildlife West Bluegrass 2004
Featuring Cadillac Sky, the Hit & Run Bluegrass Band and Higher Ground
Wildlife West's annual bluegrass shindig is, in my opinion, one of the best live music gatherings in New Mexico. This year, a traditional chuckwagon supper will be served on Saturday evening, July 10, at 7 p.m., followed by Colorado-based group, Hit & Run Bluegrass, winners at Rockygrass in 2002 and Telluride in 2003. Hailed as one of the finest up-and-coming bluegrass bands in America, Hit & Run keep a tight grip on traditional bluegrass, which is not to be confused with the jam-infused stuff that tends more toward the Dead than dead banjo pickers. Their debut album, Beauty Fades, should do much to help listeners make the distinction.
"We call ourselves a contemporary bluegrass band," says guitarist/vocalist Rebecca Hoggan. "It took discipline to limit our influences," she continues, "We're fans of jamgrass, but we aren't that band."
Hit & Run will also be on hand Sunday night at 8 p.m. to warm the stage for Cadillac Sky, whose pure Kentucky bluegrass is as high-energy as it comes. With a heavy emphasis on vocal harmonies and highly inventive soloing, Cadillac Sky have been busy recently, touring with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, The Del McCoury Band, the David Grisman Quintet, Natalie MacMaster and many other marquee artists.
Wildlife West Bluegrass 2004 is a rare opportunity to enjoy traditional acoustic music in a naturally beautiful environment that includes a wildlife preserve. Gospel concerts begin both days at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., followed by guitar contests at 4:15 and a variety of workshops beginning at 5 p.m. Supper is served Saturday night only ($16.50 for dinner and concert, $10 children). Tickets for Sunday's events are $10 at the gate, $8 children.
Wildlife West Bluegrass 2004 takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11 at the Wildlife West Nature Park (20 miles east of Albuquerque in Edgewood, (877) 981-9453 or 281-7655). Visit www.wildlifewest.org or call for more information.
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