Our readers—who are mostly musicians I am now thoroughly convinced—voted for Music Go Round as the best instrument store in Albuquerque. That may be because Luchetti’s Drum and Guitar as well as Bob Farley Music Center are long gone, but it’s more likely that Music Go Round won because of the totally killer selection of instruments available at that shop. The super-decent prices and excellent customer service also figure in, we reckon. Plus where else in town can you talk shop with great musicians like Marty Crandall (who is on staff); there’s some of that new slang for all y’all.
2) Robertson & Sons Violin Shop
3) Banjo Bob's
Best Music Teacher
Lee Taylor, another local musical genius that came up from the UNM Music Department, (how many are there this year? Send me your best guess and maybe I’ll buy you a barley pop) plays saxophone in a number of notable local ensembles, including Entourage Jazz and has also jammed with folks like The 5th Dimension, The Temptations, Eddie Daniels and the legendary John Lewis. He’s also the best music teacher in Dirt City, per our readers’ estimable votes. You can sign up for lessons with Lee the next time you visit Baum’s Music.
2) Hovey Corbin
3) Jay Forsythe
Best Party Band
If you want to party, ask Baracutanga to join the fracas. With their toothsome combination of South American rhythms, Carribbean counterpoint and social justice-inspired lyricism, this septet featuring the nexus of Jackie Zamora, Kilko Paz and Carlos Noboa will have the entire room zooming and jamming and just plain feeling good within moments of taking up their instruments and taking a tuneful turn with their audience following closely in time.
2) Severo y Grupo Fuego
3) The Lonn Calanca Band
Best Radio Station for Local Music
The radio operations at Ortega Hall on the campus of the University of New Mexico deserve your attention. After all, our readers are certain that the sounds emanating from the former dormitory building on the Northeast corner of main campus have some very important meanings to deduce. You can do just that by listening to a station that often features the best our local music community has to offer. From jazz to rock and hip-hop, too, and with programming like Coffee Express, Ear to the Ground and Espejos de Aztlan, you can always hear the best in local music simply by tuning in to this engaging college radio station.
2) KUPR 99.9
3) Radius Radio
Best Record Store
Charley's 33s & CDs
Herein lies the name of one of the last independent and local record shops in The Duke City. With a knowledgeable staff of longtime record aficionados, a huge selection of all sorts of media, including 7-inch records—and plenty of ephemera such as stickers and T-shirts to pique your curiosity—Charley’s 33s & CDs will make you long for the days when local record stores like Merlin’s Workshop and Mushroom Music ruled Burque’s music roost with records and tapes for all tastes and all of time.
3) We Buy Music
Best Recording Engineer/Producer
Roger Baker is the arranger, producer and pianist for Entourage Jazz, an ensemble of local players that took this year’s Best of Burque Music Awards by storm. Roger graduated from the Berklee College of Music and then opened Hub Studios in Boston. Later he formed Baker Street Studios and took on projects by artists like Tracy Chapman. After moving to Burque many years ago, Baker started up Winfield Sound Studios, and the rest is history. More than many others, Baker has grown the music community in Albuquerque with his intense love of music and his keen ear.
2) Matthew Tobias
3) Jesse Korman
Best Recording Studio
Third Eye Studios
Located in the picturesque Sandia Mountains, Third Eye Studios is this year’s winner in the Best Recording Studio category. The studio has worked with several local artists, including Le Chat Lunatique, Pray for Brain and Marsupious. Always working to create the best sound for their numerous clients, this studio features a Soundcraft Delta 8 mixing console, a varied mic locker and backline gear like a Kawai grand piano and Orange speaker cabs to make each session they host productive and profitable.
2) Rio Grande Studios
3) Elephonic Recording Studios
A fixture of Burque’s rock club scene for more than 25 years, Launchpad is still the number one venue in the city. Owner/promoter Joe Anderson has done much to keep the scene here alive and kicking, and many of the shows at this space- and rocket ship-themed venue speak to that totally awesome task. From Stereolab and Melvins to the lastest in Cali pop-punk and artsy left-field rap, this is the place to get your groove on while checking out one of the loudest, clearest sound systems in the 505.
2) Outpost Performance Space
3) The Historic El Rey Theater
Best Wedding Band
Severo y Grupo Fuego
These super-suave vatos wanna play your wedding. And they should too, primos, because they are one of the most exciting Latinx crossover bands in the region. Band leader Severo Martinez leads a versatile ensemble that can play any genre with ease but tend to favor rollicking, cumbia-laced tunes that play on the possibility that dance is inevitable given the proper tuneage. In other words they also do top 40, country and rock. What more do you want from a wedding band? These guys can handle “Free Bird” as well as they glide through “Jesusita en Chihuahua.” Vamos!