Every April for nearly three decades, the Gathering of Nations has brought indigenous groups from around the continent to Albuquerque to celebrate Native culture and traditions. The powwow, which claims the title of North America’s largest, is three days of music, dance, markets, food and cross-culturalism.
The Porter Draw is a friend to Albuquerque's Americana scene
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Alt.country band The Porter Draw is part of a small but prolific Americana movement that has bubbled up in Albuquerque during the past five years. Marked by an unusual amount of camaraderie, the handful of bands within it are friends who are mutually dedicated to making music in and for this town.
There are lawn chairs strewn across a sandy field, the sunset in front of you, Sandia Mountains behind you, people with picnic baskets, gourmet takeout, wine bottles and blankets. A singer stands on a trailer-turned-stage that’s painted to look like the New Mexican desert, complete with cacti and mountains against a blue sky. This is the Placitas Campfire Series.
We’ve all driven by the huge sign on Central, east of Louisiana, that looks like it’s from ’40s Vegas and promises “Western Dancing” and “Ladies Special Drink Prices.” I passed it countless times before I realized the sign wasn’t just a leftover landmark and there was actually a building to go with it. The country nightclub Caravan East is set back from the street, behind a field of pitted asphalt. Asking acquaintances for details on the place yielded warnings of sleazy characters, grimy ambience and prevalent violence. The general consensus was if you weren’t already a regular, you should not set foot in the place—you’d most likely get your ass kicked.