Wednesday, November 10, 2010

road trip music: New Mexico

The was a time when the town of Taos, in northern New Mexico, called itself the soul of the southwest. Granted, that was a marketing slogan, but one with elements of truth in those four words. As the Great American Road Trip travels through New Mexico, as the cottonwoods turn to gold in Taos, and snow makes its way from the top of the Sangre de Cristos into the roads leading into town. I’ll let the words and melodies of two musicians who have deep connections with the soul of the southwest be our soundtrack.

Taos Pueblo, a short distance north of the town plaza is both centuries away from the modern town and very connected at the same time. Once you pass the old cemetary and cross the cattle guard, you are in a different place, if you choose to be open to that. What you find depends on what you bring, in part, anyway.

Robert Mirabal grew up on the pueblo, taking part wooden flutes to learn how they worked, and seeing the connections and differences in the world on and off the pueblo. His work as a musician has taken him down many roads in many countries. For this trip through New Mexico, take a listen to a bit of his music that was inspired by sources close to home, on his album Taos Tales.

Tish Hinojosa grew up in Texas. It was in New Mexico, though, in Taos and in Red River, tish hinojosa armadillo bazaar copyright kerry dexterthat she began to write songs, and to discover the heart of the vision that would inform her musical imagination of the west and southwest. Any of Hinojosa’s recordings would work as a fine soundtrack. Her first album, Taos to Tennessee and the lyrical re thinking of the sounds of the west on Dreaming From The Labyrinth are two good places to start, as is Culture Swing, an album which crosses borders among country, folk, Texas, Mexico, English, and Spanish.

photograph of Tish Hinojosa copyright Kerry Dexter

you may also wish to see

Southwestern Imagination: Tish Hinojosa
Music Road: looking toward christmas: kidstuff
more music from the road trip

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I originally partnered up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’d find there. The Library is closed now, but I think you will still find the journeys through music interesting.

For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins

UpTake Travel Gem

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