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Pasatiempo - - Music And Performance - Steve Ter­rell

Here are some sug­ges­tions for presents that will bring joy to your loved ones and help keep the Santa Fe mu­sic scene alive. I’m talk­ing about the gift of lo­cal mu­sic.

A whole pile of CDs by bands and singers from the Santa Fe area were re­leased in re­cent weeks and months. Fans can find the discs in lo­cal stores— at least I think there are a few places here that still sell CDs — or on the artists’ Web sites and MyS­pace pages. Ama­zon, iTunes, and other on­line ser­vices sell works by sev­eral of the fol­low­ing artists. Or bet­ter yet, skip the mid­dle­man, go to their gigs, and buy the CDs in per­son.

A Good Ride by Bill Hearne. Un­like most of Hearne’s re­cent CDs, which fo­cus on his love for hard-core honky-tonk, his new­est one show­cases his acous­tic, folky side. It’s not quite as dance­able as his last few, but it does fea­ture that great flat-pick­ing that Hearne fans love. He per­forms songs by The Blasters (a sweet, sad “Bor­der Ra­dio”), Gor­don Lightfoot, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Ian Tyson, and Chuck Pyle, not to men­tion a tune by Frogville la­bel-mate JoeWest (“I Re­mem­ber Lovin’ You”) and one by for­mer lo­cal picker John Egenes (“The Rail­road Is Call­ing My Name”). Hearne’s main mu­si­cal part­ner on A Good Ride is the won­der­ful Don Rich­mond, who plays just about any stringed in­stru­ment you can name. But the best news is that on a cou­ple of tracks he’s backed by his main mu­si­cal part­ner in life, wife Bon­nie Hearne, who in re­cent years has been too ill to per­form very much. Check out bill­hearne.com.

Straight Ahead by Gary Gorence. And the win­ner of the 2009 track most likely to be mis­taken for Cree­dence Clear­wa­ter Re­vival is ... “Change in the Weather” by John Fogerty. But com­ing in sec­ond is Gary Gorence’s “Un­der Lock and Key,” the first song from his new al­bum. It’s a cool, swampy rocker that will re­mind you of “Green River,” “Born on the Bayou,” and other Cree­dence tunes. Gorence is backed by his band, The Jakes, and the whole al­bum is full of good, rootsy, coun­try-and-blues-in­flu­enced work­ing man’s rock. Gorence is a de­cent sto­ry­teller, too, as he proves with “Mon­ica’s Mother.” The CD release party for Straight Ahead starts at 8:30 p.m. Fri­day, Dec. 11, at Tiny’s Restau­rant & Lounge. See gary­gorence.webs.com.

Stephanie Hat­field & Hot Mess. If the mu­sic re­minds you of Hun­dred Year Flood, there’s good rea­son. HYF’s Bill Palmer co-pro­duced and plays gui­tar (and other in­stru­ments) on this hot mess and also wrote the open­ing song, “Suf­fer.” But the real star of the al­bum is Hat­field’s soul­ful voice. My fa­vorite tune here is the hard-rock­ing “Fish­boy.” Hey, they’re play­ing New Year’s Eve at the Cow­girl BBQ & West­ern Grill! See mys­pace.com/ stephaniehat­fiel­dand­hotmess.

Crooked by Jaime Michaels. Singer-song­writer Jaime Michaels is backed here on var­i­ous cuts by some of Santa Fe’s finest— Jono Man­son (who also pro­duced the al­bum) on gui­tar, Sharon Gilchrist on man­dolin, Mark Clark on drums, PeterWil­liams on bass, Tom Adler on banjo, and BenWright on gui­tar. And there are ap­pear­ances by some pretty im­pres­sive “out­siders,” like Te­jano ac­cor­dion ace Joel Guz­man, gui­tarist An­drew Hardin, and the Austin duo of Chris­tine Al­bert (a singer for­merly of Santa Fe) and Chris Gage (who plays a sweet, sad ac­cor­dion on the ti­tle song). See jaimemichaels.com.

You Can Take a Child Out of the Ghetto But ... byWilly Magee. As you’ve prob­a­bly no­ticed, all the other al­bums I’ve men­tioned here are in the folk/ coun­try/blues/roots-rock vein. Not this. Here sweet Willy— who has played in nu­mer­ous lo­cal bands, in­clud­ing Alex Maryol’s— lays down funk, hip-hop, and sly hu­mor. Magee played most of the in­stru­ments here him­self. But on “Freaka­holic,” Ly­dia Clark plays key­boards and Jay “Rusty” Crutcher blows sax. And on “Woo You,” Magee re­veals his Mar­cia Brady fan­tasies. See willy­magee.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

One Man’s Mu­sic by Vince Bell. Twenty-seven years ago this month, singer-song­writer Bell, who moved to Santa Fe more than five years ago, was driv­ing home from a record­ing ses­sion in Austin, Texas, that in­volved a gui­tar side­man named Ste­vie Ray Vaughan. Bell was broad­sided by a drunk driver in a Ford Fair­lane and thrown 50 feet from his car. “My right arm was not rec­og­niz­able, and my liver had been forced out of my mid­sec­tion and onto the pave­ment. There was sub­stan­tial in­jury to my spinal cord and brain. I would have scar tis­sue in my eye­balls as a re­sult of ly­ing in gaso­line,” Bell wrote. But he lived — de­spite a pre­ma­ture re­port in the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man to the con­trary (an er­ror that, as a re­porter, made me cringe nearly as much as the de­scrip­tion of Bell’s in­juries).

And he’s still mak­ing mu­sic, as demon­strated by this al­bum, re­leased ear­lier this year along with Bell’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of the same name (pub­lished by the Uni­ver­sity of North Texas Press). The CD fea­tures Bell on vo­cals and Ned Al­bright on pi­ano. The mu­sic is sparse and haunt­ing, per­fect back­ground mu­sic for read­ing the book, which deals not only with the ac­ci­dent but also with his years of re­cov­ery, both phys­i­cal and men­tal. For more in­for­ma­tion on the CD and the book, check out vince­bell.com.

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