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Merna Lewis Returns to the SLV With Nashville's Gone With the West at Society Hall!

7/27/24, 1:30 AM

Society Hall at 400 Ross Avenue in Alamosa, is excited to welcome back to the valley Merna Lewis with her new Nashville-based all-star western band Gone With the West, in concert on Friday July 26th at 7:30 pm. Doors will open at 6:30. Tickets are $20.00 in advance, or $25.00 at the door, and are available online at the link below, or in Alamosa at the Green Spot at 711 State Ave. The concert will also stream live on the Society Hall Facebook page and You-Tube channel.

Merna is the niece of San Luis Valley fiddling legend Bettie Freel, and grew up playing with her Aunt Bettie and her mom Bobbie Heersink in the Bowen String Band and many other ensembles. Merna has spent years now in the thick of things in Nashville, Tennessee, playing her fiddle with many different bands and performers, often working eight shows a week! Now she has joined forces with three other Nashville star performers in a new western supergroup and is bringing it all back home for us here in the Valley.

What do you get when you combine award- winning singer/songwriters, four-part harmony, a fiddle, keys, two guitars and lyrical imagery drawn from the West? You get taken on a musical journey out West ... cowboy and cowgirl life (and love!), campfires, horses, music and the beauty of the landscape.

This is GONE WITH THE WEST—Nashville's newest supergroup. Mary Kaye Holt, Micki Fuhrman, Tecia McKenna and Merna Lewis have fused their talents into an exciting new sound.

And here's a quote from a fellow that knows a bit about western music - “Looks like a new supergroup has saddled up and is riding in over the horizon. With exquisite harmony, superb original songs and very fresh takes on western classics, you are NOT going to want to miss Gone With The West!” - Ranger Doug, Riders in the Sky

Syd Masters and the Swing Riders Bring Their Southwestern Swing to Society Hall!

8/10/24, 1:30 AM

Syd Masters is an American singer and songwriter of traditional western music. Born and raised in the woods and water country of rural Wisconsin he now makes his home of many years in the Rocky Mountains of Northern New Mexico. He is the author and recording artist of the Official State Cowboy Song of New Mexico and was recognized by The Academy of Western Artists as Male Vocalist of the Year. Twice. His recent CD "Sunset on the Rio Grande Revisited" won the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for "Outstanding Traditional Western Music CD". Later on in the same year Syd was the recipient of the prestigious Presidents Award from The International Western Music Association for his contribution to Western music, and he also took home his 10th New Mexico Music Industry Award. Quite a year!

His newest CD, “Cabin Songs” hit #8 on the Western Music Charts its first week out, while the first single, “High Country Trail” entered at #5 on the singles chart! This tune also won “Best Original Western Song” from both The Western Writers of America and The New Mexico Music Awards in 2024. The Western Music Association, Academy of Western Artists and The New Mexico Music Industry have combined to nominate him for more than 40 awards over the past 20 years. “Vocalist of the Year,” “Country Song of the Year,” “Best Album,” Best Band,” Most Humorous Song,” "Best Remake," and “Best Song” are some of the categories in which he was victorious.

Earlier this century the US Department of State named him Cultural Ambassador for his work entertaining the secret service departments of 26 foreign countries in the Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Assistance Program. In 2020 Syd was named official ambassador to Guitars for Vets, an organization that provides therapy by giving acoustic guitars and lessons to returning veterans suffering from PTSD. Syd has been seen on television commercials and billboards throughout the west as spokesman for the Powerball Lottery Campaign. His original compositions have been used in numerous film productions ranging from documentaries and television broadcasts to the Universal Studios motion picture “Paul” where he can also be seen as an actor in the film. Whether solo or with his Swing Rider trio Syd provides a highly talented, thoroughly entertaining, good time cowboy show!

Colorado's Own Jon Chandler Brings His Big Western Sound Back to Society Hall!

8/17/24, 1:30 AM

Jon Chandler is a three-time winner of the prestigious Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Linwood, his moody examination of Doc Holliday’s life won the Spur for Best Song in 2009, while his tribute to Wyoming’s Hole in the Wall country, Morning Star Moon, received the award in 2012. His novel The Spanish Peaks received the WWA’s Medicine Pipe Bearer Award (Spur Award) for Best First Novel, and he was named True West Magazine’s Best Western Musician. Wyoming Wind, A Novel of Tom Horn, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. A seventh-generation Coloradan, Jon’s music and stories reflect his heritage, and his eight CDs, two novels, two non-fiction works, and myriad short stories and nonfiction articles are collected by western lifestyle aficionados worldwide. He hosts the iconic monthly concert series America’s Soul Live at the Olde Town Pickin’ Parlor in Arvada, Colorado. Homage, his new recording of cover songs that have influenced his writing and singing, will be released in Summer 2019.

The Los Angeles Daily News dubbed Denver native Jon Chandler the “ western songsmith since Ian Tyson,” while Texas’s Country Line Magazine exclaimed, “Thank God for Chandler and his gang of musicians.” A review of Jon Chandler’s iconic CD WESTERNS includes the phrase, “Chandler’s music is literate and literary.” That about covers it. There’s not an ounce of stereotypical Gene ‘n Roy retro-cowpoke, Lazy Z Chuckwagon faux-western schtick in his music, voice or prose. Chandler writes and sings of the historic and contemporary West - not particularly cowboy songs and stories, although they tend to show up with frequency. His songs owe more to Larry McMurtry, Elmer Kelton, Robert Service and Mark Twain than they do to anyone in a band that ends with Wranglers or Ramblers. Simply put, his music and his writing are reflections of his heritage. A seventh-generation Coloradan, his novels, songs and poems serve to keep the West’s frontier ethic alive.

"Jon Chandler is part Wallace Stegner, part Jack Schaefer. He’s part Bruce Springsteen, and part Rambling Jack Elliott. He’s part William F. Cody, and part Cole Younger. Yet he’s distinctively original, a poet laureate of the American West of past, present and future."

- Johnny D. Boggs

Tejas Brothers Bring Their Tex-Mex Honky-Tonk Back to Society Hall!

8/18/24, 1:30 AM

The Tejas Brothers, a band widely known as “one of the best live acts in Texas” is coming back to Society Hall, 400 Ross in Alamosa, on Saturday, August 17th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 and are available at the link below or at the Green Spot in Alamosa. The concert will also stream live on the Society Hall Facebook page and You-Tube channel.

Society Hall board member Don Richmond says, “I’ve seen these guys several times, and the main thing you come away from a Tejas Brothers show is that they are an incredible amount of fun! And they have this amazing cross-cultural reach in their music, from corrido to country to rock, all seamlessly blended, making the listener realize that it’s all just a big outpouring of the human spirit in slightly different forms. But you’ll mainly remember the fun!”

Tejas Brothers front man and accordionist David Perez echoes this sentiment - "Music is supposed to be fun! They can't put you in jail for combining Tex-Mex music with Honky Tonk music, or an accordion with a steel guitar, so why not do it?" "Mama loves George Jones and daddy loves Freddy Fender", he continues. With influences from all different styles of music, the audience might find it difficult to describe a live show. Most of them say, "I don't know what to call it. I just know it's GOOD!"

The closest description that the band has been able to come up with is: Tex-Mex Honky Tonk. A typical trip through a Tejas Brothers medley might start out as a jumpin' tejano polka, hop into steam-engine country train song, and then drop you off into a twisting blues rocker!

As their website says, “If you are one of those people who has all but given up on the music of today, don't worry... there are still some bands putting out the good stuff! If you come to a show, just make sure you can see the stage!” And of course, in Society Hall, you certainly can – both audiences and performers love the intimate connection of a Society Hall show – many audience members have remarked that they just didn’t know how good a musical show could be!

More Upcoming Shows & Events

August 2, 3 – SLV Theater performance

August 9 – Syd Master and the Swing Riders

August 16 – Jon Chandler

August 17 – Tejas Brothers

August 23 – Ordinary Elephant

August 27 – Narrow Gauge Bookstore author event with Pam Houston

August 31 – Pat Byrne

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