Frogfest is a celebration in the purest, most Kool and the Gang, sense of the word.
The music festival, now in its third year, is the product of the Frogville Record label that has signed, recorded and toured a wealth of local and national music talent. John Treadwell started the label five years ago and has since established it as a herald of the Santa Fe sound. The Frogville musicians fit in the Americana category, but are inimitable when paired side-by-side. Although any number of Frogville recording artists can be seen and heard around town, Frogfest offers a sampling of the label’s out-of-town artists too.
4 pm: Bill Hearne
Bill Hearne is one of the hardest working musicians in Santa Fe. If he’s not serenading audiences with country tunes during his weekly gig at the La Fonda Hotel, he’s probably at The Cowgirl or the Santa Fe Brewing Company belting out the finer points of honky-tonk.
Key Album: Heartaches and Honky Tonks
Key Track: “Who Will Buy the Wine”
5 pm: Taarka
If there is a disappointment about this year, it is the absence of folk quartet ThaMuseMeant. Nevertheless, several of its members will be present. David Tiller and Enion Pelta-Tiller, who live in Boulder, Colo., perform folk and jazz fusions in their band Taarka.
Key Album: The Martian Picture Soundtrack
Key Track: “Down on Adeline”
6 pm: Nathan Moore
Nathan Moore, a Staunton, Va., resident, is having a good year. He won the Troubadour Contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and is currently a finalist for the Lyons Folk Festival Songwriter Showcase in Lyons, Colo. Moore, who is also a member of ThaMuseMeant and Surprise Me Mr. Davis, is on the cusp of releasing a follow-up album to his brilliant LP In His Own Worlds.
Key Album: In His Own Worlds
Key Track: “Damage”
7 pm: Boris and the Saltlicks
Boris and the Saltlicks have recently released Bad Road, Good People, a spry but poignant 11-track collection filled with warm instrumentation and punchy delivery. The band is gearing up for another European tour, so the time is ripe for a Saltlick fix.
Key Album: Bad Road, Good People
Key Track: “Pony Ride”
8 pm: Hundred Year Flood
Possibly the most visible band on the Frogville roster is Hundred Year Flood, a rowdy Americana-rock quartet that will release a new album, Hell or High Water, in October. Flood hired Grammy-winning and multi-platinum- and gold-selling producer Andy Kravitz to produce the record, which includes a guest appearance by Taj Mahal.
Key Album: Hell or High Water
Key Track: “Poison”
10 pm: Goshen
Grant Hayunga’s band Goshen, which also includes Bill and June Palmer from Hundred Year Flood, plays lush and revelatory songs that dive through fathoms of blues arrangements. The slide guitar is Hayunga’s primary medium but it doesn’t limit his interpretative range for its sound—a soft, but poignant, reinvention.
Key Album: Circus Wife
Key Track: “Sweet As Can Be”
11 pm: Xoe Fitzgerald the Time Traveling Transvestite
No other dude in town can wear a red camisole, huge butterfly wings and sing about time travel quite like Joe West (Xoe Fitzgerald). West has several solo Frogville releases and an EP with bluegrass outfit the Santa Fe All-Stars. He may be a fixture in the local music scene, but Xoe Fitzgerald the Time Traveling Transvestite is a singular rock-opera/split-personality event that should not be missed.
Key Album: None released yet.