For those of us lucky enough to catch the Mumford & Sons concert in Taos before the tour went on hiatus due to bassist Ted Dwane suffering from a blood clot, one moment stood out. It starred local flautist Robert Mirabal joining the band during “Awake My Soul.” The crowd ate it up. Mumford himself was ecstatic. Then, in a seemingly “Soy Bomb” moment Mirabal came back onstage and euphorically danced during the bands’ signature “I Will Wait.”
How did the Mumford gig come about?
I was approached by the presenters. Mumford & Sons, they’re not from the US, so their interest in the Southwest—as well as Native American culture—is strong. These young gentlemen are very intelligent and anywhere they go, they want to meet with people that have a substantial connection to local culture. They came to the house, we spend half of the day together and Marcus and I walked around the fields. He and I have a lot of the same interests; we became brothers instantaneously.
Do you regret coming back onstage?
When you get to a certain stage of performing you do so many things like a machine, that after a while, the spontaneity of a certain song, like that, helps. It brings the audience into a perspective that ‘you’re not normally going to see this,’ so it reassures them of the importance of live theater.
On Aug. 30 and 31 you’re taping a PBS special at the Santa Fe Opera. What can audiences expect?
A celebration of agri/culture through music, song and mythology. In this day and age of farmers and individuals are fighting for their autonomy to feed their families and tribes so this is a very appropriate show. People will experience my own mythical journey of my own agri/cultural connection.
Image by Kate Russell / Hat tip to YouTube users Erin Doherty and GetOverYourHill